Photography Studio and Lighting Forum

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  1. #1
    Member tayl0124's Avatar
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Saint Paul, Minnesota, United States

    Need flash advice

    Okay, I am planning on shooting some pic's at a local bar of a band, (just so happens to be my dads band.) I have the equipment you see in my sig. What is your suggestions for flash?? Use it or not?? I am hoping not to blind the musicians, so keep that in mind. Should I get a defuser(sp?) for the flash?? Will it be bright enough? Or should I not use a flash all together?

    Canon EOS 6d w/Battery Grip
    Canon EOS 620
    Canon EOS Rebel G
    Canon EOS Rebel XS
    Canon EF 24-105mm f/4L IS USM
    Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 USM
    Canon EF-S 18-55 f3.5-5.6 IS
    Canon EF 25-80mm f4-5.6 III
    Canon EF 70-210mm f4
    Canon 35-70 f3.5-4.5
    Canon Lens EF 50mm f1.8
    Promaster FTD 6500M
    Canon Speedlite 420ex
    Yongnuo Speedlite YN560-II

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Washington, CT

    Re: Need flash advice


    I do a lot of performance photography and thought I would toss out a few tips that seem to work for me. By the way, you can see what I'm talking about at in the Joan Jett, Corporate Events, and Music galleries. Personally I try to work with natural lighting as much as possible. I think it's really difficult to preserve the true feeling of the moment, not to mention as you suggest, the distraction to performers caused by popping a flash. So here is my approach. Obviously you want to use the fastest lens you have. Next crank the ISO setting on your camera to the maximum setting. Once you are shooting, if you can back off a stop and still get the depth of field you want, do it. Your images obviously will be grainy, but for this subject it may work in your favor. I use Noise Ninja to help with graininess. Stage lighting will be a huge factor in your images. I have found that in most small bars and restaurants no one has taken the time to check the lights for direction and color and more often than not it's fine with management for you to tweak it. You usually have time for this while the band is setting up. If you're really in to it, bring along some inexpensive clip on lights from Home Depot with taped on colored gels. Set these up somewhere in front of the band low and out of sight. In many of these locations the front stage lights will be directly over the heads of the front line musicians so there are lots of facial shadows making for really tough shots or limiting you to when the performers step back away from the mikes. If your lucky, stage lighting will be great and you will have more light than you think, particularly shooting digital. This was the case at the Joan Jett show in Orlando. If you have Photoshop, shoot in RAW format so you have a chance of salvaging great shots that deserve a second chance. Next, take your time and watch the performers through the view finder. We are all creatures of habit and you will find that musicians return to the same position over and over again. Use this to your advantage in finding the shot you want and then catching it multiple times, waiting for the performer to be at a point where they have absolutely minimal movement. You will be surprised at how often it happens. Finally, take lots and I do mean lots of exposures. On a typical night I will get 250 - 500 shots most of which go right in to the trash. You can be the judge of the ones that I keep when you visit my website. Good Luck and have fun !!!!

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