Monday, November 05, 2007

mike milligan and the altar boyz

mike milligan and the altar boyz

Met up with some friends on Saturday night and went out on Sixth Street in Austin. Took some pictures along the way and were drawn in to B. D. Riley's and listened to some great blues. There's something great about Austin that you can see such amazing music, without any cover, just in any given bar around town. More shots on flickr. I didn't feel particularly self-conscious taking pictures - I think because two of the other people I was with were also shooting the band. I'm less bothered doing it on my own now, but it still helps to have some others around to provide that justification/ validation. I suppose that fades with time. Instead of tipping them for all the pictures I took, I picked up one of their CDs. Check out their music on their myspace page In the comments, Shane asked 'Care to share what lens and ISO you were using?' These were all shot with a Canon 1dMkII, with a 50mm f1.4 lens, all at an aperture of f1.4 and ISO 1600, mostly in aperture priority mode with matrix metering, though a few I switched to manual exposure and spot metered. Focus is the hardest part of shooting like this - the light is low, the auto focus can hunt, the depth of field is very shallow at f1.4, the performers are moving, makes for a fun time. The one below to the left has a bit of motion blur to it - which I like in this case, there's a lot of movement going on, on stage so I don't mind capturing it. There's also a pretty dramatic visual difference between in-focus motion blur and an out of focus shot. I like both styles of blur in different situations. Colour-wise I was shooting in tungsten white balance, for the bar lighting which pushed the lights into the street towards some great blues and green colours from a variety of light sources. Steve asked ' Did you do any noise reduction in processing?' These don't have any noise reduction done to them, other than the default that Lightroom applies. I find I can pretty much get away without using noise reduction, even at ISO 1600 as long as I expose the shot right. If I have to try and boost the exposure I'll always get in to trouble, but when it is exposed correctly, the results are usually pretty good. Resizing for web display helps with that too, but you could easily print these as an 8x10 and not notice any real noise issues. The other thing I like about the 1DII is that the noise that there is, isn't too objectionable - I find it almost like film grain - you can see some of that speckling in the background of the black and white shot below. I do find when I shoot at ISO 3200 that the noise can be a bit more noticeable and there's also more of a colour shift. Often when I shoot at that ISO I'll convert to contrasty black and whites and the noise doesn't seem so out of place. I really hate the soft, plastic look that noise reduction software typically gives so avoid it as much as possible. I'd rather have some grain or texture. The Canon cameras are great for low noise and this style of available light shooting, though I'm getting quite interested in the Nikon D3, because of it's really high ISO performance.

6 comments:

Shane said...

Great low light shots... Care to share what lens and ISO you were using? Thanks for sharing your thoughts and work, great blog.

steve said...

Nice shots Gordon. Interesting comment about shooting by yourself. Did you do any noise reduction in processing. Those canons do a great job with noise. Thanks.

Don and Sheryl said...

Great shots, love the light and color in the top picture.

baze said...

Very nice use of available light. You manage to capture Mike's constant movement onstage, and the warmth of the stage lighting. PS: I manage this pub--you captured the look well.

Holly Sisson said...

Fabulous shots Gordon. You captured the tone and the atmosphere so well. I love the look of the shots, both in colour and bw. Very well done.

Holly Sisson said...

Oh, forgot to comment about the D3...yeah, it's almost enough to make me want to sell my Canon gear and switch...what a sweet piece of equipment! Certainly, if I shot Nikon, I'd have an order in for one, absolutely. Canon better get it's game on, that's all I can say!