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Looking for improvement This is the e-group critique board. If you post a picture here it will be assumed that you are looking for comprehensive technical feedback - both good and bad, but always respectful. Only post pictures here if you can deal with potentially negative constructive criticism. Anyone is qualified to comment and post feedback, and everyone is encouraged to do so. NB: "Looking for Improvement" is the place to post any pictures you would like advice on improving, no matter how bad you might think they are.

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  #1  
Old 25th April 2013
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Bikie John Bikie John is offline
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Gig photos

I take a lot of photos of noisy musicians and occasionally put some up in Foto Fair. I did a gig with several bands last Saturday and thought I would try a few in Looking For Improvement to see if anyone has helpful suggestions.

The ground rules I operate by are pretty simple:

- No flash. It distracts the performers and destroys atmosphere for the audience
- I don't want to wildly stylize the results, just give a reasonable impression of what went on

All shot on E-M5 with 45mm f/1.8, manual set at 1/60 f/2, ISO 1250 and 2500. There is probably no EXIF data in the uploaded files as I strip it out if it's going onto places more public than here.

1.


2.


3.


4.


5.


C&C welcome!

John
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Old 25th April 2013
shirley shirley is offline
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Re: Gig photos

My favourites are numbers 3 and 4. I think they have a lot of atmosphere and are well composed but I would probably clone out the black line (microphone stand ?) on number three and the end of the guitar in number four, indeed I might also crop a bit closer on that one.
Considering the conditions you seem to have done an excellent job. Do the band get to see them?
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Old 25th April 2013
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Re: Gig photos

Love the classic Rickenbacker bass!
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E-M1, Pen F, E-PL5, HLD-7, 17, 45, 60 macro, 12-40 Pro, 40-150 Pro, 12-50, 40-150, 75-300, MC14, MMF-3 (all micro 4/3rds), 7-14 (4/3rds), 50, 135 (OM), Nikon F80 (film), 28-105 Sigma, GoPro Hero 3, Novo/Giottos/ Manfrotto supports. Lowepro, Tamrac and Billingham bags.

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Old 25th April 2013
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Re: Gig photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by shirley View Post
My favourites are numbers 3 and 4. I think they have a lot of atmosphere and are well composed but I would probably clone out the black line (microphone stand ?) on number three and the end of the guitar in number four, indeed I might also crop a bit closer on that one.
Considering the conditions you seem to have done an excellent job. Do the band get to see them?
Thanks Shirley.

I agree that the mic stand and guitar headstock are distracting, but don't really like to clone stuff out - feels like "cheating", they are live photos and you just have to deal with the stage furniture etc. as best you can. With no. 4, a square crop both looks better and gets rid of the stray bit of bass, thanks for pointing it out. I do crop a bit as I usually use prime lenses and it is difficult to use "leg zoom" at a crowded gig, but I generally keep the proportions as shot. This is clearly a case where it is better not to.

As for the musos seeing them - this is where I find Faecesbook very useful. Most of the musicians are there individually or have band pages, so I put them on there and usually get plenty of comment. Ditto sporty stuff.

As for the bass, Dave - he had it set up for the classic Rickenbacker treble-y clunk, it was great! They are a good bunch, called Nudybronque from Wootton Bassett near Swindon.

Ciao ... John
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Old 25th April 2013
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Re: Gig photos

Work for me OK, like the sharp fretboard and moving hand in No1.
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Old 26th April 2013
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Re: Gig photos

Chris Squire-like then?
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Originally Posted by Bikie John View Post
Thanks Shirley.

I agree that the mic stand and guitar headstock are distracting, but don't really like to clone stuff out - feels like "cheating", they are live photos and you just have to deal with the stage furniture etc. as best you can. With no. 4, a square crop both looks better and gets rid of the stray bit of bass, thanks for pointing it out. I do crop a bit as I usually use prime lenses and it is difficult to use "leg zoom" at a crowded gig, but I generally keep the proportions as shot. This is clearly a case where it is better not to.

As for the musos seeing them - this is where I find Faecesbook very useful. Most of the musicians are there individually or have band pages, so I put them on there and usually get plenty of comment. Ditto sporty stuff.

As for the bass, Dave - he had it set up for the classic Rickenbacker treble-y clunk, it was great! They are a good bunch, called Nudybronque from Wootton Bassett near Swindon.

Ciao ... John
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E-M1, Pen F, E-PL5, HLD-7, 17, 45, 60 macro, 12-40 Pro, 40-150 Pro, 12-50, 40-150, 75-300, MC14, MMF-3 (all micro 4/3rds), 7-14 (4/3rds), 50, 135 (OM), Nikon F80 (film), 28-105 Sigma, GoPro Hero 3, Novo/Giottos/ Manfrotto supports. Lowepro, Tamrac and Billingham bags.

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Old 26th April 2013
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Re: Gig photos

Great set of images John of a genre I have very little experience of and therefore knowledge.

Notwithstanding that last point I will join in the comments in the spirit of the request.

I love #1 because it tells me a lot about the band and hints strongly at the style of music they are playing. So it meets your rules very well. It's a shame about what I assume is members of the audience in the bottom right hand corner. I appreciate what you have said about mike stands and the like but personally I find that most distracting and a strong candidate for a bit of cloning

To buck the trend I really like that last one for it's energy and feel. It has number of technical issues but the feel works for me. Maybe I'm just odd. If the shadows on the face could be lifted a little that would be great. I really like the halo around the head as it gives a rawness to the image which is what it's all about for me.

cheers

Hec
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Old 26th April 2013
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Re: Gig photos

Quote:
Originally Posted by benvendetta View Post
Love the classic Rickenbacker bass!
Find me someone who has ever picked up a guitar and DOESN'T love a Rickenbacker of any type.

3 and 4 for me smoke adds an excellent atmosphere, some of the others look to have lost a little something, could just be compression though?

The spots in 1 and just the side of the singer's face in 2 are the two points I'd look at
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Old 26th April 2013
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Re: Gig photos

Thanks for the comments, it's interesting to hear how they strike you.

It is virtually impossible to avoid all the equipment and sometimes the crowd. I do as much as I can during shooting, but then tend to view what's left as acceptable collateral damage. Clearly it affects your enjoyment of the photos so I may have to wrestle with my conscience and allow a bit of judicious gardening in post. I believe quite strongly though that at heart these are record shots and we shouldn't tamper with what we're recording.

Hec - I also like no.5 despite the obvious technical "faults". I included it because it is a bit more abstract than the others, the guitarist was trying to shake his instrument to pieces and I think the shot catches some of that energy. Rather than lighten the shadows, I wondered about turning it into a complete silhouette.

Al - good comments about the lighting in the first couple. Stage lighting these days is usually LED spots, as these are. Believe it or not the first is from the raw file with no adjustments other than LR defaults. Those spots are on and facing the camera, and as far as I can tell (by reducing exposure as much as LR will allow) they were on blue at the time. Most of the lit area has burnt out, which I think is OK, it's just the edges where the intensity falls off that it has been able to record some colour. Maybe the remedy is to white out the entire area - cloning background to get rid of the lights altogether is a manipulation too far IMHO.

In the other one, the light on the skinny singer was almost pure magenta and I pushed the white balance really hard in LR. A problem I've seen before with red and magenta lighting is that it flattens all but the most extreme features and I think that is what's happened here. I suppose the professional thing to do is reject the shot because of it, but I liked the composition with the two of them.

These LED spots are pretty horrible, it's quite common to get a magenta cast which is hard to shift. But the red light/face problem is an old one - it used to happen with tungsten light and B&W film.

And Dave - yes, the Chris Squire clunk. Musically rather different though!

Thanks for all the comments, it's useful and interesting to see your work though others' eyes.

Ciao ... John
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