Saturday, March 12, 2011


Celebrating 70 days of this blog with a picture of awesome bassist Victor Wooten in concert at The Granada in Lawrence.  I didn't shoot with flash tonight, because I didn't want to be annoying and/or kicked out.  Shot about 800 pictures over the course of the show, so that would have been a lot of flash.  Plus, most of the time the flash doesn't reach the stage anyway, just gets the people in front of you, and is annoying to the musicians. 

If you have the ISO to handle it, I recommend shooting concerts with no flash, in shutter-priority mode set at a speed that you can comfortably hand-hold.  For a long shoot like tonight, 1/50 is pretty comfortable for me. 

Start with a high ISO and work downward; you want as little ISO as possible.  If you use no-flash automatic mode, on some cameras at least, it will kick your ISO up to the top before it closes down your aperture, which blows everything out and destroys detail, so you might not be happy with the results.  Give the shutter-priority a try on your next dark shoot and see what you think.

Shooting in RAW is a must, because you can bring up the exposure a bit in post-production if needed.

Nikon D90
105mm - ISO 1250
1/50s- f/5.6


  1. Interesting approach. Last couple concerts I shot I did full-on manual and toyed with the ratio of aperture to shutter speed before the show until I got something that looked a tad too dark on the camera back's display. That actually worked out quite well; the final frames were just about right.

  2. I can see how that would work well with consistent stage lighting intensity and color. I keep finding myself at shows where there is a lot of variation - deep dark reds, super bright blues and greens, etc. I find the stage lighting really affecting my settings, which is why I like a semi-automated approach of shutter-pri. I also like to under-expose in these situations, like you said - it generally gives me the results I like.