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You’ve heard me talk about how to get yourself out of Auto mode on your camera. In this episode I am going to touch on shooting in low light situations where you cannot use flash.
Shooting in low light can be a challenge for any photographer and many of you will be asked to do it at some point in your photography career, such as shooting bands in bars or night clubs and everyone knows how poor the lighting is in these places and generally you cannot use your flash here at it is too distracting.
Low light photography such as this is tricky but not impossible and it’s a matter of having the right gear to get the good shots. The following information will help you accomplish your mission.
1.) Use the fastest/widest lens Aperture-wise that you can afford. A lens such as a 50mm F/1.8 to F/1.2 will go a long way in shooting in this situation, plus they are great for group shots of the band and portraits if you move close.
2.) Use a camera with a higher ISO range. I know last week I told you to keep your ISO as low as possible but in this case, you WILL need a higher ISO like 1600 or 3200 to get the images to come out. The thing to remember here is newer cameras are better at high ISO and although I am a Canon shooter, Nikons and Sony’s used to dominate here, but Canon is now on par, especially withe the release of the Canon EOS R5 and EOS R6.
3.) Move around. You are not going to get the shots you need unless you are willing to move around. Remember, you are shooting a band so you will have to get around the fans or people dancing so don’t be afraid to move up close to the stage to get the good shots and get away from anything that could ruin you getting clear shots.
4.) Get the candid shots. Don’t be afraid to stick around and get shots of the band after the show or during an intermission. Some of the greatest musician or band photos are of the artists just relaxing after the show either backstage or on their tour bus. The shot of the bassist holding their bass and relaxing or even practicing their chords before the show can be some really great images.
5.) Get some good group shots. Many times when a band hires you to shoot a show they are going to want to use the images on their web site or even as the cover of their new album. Make sure you get a few good shots of the band together before or after the show.
Shooting in low light can be very challenging but can also be very rewarding. Once you master this type of photography, you are well on your way to becoming an accomplished professional. Now get out there and shoot some fantastic images. Give low light photography a try and feel free to post your comment or questions and post your images in Facebook Group for the show.
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