Where to meter to determine an exposure and achieve a trustworthy formula giving dependable results

greenspun.com : LUSENET : Black_and_White_Photography : One Thread

I have been photographing bands in large music venues, pubs and clubs for the pase 2 years, I previsualize the final photograph beforehand: considering the aesthetic effect I want to achieve and go for it, Yee Ha!. I use my Nikon F4, monopod and Fuji Neopan 1600 or Kodak 3200 (no flash). All lenses depending on whether I can approach the stage or not. The lighting is either high contrast or low light, constantly changing and the band members are moving. I have read a lot and have been carrying out different test in trying to achieve a more trustworthy formula giving dependable results. It is difficult.

My main problem is still where to meter from to determine an exposure.

I would really appreciate any advice from someone who has any knowledge or experience in photographing bands.

-- Anonymous, April 15, 1997


Well, this is an old question so you may already have found your answer.

When I shot bands and other concert stuff, albeit not as extensively as you seem to be into, I would spotmeter a fleshtone -someones face, usually the singer or lead guitar, and base the exposure on that. I.e. flesh tone for caucasian w/out tan - open up 1 stop from meter reading. Obviously if the light changes constantly, quickly flashing on and off and so forth, that creates problems and you'll have to adjust as you shoot - open up shoot- close down -shoot- etc.

For the low light times/areas - try checking the exposure for the palm of your own hand in the dark -assuming you are in an area (the audience) that has a similar level of illumination to the stage when it's dark, and then again, open up 1 stop. You could also use this as a base for the bright times/areas. Your hand in the dark would be presumably 4 or 5 stops down from fleshtone in bright light.

Believe it or not, there is a book on concert photography - can't recall author, but Borders has it- check the web for an ISBN, etc. Good Luck

-- Anonymous, October 11, 1998

Moderation questions? read the FAQ