GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show

Started Sep 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
Kim Letkeman
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Re: GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show
In reply to hifi, Sep 2, 2013

hifi wrote:

Kim Letkeman wrote:

Strange to get flack for ignoring your post for 5 hours in the middle of a long weekend

Anyway, I find these to be rather over exposed. I shoot a lot of concerts stealthily and handling the extreme dynamic range of hot lights on some parts of the stage and no light on others is really tricky.

I have come up with a method that seems to work really well for any camera that has manual control -- even the tiniest of sensors ... as documented here:

http://kimletkeman.blogspot.ca/2010/09/important-tips-for-your-photography.html

Scroll down to the section marked "shooting concerts" ...

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Thanks for the feedback. You are right - the hot stage lights do make for a tricky setup for getting a nice balance in the exposure right. I always shoot raw + jpg and the raw files really helped me here.

Yes, you can recover some highlights for real ... but in this case there are areas of grey without detail that show that the recovery is not quite complete. A slightly lower exposure will help that.

It was more of a processing challenge for these because of the dynamic range, ranging from the white shirt in the spotlight to the dark shadows in the same shot. In ACR, I brought the highlights down to try and recover as much of the white shirt as possible, but still trying to keep a bright glow on the surrounding area. I guess it comes down to personal taste.

Yes, but it also comes down to your comfort with the tools. For example, I drag highlights down quite far sometimes, but I always raise whites back up to get some contrast in the white areas. That pulls details from the short for example. But if there are no details to pull, then this does not work.

Further, I drag blacks to the right until I get no more indication of blocking, then adjust shadows to open them up. I usually do all this after adjusting contrast pretty far to the left.

The final step is to get an approach contrast curve for the image in the curves section. This is where you put contrast back where it should be and leave it out where it should not be.

Try that out and see if it works for you.

Sometimes, I might be willing to leave some over exposed areas to balance out with the rest of the picture.

There should not be any to leave. That was my point.

I looked at your blog, and I can tell that you prefer to preserve the highlights, but having an overall darker exposure. It may be technically correct, but again - just personal preference.

No ... detail free areas are never a preference. They are an error.

I would probably bump up the exposure, even if it meant blowing some highlights. Your sound on the Aug. 27 Ottawa show is spectacular! Those Tascam recorders rock!

I could open shadows more and let in noise ... I could blow out highlights, but I don't have to. Because I can use a curve to boost highlights without blowing them.

My point is that I don't have any lost highlights to worry about, so I can do as I wish.

If you actually do have all the data, then you blew them out unnecessarily. Try the processing technique I mention above. But if they really are detail free, then nothing will fix them.

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