GH3 low light indoor acrobatic show

Started Sep 1, 2013 | Discussions thread
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Kim Letkeman
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who let the dogs out ... woof, woof woof, woof woof ...
In reply to ronfab1, Sep 2, 2013

ronfab1 wrote:

Amazing. Not jumping in because I'm smart as you with the technique, but you're still nitpicking his shots for the "couple or 3 of them where small areas of highlights have lost some detail. Your shots seem muddy in shadow details to preserve your highlights. They do. Guys' beards crushed, can barely see guitar in another.

Very small and very dark venue for the SkyDiggers (that is Andy Maise in that photo) opening for Billy Bragg ... shot with a small 1/2" sensor compact at 3200 ISO. But the exposure was excellent and the image is clean and looks like a concert. You don't want to see every detail of the stage, since there is always a bunch of junk back there. They rarely, if ever, sing in front of a curtain.

Have you ever shot a small venue concert with a small sensor camera? With all your vitriol, you imply not even a shred of personal experience.

Yet you give the OP no props for the huge areas of very nice low light detail.

One thing that you should note is that larger venues with well lit stages are not really low light venues. And that stage is too well lit for my taste. Not helped at all by compositions that leave me cold.

In fact you never said one nice word.

Yes, I did break the "attaboy" code. Sorry about that.

He shot the best m4/3 camera available, yet he got bad exposures and as I mentioned, compositions that are nothing to write home about. Better to just focus on one specific issue than hit him with all of that, no? You have of course forced it, so there it is on display now. Congrats on that.

They smoke your shots in results and level of difficulty.

Really? So you have looked through my entire gallery to see why I distilled my advice the way I did on my blog?

I thought not.

In fact, you have no idea what I have shot over the years to lead to that article ... you think those examples suck yet you do not look at the equipment and the settings to see whether or not I might be on to something. You concentrate instead on your personal opinion of how I processed the images.

This is what people mean when they lament a lack of critical thinking on the Internet (and no, criticism is not a substitute, despite sounding similar )

I would expect you to save the small areas would have taken out too much in the much larger dark areas. Like on your blog. If you say no, then why did you?

I cannot parse that paragraph as written. It probably made a bit of sense in your head ... or maybe not.

So since you want to judge me ... here are a few examples and the equipment I shot them with. I have never said that all my images are perfect ... far from it in fact. But I have shot dozens of concerts in venues from tiny to large and thus am familiar with how you have to handle concert lighting. Most of the time, I use cheap little compacts ... it is very rare that I get to shoot an event with serious hardware as the OP had there.

1. An early attempt with the Fuji F10, a compact that does not feature manual control at all. The Tragically Hip ... note the shirt and note the incredibly bright light ... will that satisfy you? Probably not

So the best I could do with those was to shoot -2/3EV compensation. Note that the OP's blown out shots show 0EV ... not at all what should be used when metering a contrasty scene in matrix mode with an auto exposure mode.

So you see what I mean by "reasoned arguments" instead of the approach you chose, which I might characterize as "rabid whinging" ...

I got to see the Hip a few years later and this time I had the Canon G10 with me. I filmed most of the concert with the G10, but when I was not filming I was shooting. He wore a white shirt, which of course was also the OP's nemesis ... so I set the camera to -1.67EV ... a massive under exposure. I barely saved the shirt and I got a lot of noise, but I still prefer these shots. And note that teh G10 has very poor dynamic range, quite unlike the class leading dynamic range on the GH3. Please try to be aware of such things when you attack

That image is not perfect by any stretch, but it shows a lot of range and the right things are pushed into shadow. Again ... remember the tiny sensor.

By the way, the Hip are an amazing experience live ... you can 2 hours of this concert here:

So now to the concert where you said the guy's beard is crushed. That was shot with the F70EXR at 3200ISO, and that has a 1/2" sensor ... so what would you expect? Shot the way the OP shot, the images are completely unusable. As I shot the camera, I got some memories that actually look ok ...

That was one of the darkest major venues I've ever seen. It requires a lot of practice to handle such a venue. YMMV (assuming you actually shoot concerts at all.)

Same camera at a major venue with lots of bright lighting ... this is a heavy crop, so it is not perfectly clean, and some of the bright areas could not be saved ... but again remember the 1/2" sensor ... the GH3 would not have been allowed in, but had I shot with it I would have had a much different exposure and the bright areas would have detail.

Considering the big deal you make of on stage detail, here is one for you ...

This camera's last hurrah was at the NAC for Mama Mia! ... and I thought it did a marvelous job ...

Remember the 1/2" sensor

Now this next shot of that play does look a little like the lighting the OP dealt with ...

I did get to shoot the Ottawa Folk Fest with my D300 a few years ago (note that the GH3 actually has better IQ than the D300 because of much newer sensor technology) ... I shot rather extreme compensation (-2.67 here) to handle the lighting on the main stage ...

For Bruce Cockburn I used the same exposure but nice low ISO at 500 ...

Yes, the backgrounds were dark to start with

Somewhere around that time I got to shoot Jakob Dylan (yes, Bob's son) in Florida at a private concert at a conference ... I had the D300 and this was frankly like shooting fish in a barrel ...

Yes, I sometimes go higher key depending on the nature of the lighting ...

Two days later, at the same conference, I had the pleasure of shooting William Shatner at the same conference (banner year) ... and again, the D300 from 30 feet with the 70-300VR did a nice job ... it's too easy with larger sensors ...

This is another play, the Lion King ... I had another 1/2" sensor camera with me -- the F550EXR -- and of course I was able only to get images stealthily since our venues are remarkably anal ...

Now, I was able to shoot at 0EV only because this is an EXR sensor and I was shooting RAW+JPG at M size and DR400, which enables the camera to blend two exposures to save the highlights. It still required processing, but you can see plenty of detail in both foreground and background and there is detail in the headdress too ...

Another very bright image ...

For Bob Seger, I shot spot meter at 0EV and the EXR sensor in the F550 helped me again ... you do have to understand your technology ...

Lots of light there ... but the performers did me a favour and wore dark colors ...

Notice the detail retention in his rather silver beard ...

Anyway ... I think that's enough. You remain unconvinced I am sure, but I thought I would give you a larger sample so you would have something to really froth over

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