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Thread: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

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    D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Hi There
    Last night I was asked to take some photographs of a jazz concert in the local church.
    Lighting was interesting, they had a couple of small spotlights, but the light was streaming in through the church windows behind the band.

    this shot gives you an idea of the setup:



    I had been asked by the organiser not to go too close, which meant using reasonable telephoto for most shots, because of the strong backlight I had to over-expose to get the singer's face properly exposed. Altogether the sort of job you'd refuse if someone was paying you . . . but you kind of have to accept for charity!.

    Most of it was shot at 6400 ISO because of the need to overexpose.
    See what you think:

    Here is the link

    Elaine Delmar at Redgrave Parish Church

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Jono,
    Not half bad given the lighting. It might make me more courageous under similiar circumstances. Did you see any purple fringing in the highlights?
    -bob

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    Senior Subscriber Member Steen's Avatar
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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Half a year ago I would have said: Hey man, this is a live miracle ...
    Now I say: It must be a D3

    Impressive results, Jono !

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    ... Altogether the sort of job you'd refuse if someone was paying you . . . .
    Jono - Whilst not wishing to be too ecclesiastical on a Sunday afternoon; this was a poisoned chalice gig. I have shot a lot of jazz and I think that with the constraints of this one I would have declined the photography invitation, to be an audience member instead.

    That lovely window was always destined to be a dominant form in your photographs [especially with colour], I would have been extremely self conscious about disturbing punters with D3 noise and my need to move around without the cover of darkness, and regardless of the wishes of the organiser I would have needed to occasionally get 'close' in order to give myself a fighting chance with the pictures.

    You were generous to 'have a go' for the organiser, but I suspect it was more frustration for you than it was challenge. I also suspect that you were thinking to yourself whilst shooting...... 'if only this thing made the noise of a traditional Leica cloth shutter.....'.

    I hope someone filled your cup with wine-a-plenty.

    .................... Chris

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
    Jono - Whilst not wishing to be too ecclesiastical on a Sunday afternoon; this was a poisoned chalice gig. I have shot a lot of jazz and I think that with the constraints of this one I would have declined the photography invitation, to be an audience member instead.

    That lovely window was always destined to be a dominant form in your photographs [especially with colour], I would have been extremely self conscious about disturbing punters with D3 noise and my need to move around without the cover of darkness, and regardless of the wishes of the organiser I would have needed to occasionally get 'close' in order to give myself a fighting chance with the pictures.

    You were generous to 'have a go' for the organiser, but I suspect it was more frustration for you than it was challenge. I also suspect that you were thinking to yourself whilst shooting...... 'if only this thing made the noise of a traditional Leica cloth shutter.....'.

    I hope someone filled your cup with wine-a-plenty.

    .................... Chris
    All that being said, when I look at the series of shots, I in no way said "wish he got closer", "wish the window weren't there", etc.
    So, to me mission accomplished.

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Jono

    I think the only way to make this gig really successful would have been to use HDR techniques. You can do the job in photoshop or with specialty software like Photomatix. I'm sure you know the techniques which is to take shots from underexposed about -2 stops, correct exposure, and +2 stops and then combine them. Works pretty well especially when you consider this type of venue

    Best

    Woody

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Given the restrictions placed on you re: adding lights or reflectors - nice job. HDR as Woody said, would have been the only solution. As you likely wished, a couple of tighter shots getting more of the band in detail would have been nice, but you had to work within the envelope they gave you and the lenses available.

    Tell the pastor (or what have you - I get this strange burning sensation whenever I step into a religious institution....) to take a little off the top when they pass the hat for a couple of months to fund a 400/2.8 for their pro-bono photog ;>

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    HI There
    Thanks for looking
    Bob - no purple fringing - the files were useable and fine, even the 6400.

    Steen - I'd have said the same - it's amazing to be able to get workable files from such a situation.

    Chris
    Poisoned chalice as you say - even more poisoned by the attitude of one of the organisers. It's amazing that if people get you for nothing they think they can push you around as well!

    The D3 noise was fine - I was careful to take pictures in the noisier numbers, and there really wasn't a problem. I did need to get close, and the artist was happy about that too - but there are some battles that aren't worth fighting!

    As for filled cup - it was our baby's 20th birthday, so I dashed home for asparagus and Pouilly Fume followed by fillet steak and Chateau Musar.

    Hi Terry - I was pleased with them as well, considering the circumstances I think they worked out okay, and the backlighting, although a little intrusive, adds a little colour.

    Woody
    Of course, I could do the HDR trick, but if you aren't getting paid at either end . . . . . I allowed myself an hour for the post processing and web page, quite enough! I might try with a couple of shots later on if there's a lot of interest.

    Rob
    No pastor - this church has been handed over to the conservation trust, the concert was in aid of structural repair - no religion, and two bars within the church . . . times have changed! If it was still a religious institution I'd have worse than a strange burning sensation . . . I think crisp would be the word! As for the 400 f2.8 I need that like I need a hole in the head / dip in the shoulder (mind you, I wouldn't mind the money!) !
    Last edited by jonoslack; 25th May 2008 at 10:02.

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Quote Originally Posted by jonoslack View Post
    .... I dashed home for asparagus and Pouilly Fume followed by fillet steak and Chateau Musar.......
    Jono - It must be hell being you. And you go to a church that has two bars!

    ................ Chris

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Quote Originally Posted by robsteve View Post
    Jono:

    I noticed that most were shot at f5. If you used your M8 and a fast 50mm lens, you could probably have shot at 320 or 640ios and gotten similar quality. The M8 may or may not have been much quieter though.

    It might have been an opportunity to shoot both the D3 and the M8. The D3 with the longer glass and high ISO, the M8 with the fast glass such as a 35mm or 50mm.

    Robert
    HI Robert
    I actually had the M8 with me - with a noctilux and a 75 'cron . . . but I wasn't allowed to go closer than 5 rows, and they were nothing like long enough. I don't have any fast telephotos (because I don't use them normally) so the f5 shots were taken with the 70-300 - it was the best that could be done. I also had the 105 nikkor - but that wasn't close enough either.

    For the further out shots, I had the 24-70 f2.8 nikkor, which did a much better job than the leica could have, even the nocti.

    I did try a couple of shots, but I needed 1200 ISO to get the faces exposed, and it was a great deal noisier than the D3 at 6400.

    A 300mm f2.8 would certainly have helped, but you don't buy a lens like that for a charity gig where you aren't getting paid!

    As for shutter noise - the M8 was too loud in a quiet song, and the D3 was fine in a loud one!

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Quote Originally Posted by Chris C View Post
    Jono - It must be hell being you. And you go to a church that has two bars!

    ................ Chris
    HI Chris
    Well, it was a birthday party, on normal day's we drink Sancerre and St Emilion, and we eat salad and lamb


    As for the church . . . . I don't go to church, at least, not to real church!

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Hi Jono,

    Impressive results in tough circumstances.

    You can see what the all the fuss is about regarding the D3's high ISO performance.

    Did the images go down well?

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    Re: D3 in Chuch Concert lighting catastrophe!

    Quote Originally Posted by ecliffordsmith View Post
    Hi Jono,

    Impressive results in tough circumstances.

    You can see what the all the fuss is about regarding the D3's high ISO performance.

    Did the images go down well?
    Hi Ed
    Thank you - yes, I certainly understand the fuss! Basically it's a tribute to the camera rather than the photographer (as usual with me . . . of course, with everyone else it's the photographer that counts )

    Yes - they seem to have gone down pretty well - then, as it's for charity, one has to decide how much is free, and how much costs should be charged.

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