Friday, 26 January 2007

Shooting Gigs

Jarvis Cocker
Originally uploaded by DigitalHeMan.
If you look at my Flickr photostream you will see that I have shot a couple of concerts over the past couple of monthes, including the one pictured here, Jarvis Cocker, at Paradiso Amsterdam on the 22nd January 2007. Jarvis has been a favourite of mine ever since his Pulp days, and when I heard he would be playing in Amsterdam, I decided to take my camera along for a few shots. Since Paradiso in Amsterdam doesn't have such a strict door policy, it is fairly easy to get my camera gear in and out without being spotted :) Using the gear I normally take with me (typically my Nikon D200 and a fast prime, such as the 85mm f1.4 or the 50mm f1.8), I generally run into one of two 'problems' that need to be dealt with once I get back into my digital lab.

The first of those problems is noise. With the D200 there is a lot of discussion on the Internet about how good or bad the D200 is at dealing with noise, especially when it is compared with some of the higher end Canon models. I find shooting with the Nikon at high ISOs can generally deliver good results right up the ISO scale, providing the exposure is as close to spot on as you can get it when taking the image. But of course since the light at concerts is generally 'variable', I tend to try to keep the ISO set to 640 or less, with the occassional forage into ISO800 if I am feeling lucky.

I find at ISO640 I can get reasonable results, and using a combination of a noise reduction plug in such as Noise Ninja, and curves to deal with noise in the shadows, I end up with something approaching acceptable.

The second issue I am generally faced with is lighting and on stage effects, such as smoke machines. And until recently I was at a loss as to how to deal with occassions such as this rather greenish yellow image, caused by strong on stage lighting and some smoke.
Jarvis Cocker

But after reading some chapters in Lee Varis' excellent guide to post processing people shots, Skin, I realised that my solution may be also be in the use of some more complicated curves. I managed to achieve the result at the top of the article by playing around with my curves, but this time instead of adjusting the top level RGB curve, I went down to the Red, Green, and Blue channels individually, and changed them until I had got the skin tones and back lighting exactly to my liking. And I think you will agree the rework is definitely a lot better than the original.......

More shots from this concert here


cvodb said...

Thanks for this post. I was at the same Jarvis Cocker gig and have now fixed some of my shots using the technique you describe here.

DigitalHeMan said...

my pleasure, your reworked image works much better