Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Gig Shoot, PC Down :(

So to start the post, there will be NO pictures today, as my bloody linux partition went down. GAH! My vista partition still works, but it only has one game and my printing application there so... not much use. Ran fsck and my entire home directory got shifted to /lost+found (o.0)

Gig wise, I was at Monkey Chews last night for a gig shoot. Was about 10-ish musicians up on the stage, managed to get reasonable shots for most of them, I think.

I'd already recce'd the place on Saturday and having been shooting with the 24/2.8D on my D200, the fov of the lens is now more or less burned into my brain and I could visualize what kind of shots I could get. The lighting though was very worrisome, very low light.

Given that my lenses in general are quite slow, e.g 16-85 is a 3.5 to 5.6 variable aperture or too long e.g. 70-200VR - Monkey Chews is not really that big - and I don't want to attract too much unwanted attraction with a 2.8 telezoom. Decided then to get the "nifty fifty" for to give me a 35mm/75mm equiv field of view.

To be honest, I really don't want to own a 50/1.8 for the fact that every one has it - and claims that it's the best thing since marmite on toast. I'd agree it would work very well on 35mm film or a full frame dslr, but on a crop camera, 50x1.5 = 75mm is a rather narrow field of view. Definitely good for half body portraits but for general purpose I much prefer a wide normal, hence the 24/2.8D.

At the gig itself, I spoke to the event organizer and he was fine with me using my flash, however I only used it ONCE to take a picture of the organizer at work :P The rest of the time I decided not to use flash as the place was quite small, and with people nearby I didn't want to be an annoyance. I was already quite worried about disturbing the musicians, and I was trying my best to time my shutter releases to the beat of the music.

Exposure was killer.... the camera I brought along was the D300 of course, and even so I was on hi-1 for most of the night (i.e. iso 6400 equivalent), with the 50/1.8 wide open with a shutter of..... 1/30, 1/60. Needless to say I was not very happy to be using such low shutter speeds but the lighting was very very dim. I'm just glad most of the pictures will perfectly fine for web use, and that I'm not a working professional photog! This is D3s territory here. Even if I had a 1.4, that'd still only give me one stop more ISO advantage or another stop of shutter speed, and with even less dof. One wonders how photographers of old took shots like this. Pushed the film insanely? I'll probably post the question on once I get the pics processed.

The D300 was performing very admirably in terms of choosing exposure. Due to the area being mostly dark with some bright lights at the edge, I jumped between center weighted and matrix metering with a fair amount of negative exposure compensation. Surprisingly, the camera maintained all the important highlights impeccably that I am a little worried if hi-1 works different from the usual iso modes in terms of highlight display. Hmm.

Oh well, enough chatter! :)


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