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Freelance Whales at the Hi-Dive, Denver

December 4, 2010 | Concerts, Photography | Leave a comment

Doris Cellar of the Freelance Whales

I was pushing the ISO limits of the 7D again last Monday at when the Miniature Tigers and Freelance Whales played the Hi-Dive. The Mini Tigers got the worst of it but there’s not much you can do when the lead singer asks for lights to be shut off. If he doesn’t want light then he doesn’t get decent pics… those really didn’t turn out well. Fortunately the Freelance Whales didn’t have any issue with the stage lighting so what little there was stayed on.

Neither group was terribly energetic which actually worked out in my favor here because I was shooting at 1/60 sec @ f/4 at ISO 12800. I was able to sacrifice some speed to get some depth of field that I knew I was gonna need with having to push that far in to the ISO range. I lost a few shots to blur, but most were OK. Shooting in this low a light is definitely a zen exercise in how steady you can be and if you can choose just that right moment when the subject is not moving, but still expressive. I also like to frame tight so trying to keep a good composition in the viewfinder while following a moving target gets hairy as well with lower shutter speeds. This is where careful breathing comes in handy to keep steady.

Shows like this one are a little less fun than well lit shows ’cause there’s a constant adjustment for which person on stage is the subject. Since the lighting changes from one end of the stage to the other and the lighting tends to fluctuate anyway there’s more exposure adjustments going on that take up time and concentration that can otherwise be used for watching composition and just getting a shot.

View the full photoset here.