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Archive 2012 · Concert Photography - basic technique help
  
 
blutch
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p.1 #1 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


I shoot a lot of photos like this one:

http://internationaltrumpetguildphot...8649#h41ee2edc

These are almost always done in low light situations with a zoom lens from a distance with the lens at its longest focal length and often requires the lens be wide open or close to it.

My issue is with depth of field. How can I make it so the trumpet player AND the pianist are in focus? I know that stopping down is the way to do this, but with the available light, this isn't really possible. Am I just stuck at this DOF under these circumstances?

Thanks for the help.

B



Sep 15, 2012 at 08:16 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #2 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


Try again on the pic ... bad link


Sep 15, 2012 at 08:48 PM
blutch
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p.1 #3 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


http://internationaltrumpetguildphotography.zenfolio.com/p170398649#h41ee2edc

Sorry bout that



Sep 15, 2012 at 08:50 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #4 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


That's not bad IMO. I guess this is why folks are screaming for clean high ISO. Stopping down is about the only choice for DOF. In this case you got the trumpet player and the pianist while softer is not bad.


Sep 15, 2012 at 08:53 PM
blutch
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p.1 #5 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


Thanks. This is on a D700 with a 70-200 f2.8 VRII. 1/250th Stopped down to f4.5 iso is 1250. I'd like to be clearer on the pianist, but because of mvt 1/100th is the limit on shutter speed. So, I could push the iso up quite a bit and go to f9 or so. I tried this and the pianist wasnt quite as fuzzy, but still fuzzy. I'll see if I can find that image. b


Sep 15, 2012 at 09:03 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #6 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


For this sort of work, I sometimes handhold down to around 1/100 for 200mm. I shoot burst mode which usually produces at least one sharp image.


Sep 15, 2012 at 09:08 PM
RustyBug
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p.1 #7 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


What focal length is this shot at? What MP? What aperture?

If you can live with a 90mm FL and manual focus ... 90 TS-E could get you more DOF, than a conventional aperture would. If the 90mm is enough reach (or ample crop), it could be a way of getting more DOF @ wider aperture than otherwise might be required.





Edited on Sep 15, 2012 at 09:11 PM · View previous versions



Sep 15, 2012 at 09:10 PM
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p.1 #8 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


This one is 1/60th F11 at iso 2000. The IQ was not good so I didn't use it. I published it just so you could see. The pianist is more in focus but still fuzzy. I did sharpen and applied some NR because the image was VERY noisy.

http://internationaltrumpetguildphotography.zenfolio.com/p207725795#h431106cc



Sep 15, 2012 at 09:10 PM
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p.1 #9 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


Both were full out at 200mm. I mostly shoot there in this scenario. I posted the aperture numbers. I shot these at full Raw, but of course they are compressed to JPGs when posting to zenfolio. I can't figure out how to get the export plugin in LR4 for Zenfolio to let me post full raw images... not that I want to often.


Sep 15, 2012 at 09:13 PM
 

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RustyBug
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p.1 #10 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


Took a stab at it.





Original







Pianist Sharpened



Edited on Sep 15, 2012 at 10:56 PM · View previous versions



Sep 15, 2012 at 09:27 PM
ben egbert
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p.1 #11 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


That works. I did the DOF thing and assuming 40 feet 200mm f9 gets you about 5-6 feet DOF. The trouble is, its divided on both side of the focus point. To get both in focus, you need to focus between them. Maybe focus on the piano lid.


Sep 15, 2012 at 10:09 PM
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p.1 #12 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


Rusty,

Not sure what you did to sharpen just one part of the frame. I haven't learned how to do that in LR4 yet. I hadn't thought of focusing between them.. I will try that if there is enough light. There almost never is. At all costs, the trumpet player and the hands need to be really sharp.

B



Sep 15, 2012 at 10:26 PM
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p.1 #13 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


Two other options:

1) They look like they are in somewhat static positions. You could take multiple photos - one focused on the pianist and one on the trumpet player. You could then merge them together. This could be done several times. Just make sure you have the same exposure, WB, etc. I would suggest doing this from a tripod to ensure your camera hasn't moved between shots.

2) Shoot them from a different angle. You could actually have them both in focus if they are in the same focal plane. That may not be easy depending on your restrictions from where you shoot.

Hope this helps - Paul



Sep 16, 2012 at 12:54 AM
RustyBug
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p.1 #14 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


To go along with what Paul said, even if you don't get them in the SAME focal plane, getting them in focal planes that are closer together can reduce the difference you are experiencing @ DOF. Understood that you may have restrictions or compositional framing arrangements that preclude optimal positioning.

I used CS6, but LR does have selective capabilities also. Sharpness is a perception rooted in contrast and relative to surrounding areas. PP may be your friend when the physics of optics aren't.








Sep 16, 2012 at 03:38 AM
silvawispa
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p.1 #15 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


To achieve your desired result you can have either more light or a camera capable of shooting higher ISO clean.

One solution might be to befriend the lighting guy. It's my first port of call at a performance gig, it can make your life a lot easier!

Failing that, why chase your tail not quite achieving the shot you want?
There are plenty of great shots available to you in this set up I'm sure. (Possibly ones that don't have bits of head randomly stuck up from pianos!)




Sep 18, 2012 at 11:39 AM
blutch
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p.1 #16 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


Oh.. I have plenty of good shots from different angles. Many from straight on where the pianist is in focus. I just like this angle and could get a little closer here. Fortunately, this is the only guy who wore a black shirt on that day.

B



Sep 18, 2012 at 12:56 PM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #17 · Concert Photography - basic technique help


In Lightroom, you could try to paint in some sharpness on the pianist with the Adjustment brush. I have this challenge often, not so much in concert photography, but in other low light/high ISO conditions. My approach would be to go to Photoshop, and reduce the noise with Nik Dfine or other noise reduction application. I'd flatten the layers and then duplicate the new background layer and apply a High Pass filter to it (Filter/Other/High Pass) and switch the Blend Mode to Soft Light or Overlay, depending on how sharp you need the pianist to be. This layer will oversharpen the whole image, including the trumpet player, so I'd hide this layer behind a layer mask (hold down the Alt/Option key while clicking on the layer mask icon at the bottom of the Layers panel), switch the foreground color to white and paint over the pianist with a soft edge brush. You can then dial up or down the amount of sharpening with the Opacity slider on this layer. Flatten the file and you're done.

However, a more fundamental question relative to the image you posted is whether you really want to sharpen the pianist at all. Is the focal point of the shot the trumpet player? Or the duo? If it's the trumpet player, I'd leave it alone.



Sep 19, 2012 at 05:29 AM





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