Visit MPB Visit MPB Visit MPB

Wish me luck

Father Ted
Posted 30/01/2016 - 22:00 Link
Got an opportunity to photograph bands in the Cavern Club in Liverpool tomorrow.
It is a school event and my son is in one of the bands! (age 14).
I was planning to photograph him anyway, let's face it, this might be his only chance to play in a venue like this.
However, he has only gone and promised the school that, as I will have my cameras there, I can take lots of photos for them to use! Gulp!!

I'm using two K10d cameras.
I'm taking 4 lenses but plan on using just two.
Pentax K 50mm f1.7 : I'm hoping that this will be my main lens as it is a nice fast lens.
And then, either 18-55 kit lens, or my Tamron 70-300 (but I'm hoping to be allowed close enough to not need that) or my 28 - 80mm.

I will probably set ISO to 1600 and leave whichever lens wide open.
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

Pentax K10d, *istDL, Kit lens ( 18-55mm ), 50mm f1.7 lens, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Prinzflex 70-162 manual lens, Various old flashes.
Posted 30/01/2016 - 23:19 Link
Good luck...its a dark hole....
Sure you'll be fine with so many bricks visible. 😆
I tried taking shots in there many years ago with my olympus trip think 3 out of 24 were good....

Posted 31/01/2016 - 09:29 Link
Good luck with that Ted, sounds like a great opportunity.

If you find you can't get decent shutter speeds don't be afraid to hike the ISO up even further, I'd go to at least 3200 if necessary. Probably better to soften the images with noise reduction that camera shake

You could also try one of the tricks used by Togs "back in the day" They would under expose the film to gain higher shutter speeds and then over-develop the film accordingly, You can do it by under exposing in RAW and adjusting the exposure later, try 1-1.5 stops possibly 2 if your really having problems.

I miss my K10D already
My Names Alan, and I'm a lensaholic.
My PPG link
My Flckr link
Edited by fatspider: 31/01/2016 - 09:30
Father Ted
Posted 31/01/2016 - 10:36 Link
I have decided to shoot in RAW ( I know, I know: I should always do that!)
I hadn't thought of under exposing and then "Over developing".
I have access to the sound check, so will use that time to practice.
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

Pentax K10d, *istDL, Kit lens ( 18-55mm ), 50mm f1.7 lens, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Prinzflex 70-162 manual lens, Various old flashes.
Posted 31/01/2016 - 10:47 Link
K10d's are quite useless at underexposing. I wouldn't risk higher than 400ISO with one.
Try a few tests at home in room light.

The Cavern's very noisy and you will need to get close to the stage.

Half Man... Half Pentax ... Half Cucumber

Pentax K-1 + K-5 and some other stuff

Posted 31/01/2016 - 11:24 Link
Back in my transparency film days I used to routinely under expose by 1/3 of a stop, sometimes even more. When I did this with my K10Ds I found the images very noisy when I lifted the exposure in Photoshop. I think it will be best to increase the ISO at the shooting stage as Alan says and then use noise reduction later in Photoshop.
Oh, and yes, always shoot in RAW.
Apart from that I can't offer any advice, I've never shot a gig in a dingy club, all my performance pics have been taken out in the open air such as at the Edinburgh Fringe.
If this works out Ted you could hire your son as your agent when you go pro.
Best of luck with it.
Posted 31/01/2016 - 15:24 Link
What a nice event to be shooting at... An iconic venue. But cramped and as dark as the black hole of Calcutta. Gig photography is very difficult (But far from impossible) with a crop sensor camera due to the high levels of noise they produce. in low light situations. . The biggest problem you will encounter is getting a shutter speed fast enough to freeze the motion. So you will need lenses that are f2.8 or faster. unless you intend to use a flashgun. As someone who does a lot of pub venue band photography I would suggest using TAV mode and extending the K10d's iso range to its highest workable level. Good luck with the event. I look forward to seeing some of the results...
K-1Gripped K-1 ungripped K-5ii K7 Various lenses

Posted 31/01/2016 - 18:49 Link
Good luck

If I'm not too late try using the on board flash turned down a bit in the flash settings

If find that works but be careful of the shadows this can cast


K10D, K5 plus plenty of clueless enthusiasm.

My Flickr site link
Posted 31/01/2016 - 21:16 Link
A bit late now but I wish you luck. I've only shot bands in dark venues with my K3 and I remember thinking that my previous DSLR, a K200D (same sensor as the K10D) would never have managed it either in terms of ISO or AF. I remember I was at ISO 1600-3200 (sometimes more) and f/2.8 to get decent shutter speeds.

A K10D and slow zooms doesn't sound like a recipe for success in that environment. I'd stick with the fast fifty and focus bracket and use the 18-55 at maximum aperture for wide shots.
Pentax hybrid user - Digital K3, film 645 and 35mm SLR and Pentax (&other) lenses adapted to Fuji X and Panasonic L digital
Fan of DA limited and old manual lenses
Posted 31/01/2016 - 22:59 Link
Best of luck. If not too late.
I know what i like, If not always why.
Posted 31/01/2016 - 23:33 Link
As above, the shutter speed is critical, unless you can somehow manage it for artistic effect.

Do what you've got to do to get the shot. Be that widest available aperture, slowest shutter speed to still get a sharp image, and highest ISO required, assuming flash is not an option.

Plan B is to try to use the available environmental lighting, stage lights, flashing lights etc to your advantage.

If it all fails, then black and white the end result, as colour noise can look ok a sort of film grain effect.
Posted 01/02/2016 - 22:44 Link
You have set yourself a pretty difficult task. From experience in doing a fair bit of this type of photography I'll give you the best advice I can:

- Shoot in manual, the changing light at such events is a nightmare with Auto Exposure and you will end up burning out highlights which are then not recoverable. You'll need to take a lot of test shots, check the histogram and aim for best exposure without risking any burn-out (don't worry about having lots of dark areas, this is unavoidable in concert / gig lighting)

- Check what type of lights they are using, if they are 'LED' you will need to under-expose more than you think as they burn out skin tones so easily

- Be careful with the kit lens; it probably won't be fast enough for most shots with a K10D as your ISO would be too high. Do you have a F2.8 zoom, this would be ideal?

- Be careful if you're planning to shoot F1.7 with manual focus - you won't get many images sharp in the right place

- Keep your shutter speed up around 1/200 if you can so you don't get movement blur. You can get away with less if the performers are fairly still, but you will not get many keepers

- Sacrifice ISO for shutter speed - even with your K10D. Gritty noise is not an issue if you convert to Black and White

Best of luck, go and enjoy yourself and don't be disappointed if you don't get a high proportion of keepers!


Nicola's Apartments, Kassiopi, Corfu

Some cameras, some lenses, some bits 'n' bobs
Father Ted
Posted 03/02/2016 - 22:54 Link
Thanks for all of the advice.
Yes, this was really difficult!
I ended up using the kit quite a bit to get the view I needed, but, yes; the manual lens gives a far better image. Having said that, focusing was a nightmare.

At the end of the day, my lad was on stage in an iconic venue, anything else is icing on the cake.
I'll upload some images over the next few days. None are spectacular, but some are worthy of comment.
Getting there! Thanks to you guys

Pentax K10d, *istDL, Kit lens ( 18-55mm ), 50mm f1.7 lens, Tamron 70-300mm lens, Prinzflex 70-162 manual lens, Various old flashes.

Add Comment

To leave a comment - Log in to Pentax User or create a new account.