The Allure of Brooke

by Wildwood512

My singer, songwriter daughter-in-law, Brooke performing at a gig.

Anyone who's photographed Performing Arts, and bands in particular, knows well these events are fraught with lighting dilemmas. Here I was not only dealing with bright lights but hot red and blue lights as well! Oh, and extremely high ISO to shoot flashless.

I did a B & W version but I love this one with a bit of color, especially those ruby lips.

If I was more adept at masking/layering techniques, I would have removed that white light by Brooke's head.

The learning never ends! 😄
Uploaded28/02/2016 - 07:31
CategoryPortraits / People
Shutter Speed1/125
Focal Length120mm

Posted 28/02/2016 - 07:36 Link
Good capture. Like it

Posted 28/02/2016 - 07:59 Link
The subject makes a very very good photo. But an orange E.T. or cartoon apatosaurus on the edge?!
Posted 28/02/2016 - 08:00 Link
Full of drama, Donna. That white blob would be a doddle to remove in Photoshop, just zoom in and use the clone tool, no need for masks of layers. The work of a couple of minutes.
Best wishes,


"These places mean something and it's the job of a photographer to figure-out what the hell it is."
Robert Adams
"The camera doesn't make a bit of difference.  All of them can record what you are seeing.  But, you have to SEE."
Ernst Hass
My website:
Posted 28/02/2016 - 08:04 Link
Hey you guys, thanks for the advice. I will clean it up in Photoshop, including obliterating E.T.... LOL! 😉
Cheers...Donna 😊
Posted 28/02/2016 - 11:42 Link
Super capture. Excellent shot from difficult conditions.
Agree about the 2 elements. really is just a minor fix in ps.
I know what i like, If not always why.
Posted 28/02/2016 - 13:32 Link
Technical perfection is not the most important element in photographs of the performing arts such as this. Atmosphere, drama and glamour should be higher on the list of essentials and this image wins hands down in this respect.
Father Ted
Posted 28/02/2016 - 13:35 Link
Having tried this sort of photography only once, I understand your difficulty with the lighting only too well.
I've got to say, though, you made a much better job of it than I did!
It could be my eyes ( they are starting to go), but is her face slightly soft, but the eyes sharp? How did you manage that? Is it due to the lighting? I really like the effect.
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 28/02/2016 - 15:31 Link
I like that blob of light...It is normal when taking such piccies...It is normal that background is enlighted by those lamps....Don't remove it...or paint it with a red or green tone on a new layer and then change blending mode to colour. Use a soft brush...Anyway I do like this compo
Posted 28/02/2016 - 17:40 Link
This feedback is fantastic! Thank you all for your relevant input!

I have Photoshop Elements 13 not the fully packed Adobe Photoshop. I went ahead and tinkered with dodging out the white blob and it left a heavy blue line on the edge of her hair which I then transported the photo to Picasa where I was able to clone it out (couldn't manage the clone tool in PS Elements...will need to research how to use the program).

Most of my edits are done in iPhoto, Picasa, and more recently in a newly acquired Lightroom program from my son . I use all three to get the effects I want.

I just purchased PSE13, and really haven't taken the time yet to understand it's tools and potential. Any advice on what I can expect from PSE13 and on resource learning materials would be appreciated.

David(trout)...thank you for that insight on overall mood, glamour, atmosphere trumping the technical. That really is an excellent point o consider.

Giulio…you are most kind, and my initial thought was the same as yours, to leave in hints and bits of the surroundings.

Ted...I checked out your Gig shots and I agree with what was said in the thread. The compositions in all of them are dang good... the fourth one being my favorite.

The photo here was shot with a k5iis with a DA 55 - 300 4-5.8. I also shot some the same night with a Sigma 17 - 18 f2.8. Because of the exceptional sensor in the K5iis, I was able to push the ISO to 3200, knowing that I could do some decent noise reduction in PP. This equiptment allows for an upgrade ability and rendering of non-flash shots. (I have a gig shot of Brooke I posted way back that I shot with my k200, kit lens 18 - 55 and flash…
PP did miracles on it…you can see it in my portfolio shots).

In general how I approach Gig shots...Once I have my settings set, here are some things I do while shooting:
I like to rapid fire shots for the most part to catch poses that even surprise me in review
I manipulate the AF position in the menu to get the best possible face focus in my compo
I take advantage of those brief moments the artists are static but still expressive
I take a lot of shots
I do constructive edits in PP (Here I didn't do anything in particular to keep the eyes sharp while softening the face, I just played with sliders and liked how this end result looked). This pic is far from the out of camera version, but I have learned that by using the right camera and equipment to capture the foundational shot, and some tinkering in PP, many pics can be made to pop!

Thanks again, everyone...will post re-edited version soon! 😄
Cheers...Donna 😊
Edited by Wildwood512: 28/02/2016 - 17:54
Posted 05/03/2016 - 11:52 Link
I think you caught Brooke's moment delightfully Donna!
Over the years my photography has been mainly aviation oriented. Where a lot of people like to fill the frame with nose to tail aircraft I always wanted to take a few paces back to include part of the surroundings. That's the choice you need to make here!

Photography is not a sport. It has no rules. Everything must be dared and tried! (Bill Brandt)
Posted 05/03/2016 - 18:06 Link
Thanks, Paul. You're aforementioned approach to shooting uncontrolable cluttered scenes is in deed pleasingingly inclde the surrounding bits in the composition.

I set out to snap pleanty of shots, some long, some short of the same scenario.

In this pic in particular, i purposed to isolate Brooke as much as possible and should have endeavoured further to remove the 'annoyances', so to speak, in PP.

With encouragement and instruction here, I was able to clean up this photo and reposted it.

I like surrounding bits included as well as a spic and span shots.....all a matter of preference! 😉
Cheers...Donna 😊
Edited by Wildwood512: 05/03/2016 - 18:14

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