Q&A: Shooting a singer on stage | Pierre B Photo | Montreal Music Photographer

Question:

Hey Pierre…. iv got a question for ya.

Someone is asking me to photograph him while he’s singing on stage.  He is an R&B / gospel singer who will be on a small stage in a restaurant.

What do I need to preoare myself?

I have a 50mm prime, 18-55 and a 55-200. I also have the 430 flash

 

Answer

Hard to tell, depends on where he is singing and the light that is there and if you are allowed to use flash or not.  Personally, i dont use flash, hate the look. rather work with the stage lights.  So I would not bother with the flash, although it is a good idea to bring it in case the light is REALLY low.  Better to get flash pictures than no pictures at all!

Being on a stage in a restaurant, he wont be moving much. the problem with shooting shows is the low light which usually means slow shutter.  I usually only shoot at f/2.8 – 3.5… rarely go smaller. Your two zooms aren’t pro lenses so they cant go to 2.8. So I’m thinking your 50 would be the best bet.  Open that 50 up to 1.8 or 2.0 to let as much light as possible in, start with ISO 1600 maybe crank to 3200 if you need.  Watch for the shallow depth of field from the 1.8 though.  If you are getting really fast shutters, close down the aperture to gain in image quality and more play in the depth of field.  A lens is usually way sharper in the f/5.6 – f/8.0 range than it is wide open
Aim for a shutter of 1/60 or faster.  You can shoot slower than 1/60 if he doesn’t move and you have steady hands.
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