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Preparing for a shoot #photography


This is a photo from my last photoshoot which was a show at the town hall for Dialect Weekend. My next one should be the switch on of the Christmas Lights, next week. It will be a similar shoot, but outside in the cold!

My Nikon D3200 has 11 focus points and for a shot like this one of Billy Spakemon (Brian Dakin) I wanted the middle focus point on my subject and as many of the others lit up as possible. The focus points on my camera look like tiny red lights, that light up when something is in focus. The light was quite poor for this shot and many of the shots were noisy (the sensor picking up stray light). To get a reasonable shot in low light, I either have to make the sensor more sensitive by raising the ISO, use a slower shutter speed or use a wider aperture. The other option is to get more light  by using the flash.


Here I’ve used a wide aperture and zoomed in. The background is a bit out of focus, but that’s OK. With a subject that’s moving, you need a fast shutter speed and in this case, I didn’t want to use the flash because it can distract performers. I think the ISO was 400 for this shot.


The Speedlight I was using is quite small and not very bright, but it produced quite good results. I have a new one on order for my next shoot, which is more professional and more controllable. I can even put it on a stand and trigger it by remote control. I used a wide aperture, zoomed in and used the flash for this shot and it produced quite good results.


With a band, there is a lot of movement and so it’s a good idea to take shots when the movement is slower to get sharper images. A little blurring can give a sense of movement and with a band can make the shot look better.


You can click these pictures to see them full-size, which is 1500 x 1000 pixels. The camera was set for 6000 x 4000 so I have a really large image that I can crop and get my subject central in the image. You don’t get really sharp pictures in low light with moving subjects, but I think these are quite good.

For my next shoot, I’ll have a more powerful Speedlight and I’ll be using similar techniques. A narrower aperture for pictures of the whole stage but not too narrow around f/8 and I’ll be using the flash. Then I can go for a wide aperture and zoom in on individual performers. I’ll change the focusing from 11 focus points to just one when I change the aperture.

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Thanks to the Scarbelly Blues Band for allowing me to photograph them.

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