Shoot Notes: Portsmouth City Orchestra – 2015 Student Concerto Competition – Photos

Looking for the photos? Go here to the main article:
Portsmouth City Orchestra – 2015 Student Concerto Competition – Photos

Photo_Shoot_Notes-IconThese are additional notes that a photographer might find useful on how I shot this event/photo shoot. Looking for the photos, follow the link above.

Phew.. Sorry been way behind on my blog. These shoot notes are going to be fairly short this time round.

I have shot this student competition before in this location and knowing what to expect was very helpful. In shooting just about anything dealing with the orchestra I knew it was going to be whatever light was already there (well almost). It was bad enough that my D700 shutter is so loud, but a flash would really annoy the performers and the audience. There is no rehearsal, so my options were to simply go for it as is.

Knowing the layout, my plan was to shoot with my 70-200 f2.8 vrII on my D700 at F4. f2.8 is a little soft and more hit or miss with this lens. I would prefer to sacrifice ISO for to get a my desired aperture. This time I chose aperture priority mode letting the ISO and shutter work themselves out. In addition I tried out my crop (DX) sensor Coolpix A (see my review) for a few of the pullback shots. For the group photos I used my SB600 flash bounced off the ceiling with 1/2 CTS gell with my 70-200 (yes you read that right my 70-200). I had to get way far back to fit everyone in.

All the photos from this event were post processed in Adobe Lightroom, which is awesome, since I didn’t have to make any trips to Photoshop.

Nikon D700 1/60th F4.0 ISO 1000 70mm (Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII)

The lighting was difficult, but really what event doesn’t have difficult lighting? Looking at the group photo above, you will notice on the far left John Page in the white it looks like I have intentionally over corrected the brightness around him and there is a small halo. Overhead are a bunch of lights (see below photo) with one acting as a spotlight on the wall which happened to fall right behind his head. Argh!!!  You also notice uneven lighting that these lights are producing.  Thank goodness I attached a flash for the final group shots.

Nikon Coolpix A 1/60th F2.8 ISO 720 18.5mm (Crop DX Sensor)

I don’t know if the Coolpix A fits into my event photography toolkit, but I suspect it does just for the fact that it has a real sensor and has the ability to fly under the radar as no one makes a second thought about it when they see it.

Nikon D700 1/60th F4.0 ISO 400 200mm (Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII) +71 Yellow Saturation
Nikon D700 1/60th F4.0 ISO 400 200mm (Nikon 70-200 f2.8 VRII)

I did a little experimentation as well.  What do you do when you don’t like the background, but don’t want to make a significant time investment in taking a trip to Photoshop, masking and then altering?  Simply go to the color sliders in Lightroom and see if you can make a change without altering the rest of your image. In the case of this photo I was able to crank up the yellow wall.  I personally prefer the more yellow version.

As a side note, I was asked if I had wi-fi in my camera so they could upload a few photos while the event was going on. Sadly, the D700 is not wi-fi enabled and its something Nikon is lagging behind on, but I do have an iPad and a CamRanger that would have worked perfectly. That really is the modern world and it looks like I am going to have to embrace it in the near future.


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