On Friday night I went to take some photos of Chasing Daylight playing at The Wheatsheaf, Oxford. I have shot live music at this venue many a time. The venue offers a few challenges for gig photography but over all it is not a bad place from a photographic point of view.
Gig photography can be one of the most difficult genres of photography as there is often little light and people moving quite quickly. It is therefore difficult to keep the shutter speed high enough to prevent movement blur and have the photograph properly exposed. Pictures can either become under exposed or they have too much noise in the shadows. Modern digital cameras are able to shoot at high ISO values, which determines the sensitivity of the sensor to light, but they can become very noisy at high levels.
Modern digital processing does offer some solutions to the issues of live music photography but they mostly reduce the sharpness of the final image and so are not ideal. Photoshop work flows can get very involved using layers to reduce noise and luminosity masks and blending to reduce the impact on sharpness.
Here are some of the photos I took for Chasing Daylight on Friday Night:
I also threw in some mono (black and white) photos for the band like these:
On seeing the mono photographs, the band asked if I would provide them with all the photos in black and white as they liked the effect. This is not normal black and white photography, it is extremely stylised. The effect is achieved by manipulating the mid tone contrast thereby giving an almost hand drawn feel to the photographs.