Photography With Stage Lighting

Taking Photographs with stage lighting setups is one of most trickiest scenarios in photography.this article is about my photography experiences with stage lighting setups.

All photographs used in this article was taken by myself  using Nikon D90 digital SLR Camera at “Rhythm of the Maroons -2008 ” , musical event held at the Sugathadasa Indoor Stadium.  Stage lighting setup on that day included over 50KW of power cans, Color wash , Moving Head and scanner types of lights.

When we use regular flash lighting natural effects of background lighting gets cancelled due to high contrast of the flash light.if we turn off the flash lighting pictures will easily get underexposed and it will reduce amount of details in the photograph. lets look at following photograph

this photograph was taken with handheld camera.Therefore shutter speed was limited to 1/60s and aperture settings and ISO speeds  increased to maximum possible levels. As a reason of high ISO sensitivity , we can identify some noise in the picture. Even thogh we can use a monopod to increase shutter sped limitations but due to very dynamic nature of the objects in the stage that option was impracticable.

So far we identified following problems.

  1. Limitations of Shutter speed due to handheld camera and moving objects
  2. Noise due to High ISO sensitivity
  3. Low level of details due to under exposure.

to overcome these problems i have found some tips by my experiments. Those are

  1. Practice to held camera more stably and use some support (of walls etc) . this will provide opportunity to reduce shutter speed up to 1/30s . Lower shutter speeds than that can cause problems in capturing fast moving objects
  2. Wait till correct moment – most of the time we can identify moments with bright lighting setups. in those moments you can capture amazing photographs without any troubles
    also we can identify stationary moments in dances etc. capturing those moments are easy because we can avoid motion blur.
  3. Use Shutter Priority mode with automatic aperture and ISO settings  with these settings you can adopt changes in lighting quickly. all you have to do is select proper shutter speed for the lighting condition.
p.s – Hope this article will support you in dealing with stage lighting scenarios. For any clarification or further  information ,  please leave a comment or personal message.
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