Never stop learning

June 26, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
I'm re-working a few older galleries this week to apply what I've been teaching myself about dealing with red lighting. It's quite common when images are flooded with red light for people to convert to black and white to 'salvage' the picture. I've always really hated doing that (although I love black and white, I don't like it so much for my own pictures where I prefer to try to nail the richness of colour that I see on stage), so I'm on a mission to embrace the red and cope with it better both when taking photos and editing them at home.
Here's the first one: Originally about 25% of these shots were converted to b/w. 
The Borderline has a lot of red (both lighting and backdrop). It looks great in the venue, and (I think) adds to the warmth and intimacy of a show, but has a tendency to make anyone on the near side of the stage as you come in look like they've been sunbathing in a nuclear reactor! The other side of the stage often has more of a green tint, while the drummer often fares best with a more even mix of light. Sometimes the lights here cycle through a range of colours, but this night they stayed the same. For this gallery, I made little tweaks to white balance (colour temperature and tint), exposure, shadows and noise reduction. What's important to me when editing is that I don't spend ages on it - we're talking maybe a couple of seconds per image. 

Original settings:

  • Focal length 24-70 mm
  • Exposure between 1/125 - 1/200 at f/2.8
  • ISO 3200
  • Spot metering