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Brett Duncan's picture

Shooting a concert at night

I am fairly new to the world of photography but wanted to share one of my favorite shots from shooting an outdoor concert at night. This was taken using my Sony a7iii with the FE 85mm f1.8. I wanted to really isolate the singer so that's why I went with something more narrow like 85, and crushed the highlights around him to make him pop. I have some questions for anyone will to offer some advice.

Do you normally go into a shoot knowing you'll be shooting in black and white or do you just take photos that have that 'feel'?
Is there a best lighting environment or temperature to use when shooting for black and white?

Any tips would greatly be appreciated!

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Scott Kiekbusch's picture

Personally, when I shoot film, I almost always use B&W. So, yes I obviously shoot knowing that there will be no color, and I intentionally look for opportunities to make images that will work with the B&W film, e.g. high contrast, textures, shapes, and the interplay of light & shadow.

When I shoot digital I shoot in color and will convert an image to B&W if I feel it better suits the subject. For instance, if color is distracting from the story/feel I'm trying to convey in the image, I'll desaturate it.

The photo you've shared could benefit from cropping in tighter on the subject. There's quite a bit of black taking up the majority of the image.

Brett Duncan's picture

Awesome! Thanks for your insight, much appreciated.

P K's picture

I generally shoot RAW but with a B&W film simulation so all my previews are in B&W - it's easier this way to stay in a B&W mindset, so to speak.

However, sometimes I'll process in both colour and B&W where I think an image might work in colour - otherwise I just stick to B&W.

I don't mind the extensive dark areas of the photo although perhaps a slight cropping may also work. The only thing I would suggest to keep in mind in any B&W photography is ideally you need a solid white, a solid black, and a good tonal range in between.

Brett Duncan's picture

Yeah I am extremely new to the photography world so I haven't really found my "style" yet. Just learning as much as I can right now and having tons of fun doing it.

Thanks for your insight!