Commack High School Spring Concert II
Another great concert, this time by the ICA Women’s Choir, Grade 9 Orchestra, Grade 10 Concert Choir and ICA Wind Ensemble. All of them did a great job. Excellent music selections also.
In the Spring Concert 1 post I touched on exposure settings for the various ensembles depending upon whether they were located on the stage or floor. In this post I thought I’d discuss the strategy for composing the images.
If you’re just photographing your child the best thing to do is figure out where they’ll be sitting or standing in relation to the rest of the group. This way you can pick a seat with an optimal view. Lots of parents try to sit as close to the front as possible. This may work if your child’s ensemble is on the floor but will be a problem if they’re on the stage and your child is not in the front row. You’ll be looking up and won’t be able to see past the musicians in front. In this case, if you have a long lens, I’d suggest getting as far back as your lens will allow. Most auditoriums slope upward from front to back so you’ll have a better chance of seeing past the first rows of musicians.
If you’re photographing entire ensembles you’re going to have to settle for splitting the ensemble into groups of musucians/singers. You won’t have a lot of time. Their performance won’t be that long and you’ll need to take a several shots of each group due to autofocus problems in the low light, especially on the floor. For this you’ll need to be in the very back with a long lens. When deciding where to focus on specific groups I would recommend the musician/singer under the brightest light; that’s where the viewer’s eyes will go first. The low light conditions will force you to use a wide aperture giving you a very shallow depth of field, so not everyone in the image will be in sharp focus. If you have time, zoom out or switch lenses to get a wide shot of the entire ensemble.
Finally, if your camera has a silent or quiet mode, use it. If you have an electronic shutter option, better yet. Don’t use burst mode. Try to limit your photos to the louder passages. And don’t use flash; it either won’t reach the stage or it will look like crap.
That’s it for this post. Next up - the boys lacrosse playoff game.