Shooting in the Dark @ Gears and Glamour

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I went to Gears and Glamour on Saturday night at Thunderbird Harley Davidson. The event was a fundraiser for Ability Connection New Mexico, an organization that provides services for people with disabilities to help them achieve their highest level of independence.  The event included live music, a runway fashion show, and the morning show hosts from Coyote 102.5, Erica Viking and the Hoff.  It was an interesting and fun event, the problem was, most of the event was in the dark, including the runway fashion show that had one bank of spotlights lighting the runway from behind, backlighting the models on the main runway. I was up for the challenge of shooting in the dark. Since I didn’t have a flash with me, I didn’t want to photograph the models backlit on the main runway, so I stood by the band to get the models lighted from the side and front on the side runway, and then lighted again from the front on their way back down the main runway. I set my ISO to 3200, lens wide open and my shutter on 1/60 of a sec, which underexposed each shot from 2 to 4 stops. With a lot of post processing, I got the photos to work pretty well. The models in the lead photo asked me to photograph them on the bike, but the only light was from the sign behind them. The photo was almost completely black, besides the sign, so I simply over processed it to give a vintage look.

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Katie with Ability Connection, the Hoff and Erica Viking with the Morning Show on Coyote 102.5

 

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29 thoughts on “Shooting in the Dark @ Gears and Glamour

  1. Wow I love the shirts the girls are wearing! My favorite kind of Bling looking shirts! Awesome! I also the that first photo and the way you shared your setting. You do the most amazing things! I love looking at your photos! ❁◕ ‿ ◕❁

  2. Were you on a tripod? It is no small thing to get focus on images in those conditions of moving subjects and being wide open. Nicely done, sir.

      • No drinking. Being a drunken master might work for Jacky Chan with marshal arts, but I don’t think it would play well with photographing a fashion show in general, and especially a fashion show in the dark.

        Using 1/80 or 1/100 to stop the action a little better would have been much better, but I would have had to take the ISO up to 5000 or 6400, and the images would still have been underexposed. It’s hard enough working with underexposed images set at 3200 ISO.

      • So true. On my camera, i cant go above 800 without serious noise. The old school film shooters seem to have a higher tolerance for noise, but i have only shot digital, and cant stand it. Except for maybe a properly executed b&w. With your images being underexposed from the conditions, how did you go about recovering them without introducing noise?

      • First, my cameras are full-frame, and the full-frame sensors really help with noise reduction from the start. I shoot in raw, so after I’ve pulled up the exposure, adjusted highlights, shadows and white balance, I apply smoothing which helps reduce noise. Then in photoshop I despeckel the images, and then apply other noise reduction filters, if needed. I often do further noise reduction using third party programs. It ends up being quite a process.

    • Thanks so much! It’s too bad there wasn’t light on the models when they were on the bike. They are beautiful and had such pretty smiles that the photo with a good exposure would have been stunning.

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