I used the 50mm f/1.4 lens, with the camera in aperture priority mode, and experimented a bit with the depth of field. Indoors, I put the ISO on auto, with a minimum shutter speed set at 1/60s. In hindsight, I should have fixed the ISO. The shutter speed was a little too slow in some of the shots (mostly when the children were involved!), because the camera automatically set the ISO too low.
And, I'm still getting some inconsistent results with the auto-focus... I think I need to use the centre auto-focus point more and then recompose the shots, rather than using the 18 off-centre focus points.
Despite not taking particularly many photos, so as not to be a complete pain, and some auto-focus issues, I got a few decent shots - a mixture of posed and candid ones.
I decided to cut my losses before the headline act and just enjoy their set, not least because the crowd were crammed right up to the stage. In better conditions, they would have been great to shoot - very tight, and huge energy.
Still, it wasn't a complete loss - for starters, all the bands were great. I managed to salvage a few images via Lightroom, and learned a lot about how far I can push my EOS 70D in challenging conditions like this. I'm looking forward to shooting The Hip Priests again in a venue that has, oh I don't know, maybe at least one spotlight pointing at them!
First up on the bill were Ivory Yardsale, a two-piece band from Kettering. I got a few shots of them whilst getting a feel for the lighting conditions. I was shooting in manual mode, leaving the ISO on auto - I wanted to be able to play with the depth of field a bit whilst still making sure that I got the shot (even if it risked being a bit noisy).
The Bophins were an altogether different proposition. An energetic four-piece - it was non-stop concentration to keep track of what was going on. In particular, the lead guitarist, Tim O'Neill, moves around a lot. I used the 85mm lens for most of the shots, but switched to the 50mm to get some (slightly) wider angles when I couldn't get far enough back (the bar was in the way!). I kept the shutter speed at 1/125s most of the time, which was just fast enough to avoid blurring of the guitarist hands. There was some blurring on the drumsticks, but I think that works quite well, giving a sense of movement. Pushing the speed any faster just saw the ISO jump up to 6400, and some very noisy images.
I finally got away from Wellingborough at midnight, and thanks to a stretch of the M1 being closed for roadworks, the journey home was almost 2 hours... Still, for a first attempt, I'm quite pleased with the results - well worth the trip.
I got myself a camera earlier in the year (a Canon EOS70D). The original reason was to be able to get better reference material for my artwork - phone cameras are rubbish indoors... But, I've fancied trying my hand at 'proper' photography for a while now, so I decided to make a bit of a project of it.
First mistake: I should have bought just the camera body, rather than getting the 18-55mm lens bundled with it... A bit of trying it out, and some more internet research quickly determined that the kit lens wasn't going to cut it for either portraits or low-light conditions. Rather than shell out for an expensive zoom lens, I decided to get a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 prime lens. I used this lens on a beginner's course at the start of April (www.digitalphotographycourses.co.uk), and love it. But, using it on a crop sensor camera, you need quite a lot of room to work in, so, I ended up getting the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 as well. Oops - I'm already turning into a gear junkie!