Manual the Sequel

ƒ/1.8 • 50.0 mm • 1/200 • ISO 3200

Decided to experiment further with manual mode while shooting Chastity Belt. As mentioned previously, the lighting at Songbyrd is really poor. Taking the photo above took multiple tries. The lens couldn’t focus so I had to keep dialing the shutter speed faster until 1/200. The result is a rather dark photo but it does capture the movement so I think that’s a net gain.

ƒ/1.8 • 50.0 mm • 1/160 • ISO 3200

ƒ/1.8 • 50.0 mm • 1/200 • ISO 3200

ƒ/1.8 • 50.0 mm • 1/250 • ISO 3200

ƒ/1.8 • 50.0 mm • 1/320 • ISO 3200

Took four photos within a minute at varying shutter speeds. Love how the Rebel T6 makes it so easy to do this via a scroll wheel next to the shutter button. Even the slowest of the four still turned out dark and 1/160 isn’t fast by any stretch of the imagination so it just further confirms the atrocious lighting at this venue. By 1/320, the photo is noticeably much darker. That said, I must give credit to the ƒ/1.8 aperture. While dark, all images are sharp and the bokeh of the background lights is lovely. Another note to consider is that I am right next to the stage so that definitely helps.

Post processing could potentially counter the lighting issue but my aim is to highlight the strengths and weaknesses of lenses and cameras.

50mm Pros and Cons

ƒ/2.0 • 50.0 mm • 1/60 • ISO 1000

I have shot with the Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens for several shows now which gives me a good idea of its pros and cons. The biggest pro is certainly the value. At about $110, it delivers far, far more than the price tag suggests. It shoots amazing portraits with beautiful bokeh. And it does so with little effort. Just pay attention to where the focus point is. Photos are sharp and vivid even in suboptimal light conditions. It’s also very light making it easy to hold which in turn makes it easy to point and shoot.

However, its greatest strength is also its greatest weakness. It excels at shooting portraits but not much else. And often you want a photograph that captures the entire band so I definitely need to procure a wide angle lens at some point.

It also does not do well with movement. This is a problem because musicians rarely stay still when performing. The photos I took involving action beyond simply strumming or drumming have almost always turned out too blurry. Sometimes I can’t even shoot because it can’t focus. That said, I like how this photo turned out even though Kelli is clearly in motion. It helps that I am roughly an arm’s length away.

Bokeh For The Win

ƒ/1.8 • 50.0 mm • 1/25 • ISO 3200

I was doing a half sit up on the floor here. That was a really bad idea because it introduced more movement than it would have otherwise which the slow shutter speed confirms but I really wanted to play with the angle and depth. I like how it turned out. The bokeh here in particular gives a stunning sharpness to Kelly’s eyes. It actually speaks great volume about the f/1.8 lens as a portrait lens given how incredibly slow 1/25 is.

50mm Is For Portraits

ƒ/1.8 • 50.0 mm • 1/40 • ISO 3200

This was the furthest away I have ever taken a photo thus far with my 50mm f/1.8. I would guess roughly fifteen feet away and it really highlights the fact that I need a fisheye or wide angle lens in order to capture the entire band in the photograph. To put it another way, it demonstrates that the 50mm on a cropped sensor like the T6 is really only good for portrait shots.

Bokeh with LCD Display

ƒ/2.0 • 50.0 mm • 1/60 • ISO 1000

This was the first time I took a photo via the LCD display instead of the viewfinder on my Rebel T6. The bokeh of the keys and background lights is simply gorgeous. I had my arms extended to about six inches from Sallie Ford’s keyboard. Surprisingly it was really painless to operate. It helps that the T6 is fairly lightweight and offers a crisp display. I foresee myself doing this when I can’t get to a certain angle. Another benefit of using the display is that it’s easier for my poor eyesight to grasp the photo’s boundaries so I know exactly what’s in the shot and what’s not. I have noticed that I sometimes leave too much space above or beside the subject of a photo because my eyes don’t notice the gap between the subject and the frame when I use the viewfinder.

First Shoot!

ƒ/2.0, 50.0 mm, 1/60, ISO 1000

This was my first time shooting with my new Canon Rebel T6. The photos came out really amazing so I am inclined to conclude that a good choice in the body can make anyone look great. It probably helped that I am using a Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens and was able to get next to the stage. I understand the T6 offers 9 points of focus which demonstrated its capability here. By pointing the lens in the appropriate direction, it was able to focus on Molly instead of the headstock in the foreground. The bokeh is also beautiful. The dawn of light just above her head likely helped take the shot given the relatively low ISO.