I couldn’t have had a bigger contrast between my usual peaceful landscape photography and these shots from the Under 18 Talent Showcase at the Old Courts in Wigan. The Showcase event kicked off the Wigan Arts Festival in some style on Thursday night with a five act line up of local acts. My plan was to catch a little of the atmosphere and at least one decent shot of each performer for posterity, (and for cashing in when they hit the big time!).
Its difficult to believe that these bands ranged in age from 13 to just 18. The standard of musicianship and stagecraft was outstanding from start to finish. If this is the future of live music then its looking very promising in this town at least!
Technical Stuff, (for those who like it!)
There are real technical challenges to capturing such lively subjects in the fast changing lighting of a live gig. I chose to shoot in shutter priority to ensure speeds fast enough to freeze the action, (between 250 to 500), and I set my lenses pretty wide at between f1.4 to f2.8. With these settings I allowed the iso to take care of itself.
Even with this recipe I still needed to pick my moments carefully to try to catch the action before the lights changed and upset the exposures. The cameras were having enough difficulty finding a focus point in the low lights without having to compensate for massive light level changes in the blink of an eye.
In hindsight the very wide apertures may have been a mistake given the correspondingly shallow depth of field. I missed out one or two great shots because the DoF was too low and the camera had picked out something in the foreground leaving the main subject just out of focus. In future I may go for an f3 to f4 setting and deal with any iso grain issues afterwards.
A great night out and some interesting results.