I've seen the light.
Ok, I think we have all experienced this at least one time in our photographic lives. Have you ever gone to a concert and tried to photograph the show? It was not so easy was it. Even with the power of today's digital cameras it still proves to be very challenging! There are so many factors that come into play when photographing a live show, especially when it is under Hot and Cold Stage Lights.
Besides learning to be able to adapt to the movement of the subjects, setting shutter speed and aperture, we have to compensate for the amount of light and the temperature of light we have to work with. This is a huge factor in photographing a live event like a concert. Remember the first time you saw all those red, blue and white lights? I was not sure if that was me or my camera screaming! Ever since day one of getting my first DSLR I have been in manual mode only and shooting RAW. Even down to my Kelvin temperature I was guessing the setting for the white balance by choosing my Kelvin degree. We all know that the lighting on a stage is ever changing and fixing ourselves into say 5000 Kelvin or 4000 Kelvin can be delicate with all the light differences.
So the other day when I was watching a workshop on B&H photo B&H Photo Video Digital Cameras, Photography, Camcorders the instructor reminded me about auto white balance. It's not that I forgot it was there, it's just I have become so... I don't know...maybe....a person against using anything automatic on my camera because it would make me less of a photographer? Possibly that was the case.
The instructor in this video reminded and encouraged me at the same time that it is cool to use what we have function wise in our cameras because it's all about the end result, getting that shot. So the other day I shot a show in a club in Paris where all of the factors that I have mentioned were prevalent and I decided to try shooting on auto white balance. I did all my other settings as I normally would except for I pushed my ISO a little higher than I normally would because it was quite dark in the club and it's better to get some grainy photos rather than no photos. You are probably wondering what gear I was using too and I am not afraid to say that I was shooting on my crop sensor 60d with a 24-105 L IS USM which is an f4. So my ISO pushed between 800-1000 and wide open on the aperture, shutter speed between 50-125 and yes auto white balance.
I have to say I could see the difference in the results once I went to post process. My color balance was so much better that my edit time reduced substantially and I believe it was all because of the auto white balance. I think the moral of the story here is to not be scared to use all available resources that we have in order to just get the shot and don't be afraid to let the camera do a little work for you. Give it a try next time and tell me what you think. Here's a pic from the show. Ghost of the Robot in Paris
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