I showed up at The Depot Open Mic night this week expecting the space to be lit the same way it was a few weeks ago. Previously, they had enough lights to shoot with a fast aperture (1.4 to 2.0 range with an ISO of 3200-4000 range and shutter of at least 1/60) and a variety in colored lights to make each shot and each musician/band look different from the next. So, walking in to seeing just a few lights pointing towards the stage area and only one bright red accent light on the wall, I was like, oh shit! What can I do with this? It was actually a fun challenge...and one of the reasons I love documentary style shooting. The limitations provided make me work in a way that I enjoy most...finding ways to problem solve.
The shot above combined a bunch of problem solving techniques in addition to just getting lucky. For me, this image gives a vibe of howling at the moon with a sexy red glow of the light, shirt, brick wall, and drum pulling all of the pieces together. The rapper was walking back and forth across the stage which gave me so many more looks to capture than the rest of the artists that night who stood in one spot performing their music.
Another fortunate bonus of being pushed to get creative with limited lighting was having access to go wherever I wanted in this space. It’s not often I can just walk on stage or get behind a performer to shoot some silhouettes or capture the audience from the perspective of the artist. Below are some of the other successful problem solving shots that I loved from this session.