This week is shaping up to be a steady stream of live music. Last weekend started off with New Hiram Kings playing a short set at the High Noon Saloon, quadruple billed with some other bands to play both kinds of music; Country and Western.
At the last second it became known that there was going to be a bit of a small group effort to record the whole show, so I offered to throw my additional capabilities into the mix. I pretty much always carry with me a GoPro and a Tascam field recorder, should I ever need to start recording something with multiple angles and better sound quality. Well there were two other people who also brought GoPro's which were going to record wider angles from behind and in front of the stage, as well as one person also bringing a small field recorder. So I hooked my GoPro up to my Manfrotto Flex Arm attached to a Manfrotto Super Clamp hooked onto the main singer's mic stand. This provided a fairly interesting up close shot of some honky tonk guitar playing and singing with a full set of lights from behind the head to provide rim light. It also wound up not getting in the way at all and can only be seen in the final wide group shot below. I then set up my TASCAM DR-100 mkII, mounted to a GorillaPod attached to some iron beams in the center of the room. I hit record on everything and then walked around the room switching between shooting photos and video on my 5D mkIII.
To be honest, I was having a heck of a time shooting photos in this environment. It was dark! With my own eyes I had a hard time discerning detail on people at the corners of the stage. At times I had to bump the iso to 12,800 and shoot at f2.8 just to get an underexposed 1/80s-1/125s shot. This meant I was going to be bumping up shadows and just about everything else in post production or else I'd be having to create some very contrasty images. I had my work cut out for me.
Now, if the 5D was struggling with this low light, the GoPro wasn't going to fare too well either, and it didn't. That wound up being some very noisy video. After a couple days of tinkering, however, I managed to color grade it enough that it looks alright. However, cutting away to what my 5D shot, it's not even fair. Just straight out of camera that footage looks amazing, and thinking back, it should. If I was struggling to get 1/100 shutter speed exposed right for photos, I only want half that shutter speed for video which means I just doubled my light by dropping into video mode. You don't need tack sharp, freezing of the motion for video as motion blur is what helps with persistence of vision. Too bad I was too busy trying to get good photos, when I could have been getting great video. So the impromptu video side of this project took a small hit. However, it's all still coming together. I haven't seen the other footage yet and I don't know how it's going to be assembled in the end, (perhaps me eventually?) but I sent the video off to them tonight and we'll see what they want to do.