I did another shoot last week for The Beautiful Word and Kings Mews – basically because I didn’t feel that I did justice to the bands themselves at the Blind Tiger Club last time. On that occasion a whole bunch of punters in fancy dress became the main subject, while the lighting and angles available to the stage area was a challenge to say the least.
Lighting at the Brunswick is also less than perfect, but I did my best. The most important aspect of the evening was the edit: I decided (due to lighting colour and intensity issues) to go for deep contrast, knocking the background right back into black on all but one shot. I also decided even while at the venue that Black and White would suit the style and sound of the excellent, jazzy Kings Mews, and would make a good edit far easier for the band which was my main quarry of the evening. The techniques of layering, blurring, darkening and then erasing through which have served me well for corporate functions (like the Seedrs launch party) and for weddings stood me in good stead again.
All in all I find these shoots for bands a great training ground for low-light technique – the kind of technique that is vital if you are going to make sense of the reception and dance phases as a wedding photographer. These can be a very important part of the event to the couple and are, paradoxically, the part where the cameras of family and friends are most likely to let the side down. I think I have equipment and an approach that can really pull something beautiful and memorable out of low-light festivities.