Although I consider myself a musician and some kind of a singer, I never attended a gospel workshop. My wife Alice signed up for one of these the other day, but I decided to have a quiet weekend instead, planning to attend the final Gospel Concert on Sunday. Guess what happened ? On Saturday I was asked to photograph the rehearsal. Same on Sunday, and in addition I audio recorded the concert. That much about my quiet weekend….
I nevertheless enjoyed the two days a lot. I had never shot a choir like that and thought it could be a nice challenge. The conductor appeared on Saturday and taught the 60 amateur singers nine songs by heart and without any lead sheet. Impressive to see their great performance on Sunday. So how should I capture the dynamic event with still photography ? My final way of working was to shoot by selecting a fixed exposure time and let the camera choose the aperture [ S mode ]. Using exposure times of 1/15 to 1/40 of a second gave me nice smear fx. You can see people clapping their hands and moving while singing. But I needed a bit more definition in the final image. I added a flash, which fired at the end of the exposure [ rear mode ]. This helped me to capture the motion and froze the shot at the end of the exposure. The second challenge was to capture the size of the room with the audience during both the rehearsal and concert. I subsequently had to increase my ISO settings to 800/1000, which as a downside increased the noise a bit. Lightroom helped me to correct this by applying +20 noise reduction to the images across the board.
On Sunday evening I came home with 500 images and down selected 200. In the gallery you can see the best of them. Hallelujah!