Shazam feature Image

Shazam at Beaches

Shazam are a brilliant party band who gets everyone up dancing. Talented musicians with a great repertoire of crowd pleasing covers.

This was our first photoshoot of this Band, and our first shoot using the new Sony HVL-F43M Flash unit.

A full Flickr Gallery of Photos can be viewed at this link:

Flickr Photo Gallery of Shazam at Beaches


Further information about Shazam can be found at their Facebook Page:

Shazam Facebook Page

You can also check out Shazam’s Website at this link:

Shazam Melbourne Website



Sony Alpha A-77
Tamron 17-50mm F2.8
Sony 35mm F1.8 Portrait Lens
Sony HVL-F43M Flash
Stofen Diffuser.

In this shoot I followed the general approach I am currently using for shoots at Beaches. Everything is shot as JPEG, and mostly in full Manual Mode.

Step 1 is to get some low light no flash band pictures using the 35mm F1.8 fixed lens. About 1 in 6 of these shots work out, but I use the good ones in the middle of the final photo album to break things up a bit. I am still getting a lot of “Martian” and “Smurfs” photos from this, but these are real images of what the lighting was really like at the gig.

Step 2 is to attach the flash and diffuser and do some more band shots, as well as “Party People” shots of venue patrons for the Beaches Facebook page.

Most band shots were taken at ISO 1000, with shutter fixed at 1/125th or even 1/250th. Party People shots were taken at ISO 1000, with aperture priority used, so that aperture of 4.5 or 5.0 could be used for group shots to try and get everyone in focus.

For this gig, I tried using the EVF viewfinder, rather than the LCD screen for “chimping” (eg. for checking shots). The pictures looked great in the EVF, but when I loaded them onto the laptop the next day, they were a lot brighter than I was expecting.

The new Sony Flash has zoom lens adjustments, such as 24mm, 50mm, 110mm. I am assuming these govern how wide the flash beam goes out, and also focuses its power on a small area at 110mm?

It also has easy to access Power Levels in fractions as 1/1, 1/2, 1/4, 1/16, 1/32 etc, as light intensity in physics follows an inverse square relationship. I understand the maths, but I have not figured out the optimal settings for people pics yet. A lot of the People Pics were way too bright.

Another interesting thing is that I am shooting my people pics at 1/125th of a second, but several YouTube videos and Forums say to do nightclub people pics at super low speeds of 1/10, 1/20, or 1/30, as the Flash in manual mode will freeze the action. I will have to try out these low shutter speeds, and see what happens, even though it does not feel quite right.

This is the first time I have used the Sony Flash, and I set it tilted up at 45 degrees, with a Stofen cap diffuser from my old Yongnuo flash on it, since Sony do not provide you with one.

Sony also do not provide the hotshoe adapter needed for the A-77, and so I had to rush out to the Sony Shop in Nunawading to grab one of these a few hours before the gig.

I reckon Sony should give you a Stofen diffuser with the flash, and throw in the adapter as well. Even cheap Chinese Yongnuo give you everything you need with their flash.

I am still to try out my Gary Fong Light Sphere, and the Gary Fong Blade Card Diffuser, but hope to give them ago as soon as I get the opportunity.

It is challenging at the moment with Flash photography, trying to get the settings and diffusers right, but once I figure it out, it will hopefully become a set and forget.

The next step will then be to get a copy of Adobe Lightroom, and start shooting in Raw; as all the professionals say that Raw + Lightroom is the way to go. It sounds like Lightroom has the ability to make adjustment presets, which greatly speed up post processing and touch ups.



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