Up and coming singer songwriter Ben Ellington joined an open mic session at The Dark Horse in Moseley, Birmingham last week, and I took some photographs for him to use in promoting his music. Ben was enthusiastically welcomed by the audience, as he’s performed there a few times before. Singing his own songs, he had the audience engaged from the start.
It was an interesting shoot, as there was no light on the performers – the spotlights were aimed at the wall behind. This makes sense since that corner of the pub is usually a table for patrons, but it did make photographing Ben rather tricky, remembering that I just won’t use a flash in these situations. Also, the lighting was from different sources, so it was different colours – the general room lighting being more orange than the spotlights. It pushed my camera to its limits, and made me work hard in post-processing to put the focus back on Ben and not on the wall behind him.
In the end I played with the colours and contrast to achieve an oversaturated, gritty look, making the most of the noisy raw images, and pushed the noise reduction up to take the edge off of the very visible noise from the high ISO, and I think it came out really well.
You can hear some of Ben’s songs on his SoundCoud page.