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Thread: Crowd shots: how ?

  1. #1
    Founder QT Luong's Avatar
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    Crowd shots: how ?

    In the work of both Andreas Gursky and Massimo Vitale, there are shots of crowds that are done from above, in what appears to be the dark environment of a club/dance venue, where people are moving fast. The images appear very sharp (esp. those of Vitale) with little motion blur. Given that high-iso color film and fast lenses are not available in large format, how was that done ?

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Crowd shots: how ?

    stitching

  3. #3

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    Re: Crowd shots: how ?

    High output flashbulbs or electronic flash perhaps.

  4. #4

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    Re: Crowd shots: how ?

    Sports photographers routinely mount stadium ceilings with dozens of 2000 watt/sec strobe heads and packs, wired to remote controls. For NBA games and Sports Illustrated. Some of these guys have deep pockets and can do that, but I doubt it is what happened.

    In the Gursky disco shot I think he just pushed color neg and maybe assembled the image from multiples, at least that is my guess. I've been shooting stuff wide open and am usually surprised how sharp it can be, esecially something like a 90 on a 4x5.

  5. #5

    Re: Crowd shots: how ?

    i doubt that there is any studio lighting in the pictures, i have worked a lot in dark interiors recently and with 400asa film rarely have to go over 8 seconds f22, i'd guess that they are exposing at half to one second and picking up some of the disco strobes, i doubt if they need to be wide open either.

  6. #6

    Re: Crowd shots: how ?

    When I did nightclub photography, the best thing to remember was that the dance floor strobes functioned much like a camera flash, and could stop action. Shutter speeds might have been 1/4 second to 1/30 second, which would allow some motion blur, though the moving dance strobes would stop enough action. The tough part was that the lights often changed or moved so fast that results could not be predicted.

    When I was doing this, the only two films I used were Kodak 320T and Kodak E200. Both were push processed quite a bit, the E200 sometimes out to 4 2/3 stops. Neither film is available in large format, though you can get E200 in roll film. Kodak E200 will not push in a linear manner, and also undergoes a bluer tonal shift beyond 3 stops push, though that means a weaker 82A filter is a better choice than an 80A. I quit using 320T because the grain was substantially more noticable than with pushed E200.

    Okay, so if you had the luxury of a fixed camera position, you could take several shots, then combine the results. The difficult part would then be avoiding overlapping unusual or unnatural results. It could be done, but to me it sounds like numerous hours on a computer. The task would be even more tedious if a very large print was the desired result. My personal feeling is that it would be more interesting to have some stopped motion from the dance strobes, and let other aspects of the scene blur out; after all when you are in a nightclub you would expect movement from people dancing; I think that would be much more interesting of an image.

    Ciao!

    Gordon Moat
    A G Studio
    Last edited by Gordon Moat; 4-Dec-2006 at 12:12. Reason: spelling

  7. #7

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    Re: Crowd shots: how ?

    Why dont you ask Vitali directly? He is a member of this forum. And let us then know what he said.

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