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Photography Question 
Todd Jenkins

Red Stage Lights vs. Grainy Film

I shot this one evening at an outdoors jazz concert. I was using Fuji 1600 at f11 because I wanted to cut down on blur and thought the graininess would add character to the shots. Less than half of the photos turned out well because every time the red stage lights came on, all of the edge detail was completely washed away. As you can see here, everything turned to visual mush. A few seconds before this shot the red lights weren't on and I could make out facial details with no problem. I don't know if the red conflicted with the other colored lights or what, but I finally realized that I wasn't going to get any clear details with those lousy red lights on. So I finished the roll and switched to 800 B&W film, which came out great.

Any suggestions as to what I could have done to eliminate this weird red-wash problem? Is there some sort of filter I could have used, or should I have chosen a different f-stop? I had set it wide because it was very dark outside except for onstage, but that may have been boneheaded. This was the first nighttime gig of its kind I had shot.

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2/19/2004 9:09:22 AM

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