duane

06 Mar 2006 6,548 views
 
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photoblog image The Quintet

The Quintet

This week's theme: Live gigs!

Photo #1 of 6 - We kick off this week's theme on "live gigs" with a scene from last Friday's performance at the Imperial College Student Union. This shot is of Victoria Watson, leader of  her 5 member group (VWQT). Their music style is gypsy jazz - a mixture of old school instruments like the violin and flute, set against a acoustic bass guitar.

In the original photo, there was a strong yellow spot light, giving a yellow tint to the whole scene. I didn't quite like it, so I converted the shot to black and white. Do you think this goes well, or would you prefer my shots in color? Tell me, I want to know!

On friday I also covered DonkeyBox, so I promise some of their shots will be put up here later in the week (lighting wasn't so good when they were on stage though). Stay tuned....

The Quintet

This week's theme: Live gigs!

Photo #1 of 6 - We kick off this week's theme on "live gigs" with a scene from last Friday's performance at the Imperial College Student Union. This shot is of Victoria Watson, leader of  her 5 member group (VWQT). Their music style is gypsy jazz - a mixture of old school instruments like the violin and flute, set against a acoustic bass guitar.

In the original photo, there was a strong yellow spot light, giving a yellow tint to the whole scene. I didn't quite like it, so I converted the shot to black and white. Do you think this goes well, or would you prefer my shots in color? Tell me, I want to know!

On friday I also covered DonkeyBox, so I promise some of their shots will be put up here later in the week (lighting wasn't so good when they were on stage though). Stay tuned....

comments (18)

I can't decide since I have not seen this picture in color... smile
Those are extremely difficult pictures to take. I think the result is nice. She looks like a talented musician !
The Maven: Thanks for the comments Sidney. Tomorrow I'll be sure to post a "Live gig" shot that's in full colour (though "full colour" usually means whatever colour spot light was on at that time!).
  • david
  • 6 Mar 2006, 00:57
Nice B&W portrait- I'm looking forward to the rest of your gig shots! cheers
The Maven: Thanks David. I think the themes work well, so I will post gig shots every day for the coming week. If you're doing the same, I guess we will see a lot more insect oo-la-la on your site too. wink
Nice one. I think a tighter crop would make it a bit more dramatic. It's a bit too "Quiet" IMHO.

Look forward to some of your Donkeybox shots. I have one up of them on my archive from last year.
http://www.alakija.shutterchance.com/photoblog/163.htm
The Maven: Good point, I should have cropped it on the computer. I remember the photo in that link - it was fun shooting that gig with you. Nowadays it's a bit boring. Maybe I need a new focal length to play with. I've done very conceivable shot with 50mm already.
Yah .. agree with Jide ... a tighter crop may make the photo better. I have never shot a live performance before, I am sure it will be a challenge for me, especially because of the dynamic lighting of the stage and movement of the performers.
The Maven: I think lighting is the biggest factor - with more lighting it becomes easier to focus on the moving performers, and you can also use a larger depth of field to compensate for misfocus.

The lighting at last Friday's gig was really variable. For Donkeybox only 1 of the performers had any light on his face. VWQT was much better, but not perfect. Not so much the fault of the lighting crew, but the lack of proper controls for adjustments over the spotlights.
  • David
  • 6 Mar 2006, 06:00
I agree with Sidney. Extremely difficult to take and you've done a good job with this.

Her left hand fades into darkness close to the elbow... but that's just me looking for something to say. smile Nice shot.
The Maven: Thanks for the comments David. I wish the lighting were better... in fact, the spotlight was focused on her arm rather than her face or violin (the emphasis is wrong). But that was completely outside of my control. These things are a bit of luck and very hit and miss sad
  • sk
  • 6 Mar 2006, 06:07
ARRRRGGGGGGGHHHHHHHHHHHH live gigs are a thorn in my side. I sometimes have to do some event typ photography for such events. One word: annoying lighting. That said I am waiting for what U will produce this week on the subject. Nice shot. maybe a tigher crop?
The Maven: Today I went through the shots I got of Donkeybox. In that series, the lighting was completely off. I think any shots I post from that gig is going to have to be black and white. Time to dig into the archives sad
  • jlc
  • 6 Mar 2006, 07:46
The whiteness of the right arm gives more power to the image. Well considering ! wink
The Maven: Thanks jlc. I wasn't too sure if the lighting on the arm was a good thing or not. But I think you've got a very good point - it focuses the viewer on the motion.
  • Shuva
  • 6 Mar 2006, 07:52
I thibk The B/W is a correct chice if your colors are not good like the way you made it sound. In stage photography what matters is getting the face in correct and crisp exposure. The attention always goes to the face.
The Maven: I appreciate your comments Shuva! smile
  • Micki
  • 6 Mar 2006, 10:51
I like it in b&w, especially if there was a yellow tint to the original. Have her parents seen this? Bet they'd want a print.
The Maven: I'm not sure if her parents have seen it. Actually, when you posted your comment, even Vikki hadn't seen it yet - see 3 comments below, she visited a few hours later wink But you're right, a print of this would be a nice piece for her parents to have.
  • Atul Rana
  • 6 Mar 2006, 12:42
Quite like the blur on the right hand, shows movement and the dynamics of what was going on. I am sure Vikki will show this to her parents!
The Maven: Hi Atul! Cheers for the kind comments. I'll be posting a shot of Donkeybox tomorrow (Tuesday). Do come back to check it out. smile
I think that this BW is fine, perhaps the violin looks too dark and the right arm too light. Maybe with a different channel mixing you could get a better BW. Maybe. It's impossible decide since seeing the colour one.
The Maven: Thanks Roberman, that's a very good point. I might try retouching the violin with a bit of dodge/burn.
  • Vikki Watson
  • 6 Mar 2006, 13:20
wow! I am very impressed. Afraid my knowledge of photography techniques is not so hot, but I like the BW, simple, dramatic and effective.

Thanks Duane!!
The Maven: Thanks for visiting Vikki. Glad you like the shot! Some of the ones in colour turned out quite well too smile
  • Paul
  • 6 Mar 2006, 15:06
I've never heard of "gypsy jazz", but it sounds interesting. Nice job on processing; stage shots are very difficult.
The Maven: Hi Paul! "Gypsy Jazz" is a bit hard to describe. I'm no pro here - just learnt that phrase yesterday myself when looking at VWQt's events decription on the college union website. So maybe my description is not accurate, but I found it to be very light hearted and fun. The opposite of a heavy technical jazz.
You've done a good job of capturing a very difficult subject looking forward to your series.
The Maven: Thanks Fantom Poet! I've just posted a colour shot for Part II of this series. Look forward to hearing your comments. smile
At 1/60sec, this picture shows she was playing pretty fast. Nice, solid capture.
The Maven: Yep, for these shots the 1/focal length rule doesn't apply. Although I was using a 50mm lens, I often need to use 1/60s or 1/80s to get consistent results. The motion of the performers throws out the focus too (and there's not much DOF at f/1.8).
  • John
  • 6 Mar 2006, 23:02
Nice shot, I like the movement, makes it real.
The Maven: Thanks John. Though I must admit the hand movement was an unexpected result. I had no choice but to select a low shutterspeed due to poor lighting conditions. Wasn't really thinking about it when I pressed the shutter button wink
Looks good in B&W and at least in my visualization it's better than the yellow version smile
Great choice for a black and white.

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camera Canon EOS 10D
exposure mode program mode
shutterspeed 1/60s
aperture f/2.5
sensitivity ISO800
focal length 50.0mm
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