Canon 7D, 80mm, F/2, 1/40s, ISO 1000
While I was preparing my business trip to San Francisco a few weeks back I found out that Charlie Hunter was playing in Mill Valley on the one evening I was free. I booked tickets and was treated to a wonderful light-hearted duo gig with Charlie on his weird bass-guitar hybrid and Scott Amendola on drums. I wasn’t close enough to the stage for repeated shooting, so I just soaked in the music and laughed at the stage banter and interaction between these two wonderful musicians. Still, I managed to capture this shot which exemplifies the trademark Charlie Hunter face contorsion in the middle of a solo. Processed in Lightroom with X-Equals’ XeL 2.0
Sunrise Under the Bay Bridge
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/11, 14s, ISO 200 w. ND 64 external filter and ND 8 internal filter
It’s surprisingly difficult to do sunrise shots of San Francisco. The city is nearly always lost in fog until close to mid-day, and on my first day there last week I didn’t realise how lucky I was to catch this much of a sunrise, which is admittedly not much. Still, I quite liked the composition, with the wooden piles at the forefront and what little of the morning sunlight is visible directly under the bridge. I remain amazed at my x100s’ capabilities and am seriously thinking about ditching the Canon system altogether…
Le Retour de Landru
Canon EOS 7D, 35mm, f/8, 1s, ISO 1000
Models: Aurélie & Guillaume
This week I’ll be posting photos from a couple of series I did recently with 1930s models. This first one is suitably creepy, the title refers to the infamous Landru, our French equivalent to Jack the Ripper (except he was caught and executed). The photo was shot with street lighting (hence the long exposure) with two great (and immobile) models. It was edited in Snapseed to accentuate the yellow night glare.
Eric (The Viking)
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5, 1/4000s, ISO 3200
My friend Eric has a new, scruffier look. When I met him in Dublin last week I took a few shots, and bizarrely the one that came out the best was the one I took having inadvertently knocked the shutter speed dial from A to 4000 on the x100s. I did have to massage it in post quite a bit, but I like the result!
Bass in the Dark
Canon 7D + Lensbaby, 80mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 800
When I revisit old concert shots, I occasionally stumble upon some under-exposed ones that seem to have potential. Instead of trying to get the exposition corrected, I sometimes go deeper into underexposition to try and get a mood out of them. This is a photo of bassist Gilles Coquard at a Sébastien Charlier concert. It was shot with the lensbaby, and I like how the silhouette is picked up by a tiny bit of backlighting. I think it works, but I’m not quite sure and I’d certainly like to hear what you think.
The Griot’s Hand
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.2, 1/160s, ISO 1000
Pedro Kouyaté is a fantastic musician from Mali and a concert photographer’s dream, being so photogenic. I was lucky enough to shoot one of his concerts from up close back in 2010, and I still extract gems from that session three years later. This is one of those. It’s different from my normal fare, but I really like the framing and action. Pedro has recently launched a crowdfunding initiative to finance his next solo album Tramontane. Head over here to find out more about it.
Canon 1000D, 80mm, f/1.4, 1/80s, ISO 800
Revisiting my archives of concert shots for this book project I have, I rediscover some old gems. This shot of Vinyl‘s Billy Frates taken at the Blue Nile in New Orleans during Jazzfest 2010 stands out. The green cast is the lighting, not a post-production addition, and I think it conveys a great feel. It also goes to show that I was once capable of doing sharp shots at f/1.4, and that my Canon 1000D wasn’t such a bad camera after all!
Canon 7D + Lensbaby Composer, f/4, 1/125s, ISO 500
I’ve started working on a book project showing my favourite B&W concert shots and talking about the musicians and why I love their music. I was sorting through the photos of an Avishai Cohen gig from 2010 when this shot came up. It was in color, but I tweaked a nice B&W and I think it works a treat. Edited in Lightroom with x-equals’ XeL 2.0.
Fuji x100s, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 640
Walking through Gamla Stan in Stockholm near dusk I found this marvelous statue with the latin text backdrop. I wish I’d had a telephoto lens and a high vantage points for a really shallow depth of field shot, but failing that, this will do.
Strings in Châtelet
Fuji X100S, 35mm, f/5.6, 1/60s, ISO 6400
In the Châtelet metro station in the center of Paris you will often find these string formations, who I suspect are music conservatoire students, playing the standards of classical music. I was strolling past last time when I stumbled upon them and decided to take a few shots. I’m still amazed at the quality of the x100s shots in low-light. I only noticed while processing that it was ISO 6400 and I couldn’t believe it…