Sunday, 1 July 2012

"Early for a Thursday"

I often struggle to come up with titles for things like photographs and blog posts so I make no apologies for stealing the title for this post from the three young people shown above; after all, the post is largely about them. They are the Jaywalkers and the photographs here were all taken last week at the launch of their new CD at the Chester Music Theatre, the title of which is "Early for a Thursday". You might be wondering what contrivance I can possible come up with to make this fit with the title of the blog and all I can say is that it is more about the 'light' than the 'landscape'.

These three incredibly talented musicians are Mike, Lucy and Jay and they play a mixture of folk and bluegrass music. Now, despite having what I consider to be a fairly eclectic taste in music, folk and bluegrass are two genres that I have never really paid much attention to; in fact, I would go as far as saying that, until recently, I would simply have dismissed it. However, I was predisposed to giving the Jaywalkers a chance since Jay is a good friend of my eldest daughter. K had often told us that her friend had a wonderful voice but I wasn't really prepared for just how good or that she was such an accomplished fiddler (so to speak) and guitarist. I first heard them when I borrowed K's copy of their first CD, "16 Miles" (I've bought my own now) and was, frankly, surprised not just by how good they were but also how much I genuinely enjoyed the music. Then I saw them live and was blown away! There is a whole different level of appreciation which comes from seeing the Jaywalkers live and I think it was only then that I truely realised how talented they are. I can't honestly say whether I now like folk and bluegrass of whether I am just a Jaywalkers fan but I do know that I will be far more open minded as a result of seeing and hearing them. I would also urge everyone reading this to go and buy their CDs and, if you get a chance, see them live. You won't regret it.

And so to the boring bit about the camera. This was yet another opportunity to test out the D800 - this time in low light. All the images here were handheld at ISO 6400, the highest native setting on the camera. As with all my observations, there is nothing very scientific about what I have to say but it certainly appears to be every bit as good, if not a little better, than the D700 in terms of noise. The exposure was good - a little overexposed when using matrix metering but perfect when I switched to spot - to be expected considering the dark background and spotlighting (a bit of a lesson for me in gig photography). I also had a bit of a play around with the formats available; the nature of the seating meant I could only really use my camera from where I was sat (about half way back and to one side) or from the back of the hall. I was fairly comfortable that the resolution would make cropping very easy but I also discovered that switching to DX format allowed me to effectively crop 'in camera'. The pictures here are a mixture of formats and both approaches have worked well.

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