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Many photographers are uncomfortable venturing beyond their “comfort zone”. That certainly is true for me. That said, I have been thinking about branching out  beyond mine in order to explore new photography areas, especially those involving people. I was struggling to come up with a good project when I thought about where I live and that Austin is the “Live Music Capital of the World“.  I’m not sure how this statement is supported but suffice to say that we do have a lot of live music venues in the area. On any given night you can find live music spanning the entire spectrum. So, I decided to  conduct a photowalk through Austin’s major live music district and visited quite a few venues to find bands to photograph. The photograph below was taken at the third venue I visited. It was a 3-man band and the venue was scarcely attended so I had the space to move around and photograph at will. The image below is of the lead guitar player.

When I finally decided on the idea for the project I had to determine how the photographs would look.  I had envisioned that I would photograph the act of playing the instruments Vs. people’s faces, black and white, dark/grainy tones with bright highlights and use a wide aperture to minimize the depth of field (and good bokeh). So, I set out with my Sony Alpha A7R II and my Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 lens. The lens is 100% manual so I had to manage both the aperture and the focus on each photograph. I encountered many challenges. First, was the speed at which the band players move. Second, the low-light conditions of the venues. Low-light and fast speed are not good conditions for photography. So, I changed the ISO to AUTO with a maximum of 3200 to provide me more leeway with my shutter speed. The added advantage was the grainy appearance of the photos. This was a huge plus as it contributed to the overall look. Overall, I’m pleased with my first effort. I have a few more images that I will share in the days ahead. As usual, your feedback and suggestions are welcome.

Austin Live Music

This image was taken with my Sony Alpha A7R II using my Rokinon 85mm f/1.4 Lens. The camera was set on Aperture priority mode with the aperture set at f/4, shutter speed at 1/60th of a second and the ISO set at 2000. This is a single image processed in Lightroom and Nik SilverEfex Pro.

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3 thoughts on “Live”

  1. Stepping outside of your comfort zone and exploring new photography areas can be both exhilarating and rewarding, and your decision to delve into the world of live music photography is truly commendable. The vibrant atmosphere of Austin’s live music district offers a plethora of opportunities to capture the essence of musicians in action. Your vision for the project, focusing on the act of playing instruments and incorporating black and white tones with bright highlights, demonstrates your artistic intent and attention to detail.

    The photograph you’ve shared of the lead guitar player is captivating. The use of a wide aperture to create a shallow depth of field and good bokeh adds a sense of dynamism and draws the viewer’s attention to the subject. Despite the challenges posed by low-light conditions and fast-moving band members, your adaptability in adjusting the ISO and managing the manual lens showcases your technical skills and determination to capture the moment.

    The resulting grainy appearance contributes to the overall aesthetic, adding character and a raw energy to the images. Your first effort in this project is truly impressive, and I eagerly look forward to seeing more of your captivating photographs in the days ahead. Your openness to feedback and suggestions is commendable, as it allows for growth and further refinement of your craft. Keep up the fantastic work and continue to embrace new photographic endeavors with passion and creativity!

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