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.
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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I love the concept, the detail, the skin tone and the Gibson SG too! Looks like a great adventure.
Thanks Duncan. This one is special for me as I still have my Gibson SG…