Saturday, December 25, 2010

Pg Island Jazz Festival - Carefree

If you were born in the 60’s (of which I was not), you might have heard of this band. This 7-piece band was the largest group of the night, with a wide range of musical instruments from the saxophone to percussions and trombone. Since the guys in front of the stage nearly took up the whole stage, I had to forgo taking individual shots of the guys pegged behind (i.e. keyboards and drums). They got the crowd in a groovy mode with numbers like ‘Wild Wild West’, and brought back some nostalgia with Belaian Jiwa’, which was quite possibly THE sappy theme song of my generation (given the uber smooth R&B treatment by local group Innuendo in the 90’s).
Those in attendance was privileged to hear an English rendition of the song (albeit the first verse only), duly performed by Simon Justin Leo who formed the band in 1975.

Anyway, back to photography. A wide angle lens was of utmost importance since these guys almost filled the entire stage. I stayed close to the stage and decided to incorporate the cables and sound monitors to add some depth and ‘rawness’ to the images.

All in all, the stage lighting was simple yet adequate for fast lenses in general. Of the 3 lenses I shot with on two bodies(17-50mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and 50mm f/1.8), the 70-200mm was the most effective with its reach and compressed effect, as with the case for most live performances I’ve shot previously. The fact that organizers did not limit photography to the first 3-4 songs made life much simpler to a certain extent. It was free-flow movement for photographers and the audience, and as long as you do not climb onto the stage stabbing your lens into the face of a musician, then all is good!

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