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06-06-2010, 05:40 PM   #46
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... still posting in the wind.....

Pretty busy weekend - with the Blade Show in town Friday thru' Sunday - then there were the usual music events - Friday night was a quadruple bill -

So as a rehearsal of sorts I went to my dark jazz venue for "practice" -

managed to get a good clear shot the the pianist... most still were blurred due to subject movement - he moves a lot while playing.
ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec, 18mm


I like this image - saw it when I was talking to him - had to darken the background in pp. ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/15sec, 18mm

Concert - 4 acts -



Kevin Spears - plays the Kalimba or thumb-piano through various effects.
Being the very first act hardly got any attention from the lighting......
(I didn't realize it - but that was lucky for this set)

The next act got so much lighting attention I thought I was and everyone else was going to have an epileptic fit
the lights were flashing/changing so much - it was almost impossible to see a shot and take it - I couldn't even do my usual trick of counting the light changes to predict when a combination was favorable - the lights were flashing/changing so fast - it was ridiculous!
(just in case people think I am complaining only because photography was difficult - I heard several complaints including band members)

yep strong over-saturated lighting - although it does look interesting - but hard on the camera and photo. ISO3200, f/3.5, 1/50sec, 18mm


a rare moment of sanity - ISO3200, f/4.5, 1/80sec, 38mm

Lee Boys - sacred steel band -
lights still changed but perhaps not quite so rapidly -
nevertheless it was still not a pleasant photographing experience -

ISO1250, f/3.5, 1/50sec, 18mm


ISO4000, f/4.5, 1/80sec, 38mm

The headliners were Toubab Krewe who had Roosevelt from the Lee Boys sit in for the entire set... Different lighting person
- sanity resorted....

ISO2000, f/3.5, 1/50sec, 18mm

That's a Kora he's playing:

ISO1000, f/4, 1/50sec, 23mm


ISO2500, f/4.5, 1/125sec, 73mm

Saturday got up early to go back to the Blade Show (all my shots of the knifemakers were on my compact canon G10) for the Tameshigiri demonstration (Japanese Sword Cutting) daylight is so much easier - but the timing was as difficult - well if photography were that easy everybody would be a great photographer....

No more words -
I'll let the photos speak for themselves.....




06-06-2010, 05:51 PM   #47
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
The festival had some really big names like Marcus Miller who did Miles Davis's Tutu Revisited, Spyro Gyra, A Lionel Hampton Celebration with Diane Schuur and Jason Marsalis - and as if that wasn't good enough -
the highlight for me was Stanley Clarke the legendary bassist with Hiromi.

Hiromi might not be that well known - but she was out of this world - ridiculous even, as in ridiculously good.
As it happens, I get to share a bill with Stanley & Hiromi at the Telluride Jazz Festival in August, as I'm playing with a decidedly lesser-known "local" (Denver) group on the same stage the day before. I'm excited to hear Hiromi - looks like quite a show from your shots!
06-06-2010, 06:33 PM   #48
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
As it happens, I get to share a bill with Stanley & Hiromi at the Telluride Jazz Festival in August, as I'm playing with a decidedly lesser-known "local" (Denver) group on the same stage the day before. I'm excited to hear Hiromi - looks like quite a show from your shots!
WoW! how cool is that!

Stanley and Hiromi were one of the best acts I've seen -
and you can tell I see/hear a lot of music.


The bass player from Pure Soundz - at the very dark jazz venue was in the audience
we were more or less next to each other on both days.

he said (like me) he hasn't got over the experience yet!

Stanley and Hiromi have made a recording together
"Jazz in the Garden" - as the Stanley Clarke Trio (with Lenny White) -
the CD is more straight-ahead post-bop jazz -
but one can hear the quality and synergy -
but it didn't quite prepare me for how good they were on stage live.

PS - I just looked you up on AllMusic.com -
is this you?

I am very impressed
(I'm listed there as well )
06-07-2010, 08:11 AM   #49
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Yes, that's me on allmusic. Cool that you've got credits listed there too! Great shots all around as always.

06-07-2010, 08:53 AM   #50
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
Yes, that's me on allmusic.
Looked up the Telluride Jazz Festival schedule -
that is some line up.

What's the name of the band you're playing with there?

Hope you get to meet Stanley Clarke (my all time favorite bassist)
and the incredible Hiromi......
and please take some photos too!
(need I really ask?)
06-07-2010, 12:50 PM   #51
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I'm with the Bob Montgomery Sextet. I get a VIP pass, so I expect to have pretty good stage access. But I don't want to make a nuisance of myself, either!
06-07-2010, 02:04 PM   #52
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
I'm with the Bob Montgomery Sextet. I get a VIP pass, so I expect to have pretty good stage access. But I don't want to make a nuisance of myself, either!
huh.... it's probably once in a lifetime -
wish I had a backstage pass for the Atl Jazz Fest -
I would have tried to be a polite and courteous
nuisance
06-07-2010, 05:13 PM   #53
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
huh.... it's probably once in a lifetime
Actually, I'm hoping not. This is, after all, what I do for a living (playing concerts, not shooting them). I'm actually hoping to sell the organizer of the festival on bringing my own octet there in the future, so it's actually kind of important that I not come off as being some star-struck newbie who doesn't *belong* on that stage.

06-07-2010, 10:23 PM   #54
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QuoteOriginally posted by Marc Sabatella Quote
so it's actually kind of important that I not come off as being some star-struck newbie who doesn't *belong* on that stage.
I doubt if anyone would consider you a newbie....
just like not all photographers are necessarily star-struck.....
and showing one's appreciation for a fellow artist is not usually "uncool".
06-08-2010, 05:58 AM   #55
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Bang for the buck, it just doesn't get better than the Kx. ISO 4000. Shot in RAW with Vivitar 24mm f2.8, catch-in-focus. Published in the newspaper.
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06-08-2010, 09:37 AM   #56
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QuoteOriginally posted by tarsus Quote
Bang for the buck, it just doesn't get better than the Kx. ISO 4000. Shot in RAW with Vivitar 24mm f2.8, catch-in-focus. Published in the newspaper.
Very cool!
Nice to see you enjoying the K-x
and congratulations on the newspaper publication.
06-09-2010, 11:04 AM   #57
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Battery usage -
I use eneloops exclusively with the K-x
(well OK. "DuraLoops" as well - which are Duracell Pre-Charged with white tops and made in Japan - confirmed re-badged eneloops)

I mostly charge them on a Maha/PowerEX C-9000 at 1000mA charge current - fully - that is when the charger shows "Done" - I leave them in the charger for the extra 2 hours for the slow "topoff" charge at 100mA.

I also have a Soshine SC-C3 Intelligent Rapid Charger that I use occasionally for one or two batteries when the Maha C-9000 is being fully used.

My regime is to discharge the batteries after they are depleted in the K-x (this is normally some hours after changing batteries - after I get home) - to see the remaining capacity - normally about 20-35mAh which means they are pretty well "empty" - but just safely without over-discharge.

In the meantime I'll top-up charge another set of eneloops to carry as my spare - that is to charge them at the full optimum 0.5C = 1000mA until they show "done" - which normally only "adds" about 30-50mAh - since they have been stored idle probably for about a month or so.

Then I wait until the next day giving the empty batteries a "rest" before charging in the Maha C-9000 as described above.

Once fully charged I set them/store aside - as I cycle through 3 sets - one in the K-x, one set carried with the K-x as spare, and the most recently depleted and charged in store at home. (I do also carry the lithium AA that came with the K-x as my emergency back-up)

So what kind of shot count do I get on average?

normally over 1,100 shots per charge.

My highest count so far has been 1,382 (on a set of DuraLoops)

Lowest other than premature termination/changing of battery and when I first got the camera and there was just lots of playing - was 839 - I am still kind of mystified by that count.

My current set of batteries (actual eneloops) is at shot count 1,326 - showing half orange (I have not yet seen the empty red signal) - so this set looks as if it's easily on its way to beating my highest shot count so far.....

My experience with batteries has shown:

full Green lasts for about 1/3 (33%) usage -
half Orange first shows when there is still about 2/3 (66%) capacity left -
empty Red shows when there is about 1/6 (16.7%) capacity left.

(I am on firmware version 1.01.00.07; and shot count 13,375 - so that is from 11 changes of batteries)

Last edited by UnknownVT; 06-09-2010 at 11:28 AM.
06-16-2010, 01:47 PM   #58
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QuoteOriginally posted by UnknownVT Quote
- with the Blade Show in town Friday thru' Sunday -
Knife photography is one of the more difficult skills that I have not really acquired.
Mostly it is to do with lighting and with mirror polished blades the (unwanted) reflections in the blade.

Knife photographers use a studio set up of a light tent and various backing papers and studio flash - although I understand this in theory and with the right set up I probably could (at least I wish I could ) take better knife photos - it's just that I do not take knife photos enough for investing in a set up.

This is an example of a make shift set up at the Blade Show by Point Seven Photos -


Anyway I have found a way to mitigate some of this by not using a camera......
but by using my flatbed scanner:


the use of a flatbed scanner kind of eliminates problems of focus, exposure, lighting and a lot of reflections -
although mirror polish is still very much a problem, most mirror polishes end up showing black.....

Some I feel can be pretty successful even if they were intended as utiliterian -

(the designer said these were some of the best photos he had seem of this knife - didn't have the heart to tell him I scanned these....)
see: some general flatbed Scanners advice


Anyway during the Blade Show I acquired a knife and I wanted to show it on BladeForums.com - and this was one occasion when I found the object would not lie properly on the glass of the flat bed scanner - so I took it outside on a big sheet of white art paper and took some shots with the K-x.

The problem was that it was about 7pm and conditions were cloudy bright the results were OK but had a blue cast -
This is the original Unedited version with only resize - EXIF should be still attached right now (caveat - PhotoBucket can mysteriously drop metadata)


So I had to work at these photos to get the white balance right - I ended up selecting the gray point near the edge of the blade - where one can see the blue cast was pretty pronounced - resulting in these:




which I thought were reasonable as they were not much more than "snapshots" outdoors in early evening light without any special studio set up.

One can just see that the white balance adjustment was slightly different - as the tint of the sheath came out different in the two shots - but I was too lazy to adjust/correct for those.
06-19-2010, 01:05 PM   #59
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Last night was the Wood Brothers (Oliver and Chris - latter of Medeski Martin & Wood) at the larger venue - and the lights were particularly good - more than redeemed themselves from that epileptic fit inducing display of a couple weeks ago.


ISO1250, f/4, 1/60, 28mm


ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/80, 43mm


ISO2000, f/5.6, 1/100, 55mm


ISO640, f/4, 1/50, 24mm

They were joined on stage by the opener and their friend Joe McGuinness -

ISO1600, f/4, 1/50, 21mm


ISO800, f/3.5, 1/50, 18mm

All shots were on the humble 18-55mm Mk 1 kit zoom.

Battery - this set of eneloops lasted 1,578 shots -
this is an all time high shot count for me.

Because the battery depleted came up in the middle of my shooting -
I did turn the camera off and back on to squeeze in a few more shots -
but as it was, when I checked for the remaining charge capacity after I got home some hours later the batteries showed 31, 31, 65, and 35 mAh remaining - which means they were nearly completely but safely discharged.

Last edited by UnknownVT; 06-20-2010 at 12:20 AM.
06-25-2010, 03:49 PM   #60
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There may well be something perverse in what I am doing .....

Last night I went back to the dark jazz club -
it was for some reason extra dark - the lights at the back alcove on stage weren't even on and there were fewer lights on at the front.

Let's try and set the scene -

Both these stage shots were as-is no brightness/contrast or any lighting adjustments -

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/25sec, 18mm


ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/20sec, 18mm

pretty dark right? (more about the second scene setting stage shot later**)
that alcove where the bassist and drummer are is in the shadows
- no lights on in there.

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/10, 35mm


ISO5000, f/4, 1/8sec, 33mm

No these were by no stretch of the imagination sure things -
in fact I had more blurred shots of the drummer and bassist than these very few acceptable ones.

Those may have been dark but there were even darker.......

The pianist whom I have spoken plenty about was in a just as dark place
(like that dramatic phrasing?)

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec, 18mm

This was the only reasonable shot of him of the night - even so there is subject movement.

I had difficulties focusing last night because it was that dark....
and the gig was still the same - musicians do play plenty off stage - but it was just darker last night -

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec. 18mm
I had to focus on the junction between his white shirt and jeans to get focus.....


ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec, 18mm
This was one of the very few shots where I actually managed to focus in time for the shot.......
there was really nothing of good enough contrast to focus on,
and if there was it probably was moving!


ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec, 18mm
I had to focus on his T-shirt front to have a higher contrast target.....

Notice the last four shots were ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/4sec?
That's about EV/LV=0
which is close the spec'd low limit of the Pentax K-x AF -
don't forget I am using a lens with max aperture of f/3.5 as opposed to the spec measuring lens of probably f/1.4 - this is 2 2/3 stop slower.....

**and why did I take that second scene setting stage shot? -
composition looks kind of unbalanced as-is -
well it's because there is someone playing off stage (right) in the shadows
with a bit of PP it looks like:

ISO5000, f/3.5, 1/20sec, 18mm
I had to hold back on the stage center, while bringing out the off stage........

Nevertheless, I am not complaining -
because I still managed shots like these:

ISO5000, f/4, 1/13sec, 33mm


ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/40sec, 35mm
This is Danny Harper - and I'm pretty sure he's doing circular breathing - which I didn't think was possible with a trumpet.


ISO5000, f/4, 1/20sec, 33mm
Grammy nominated Russell Gunn who always seem to up the ante when he plays.

and I really like this shot -

ISO5000, f/4.5, 1/50sec, 35mm

All shots on the humble 18-55mm (Mk 1) kit zoom - because of the dark conditions all were basically wide open for the respective focal lengths -
so next time someone says the kit zoom is not so good.......
dare I be so bold and suggest - could it possibly be the photographer rather than the lens?
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