No Anchor + Ø + Vassals @ The Waiting Room, 31.05.2013

No Anchor @ The Waiting Room, Friday 31 May 2013

Another evening at The Waiting Room and another chance to force myself to only use my f1.7 50mm lens again.

The trouble with using it tonight is that it’s very restrictive in a busy, small venue. As a prime lens, it’s a lens where you have to use your feet rather than adjust the focal length, which makes it hard to use when the venue is packed and you’re stuck in one spot and can’t move. In retrospect, maybe the side of stage bit of The Waiting Room is best place to take photos from. The venue often fills the back half of the room towards the door, making it hard for people to get forwards into the empty spaces. As I wrote previously, the problem with venues where you need to use a f1.7 aperture is that they’re generally so dark, the extra stops don’t really help much. As is par for the course at The Waiting Room, it’s ISOs in the 2000 – 2500 range, luck-of-the-draw shutter speeds of 1/40 and below and still needing to bump the exposure in the processing stage.

Some photographers say that black and white is the last bastion of a poorly taken photograph. Those people always appear to be those with the most expensive camera and lens set-ups, as if they need to justify the money they’ve spent to scorn anything that isn’t technically perfect, isn’t pin sharp and is noisy.

This set of photos isn’t good by any stretch of the imagination. The Vassals photos are the best of bad bunch, made easier by there being a bit more space in the room and more lights. I don’t get much from O, the room is too full, the guitarist plays with back to the main room and also positions himself across the door to the side area, which, given his movements, makes it impossible to move out to the side space. The No Anchor photos are ok but for a lot of the time I just can’t get the camera to focus as I think I’m too near to my subjects.

The photos needed something to save them so they all became black and white, and given a gritty film look, with the contrast turned up. The last bastion of a poorly taken photo but sometimes that’s all you can do.

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