First up on the bill were Ivory Yardsale, a two-piece band from Kettering. I got a few shots of them whilst getting a feel for the lighting conditions. I was shooting in manual mode, leaving the ISO on auto - I wanted to be able to play with the depth of field a bit whilst still making sure that I got the shot (even if it risked being a bit noisy).
The Bophins were an altogether different proposition. An energetic four-piece - it was non-stop concentration to keep track of what was going on. In particular, the lead guitarist, Tim O'Neill, moves around a lot. I used the 85mm lens for most of the shots, but switched to the 50mm to get some (slightly) wider angles when I couldn't get far enough back (the bar was in the way!). I kept the shutter speed at 1/125s most of the time, which was just fast enough to avoid blurring of the guitarist hands. There was some blurring on the drumsticks, but I think that works quite well, giving a sense of movement. Pushing the speed any faster just saw the ISO jump up to 6400, and some very noisy images.
I finally got away from Wellingborough at midnight, and thanks to a stretch of the M1 being closed for roadworks, the journey home was almost 2 hours... Still, for a first attempt, I'm quite pleased with the results - well worth the trip.
I got myself a camera earlier in the year (a Canon EOS70D). The original reason was to be able to get better reference material for my artwork - phone cameras are rubbish indoors... But, I've fancied trying my hand at 'proper' photography for a while now, so I decided to make a bit of a project of it.
First mistake: I should have bought just the camera body, rather than getting the 18-55mm lens bundled with it... A bit of trying it out, and some more internet research quickly determined that the kit lens wasn't going to cut it for either portraits or low-light conditions. Rather than shell out for an expensive zoom lens, I decided to get a Canon EF 85mm f/1.8 prime lens. I used this lens on a beginner's course at the start of April (www.digitalphotographycourses.co.uk), and love it. But, using it on a crop sensor camera, you need quite a lot of room to work in, so, I ended up getting the Canon EF 50mm f/1.4 as well. Oops - I'm already turning into a gear junkie!