I think this is one of those other instances where I get more evidence that the creative process cannot be forced…
Almost every Tuesday, I shoot stills and take some video at Blue Martini in Brickell. While normally it is a lounge/bar for the upwardly mobile (in a previous age, they’d be called yuppies) Brickell set, it does play host to some entertaining events, most notably Jive With The Band, which takes place every Tuesday.
I’ve been over what Jive is before, but for those of you joining us from today’s unexpected shout-out on SFDB, Jive is basically a ‘live band karaoke’ experience, where a cover band, in this case, Higher Ground, will play a song of your choice from their songbook, while you attempt to sing your way through it. The winner gets a cash prize, and everyone who participates drinks for free. Fair enough, I guess.
Anyways, the event producer, my good friend Emi Guerra tapped me to document the performances on a weekly basis. I do mostly stills, as well as work on my video skills in what is a fairly controlled and static environment.
As of late I’ve been shooting this event using my Canon 50 1.2 L lens. It’s positively amazing what this lens can do. Sure, it’s a prime, but to paraphrase Cartier-Bresson, if you need to zoom in, “move closer!”
That being said, I can mostly predict the results. I enjoy the results, and I really enjoy the work. And, once in awhile, lightning strikes, even in something I do every week. The image at the beginning of this article exemplifies that.
It’s all ambient light. The stage lighting, the candles, even the glow from the POS system touchscreen, all captured wide open at _f_1.2 at an ISO of 1250, with a 1/30s shutter speed. On a slower lens I would have had to been at a higher ISO, maybe even as high as 6400. The MKII, despite it’s age, excels at high-ISO imagery, but you always try to go to the lowest ISO you can get away with, and worry about the noise later, or not at all…
When you are behind the lens, that’s all you can do sometimes. Sometimes that’s all you need to do. Sometimes that’s all you should do.