Free to students

SAU offered students a free concert tonight at Story Arena. I’d never heard of Ron Pope but I liked his music pretty well, kind of a rockin’ blend of folk, Americana and Blues. The stage was erected on the dirt floor of the arena, where rodeos are usually held. You can’t give free stuff away, so as I expected, the arena was hardly SRO, but Pope and his band acquitted themselves well enough. I guess you have to close your eyes and pretend there are lots more paying customers out there in the dark than there might actually be. (Well, paying customers or bored, broke college students, take your pick.)

I’d never shot a rock concert before, so I had to do some research beforehand. As I had totally fucked up my commencement photos a few weeks ago – my settings were just all completely wrong for the situation, and I made some bonehead rookie errors and bad decisions that were just embarrassing – I really wanted to nail this. I decided to use two cameras equipped with super-fast lenses: the 70-200mm Nikkor f/2.8 and the 85mm Nikkor f/1.8. I did some reading, and learned that, yes, as expected, I should jack everything up into the stratosphere – ISO, aperture, exposure compensation, etc. Still, I like learning new things, and I ran across a useful tip: make sure to adjust the internal metering on my DSLRs from matrix to spot. This seemed to make all the difference in the world, as the lighting situation in the arena cried out for this very adjustment.

I include here a small selection of some of the best photos from the concert (well, the portion I stayed for). For grayscale, I used the channel mixture feature on Photoshop. Otherwise, I actually did very little post-production toning.

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