Sunday, July 29, 2012

July Wrapping up already

Seems like summer has barely started and we are 2/3's the way through it already.

Miss Tracey stopped in with her good friend Vera, for some update pics.
Vera was kind enough to have an obligatory "Girl with Bass" picture taken.

The Ibanez Roadstar II has not been held so gentle in quite awhile !

As in the last post its festival time in London, so every weekend has something going on somewhere.

And at first although just headed out for some pics at the Festival turned into a weekend of photo's starting Friday night.

Has been awhile since I have been out to catch some bands play at the local bars. In fact a really long time, even though tried to catch a Bender gig out in Port Stanley on a Sunday afternoon, but rained out.

Went to the Eastside Bar and Grill for the first time, down Hamilton Rd. I have driven by it a few times living in London, but never really knew what is was like. That night original group Core and local cover band Blackwing were playing.

Core opened up playing all original tunes, good energy , good tunes

Followed up by local cover band Blackwing followed up with dueling guitars, solid playing and great set list. My first time at the Eastside and had really great time.

Guitar player playing Carparelli guitars, left handed at that.
Made in Canada , really nice finishes , great sound, worth checking out !

matching axes in Blue and Red - he in the midst of upgrading pickups to they have matching Dimarzio's

Mr Kirk was out recording the event on his laptop and rack of AD units - nice setup - bar even has split feeds so he was getting direct miking from stage ! cool

Will be back to this place, met the sound/light guy and got into discussion about some pics for the bar website - so have to head back soon.

That weekend was the Home County Fair in Victoria Park, London, ON.
Lots of acoustic acts, there were 5 stages going on that I counted with a wide range of acts. Highlight for me was seeing Ian Thomas for the first time on the Main Stage.

Gotta like that big Gretch with gold hardware !!

This one was running around the front of the stage with mom close by.
Gotta love a quick pic gorilla style from the hip that turns out - Canon T1i with Sigma 30mm f/1.4

Big crowds out for this festival and the music, nice to see this happening.

Another act I was up for seeing was Cuff the Duke, When I was rolling around Ontario from Tim Horton's to Tim Horton's all day, my favorite radio listening at the time was CBC, where i heard all kinds of new music. These guys were on  just about every day, nice seeing them play live.

 Great shot of the bass player,playing some big hollow body - very cool - of course as usual lighting killing me with color, so black and white is always easier.

Awesome vintage Fender Telecaster !!
Pushing the Canon 5D when taking these pics, though had enough light to run at iso800 and f/2.8

Shot of the bandstand as I was leaving for the night, with Cuff the Duke onstage.
Nice seeing lights and sky !

I came back out next morning, to find some food and catch a few acts on stage, acoustic at this time of day.

Ladies from Lotus Thai Restaurant, had there place setup to feed the masses.

And of course they made sure , yours truly was well fed , thank you girls !!
They dished out over 800 spring rolls in one day - yes they are that good !

Have seen the local Taoist Tai Chi Society of London at a few events, really nice watching them move through their forms.

And whats a festival downtown without your regular assembly of street musicians out trying to make a buck.

I paid a loonie for my click of the shutter

of course festivals and public events are all about people with camera's so my Girls With Camera pic of the event.

Now if she only knew that face was on the wide wide web.

And some some hardware !!  Road hardware that is.
Awesome rat rod truck in Port Stanley a few weeks ago.

And then quick shot of a vintage Volvo at the Wortley Roadhouse, Wortley Village.

A few weeks ago I found a great deal on a Canon 85mm f/1.8 on Kijiji (my favorite pace to find stuff) a deal that could not be passed up. Met fellow photographer and volunteer Hun-jong.

He invited me out to help take pics of little league baseball, doing this for one of his coworkers.

Was great exercise camera wise, as your dealing with bright sand and dark trees. So figuring out exposure compensation while in AV mode means your checking shots in between pics.
My usual method is to under expose abit and then bring it back up if needed.

Fun part was catching some action shots.
You have to wait and watch, so i just focused on the catcher (in this instance) and waited for shots to come.

Just like the big leagues !

There is another game coming up, so will change up cameras. I did these with the Canon 5D, hich makes for silky smooth but if I take the Canon T1i, I get advantage of the x1.6 crop factor. THat means the Sigma 70-200 is actually running around 110mm to 320mm - giving me a little more extension on the zoom.
Might be worth it.


Sunday, July 8, 2012

Festival Time !!

Its festival time here in London, so for the next little while Victoria Park in the centre of town will have something going on at one time or another.

This past weekend is Sunfest, a multicultural festival that really celebrates the diversity of London.
Best parts are the food and the music,
For me an opportunity to get out and take some band pics on one of the stages setup around Victoria Park.

For this I took the Canon 5D Mk1 and the Sigma 70-200mm f/2.8. Now this camera is not knwon for its abilities in low light situations, so using this way is pushing its limits. The pics dont do wel at high ISO, but take in to account the Full Frame Sensor and if we can keep the speed up, pics can be ok for web publishing. Will thank the silky smoothness of full frame and some ok glass.

First up on Thursday was Palo Cruzao, from Colombia. Although playing latino/colombian style tunes, these guys should be doing some cool jazz standards. 

The unique part of this group was the Harp player.

This guy could play !!  I later found out that this harp is Diatnic scale, means the strings are all tuned to the white keys on a piano. So for any sharps or flats (black keys on piano) he has to improvise by 'palming' the strings to create the sounds he needs.  Takes big skill and practice !!

Add to that some tremendous bass playing by this guy , using a really nice Washburn - gotta love real wood !

The Canon at this point is running on full steam at 800ISO and f/2.8 all natural light of the evening.

Origionally from Guinea, West Africa and now calling Canada home, 3 times Juno Award Winner, Alpha Yaya Diallo , took to the stage with some African inspired sounds.

If you have listened to enough guitar music, you recognize that sound that i have heard from African based musicians, real easy to listen to.

Cool drummer on board with him.

Then a walk around the park, unfortunately the sun is down and the Canon is almost useless without some light or a flash. The 5D does not have built in flash, so unless i pull the big flash out its look but no clock.

On the other side of the park at the Beer Tent, I watched Dehli 2 Dublin play a few songs, and then made a point of coming back Friday night to get some good pics and to listen to more tunes.

How to explain this band and their sound, as per their bio online they are an "Electro, Acoustic, Celtic, Punjabi fusion with a touch of Reggae, Breakbeat, Drum n’ Bass and Hip Hop" kinda group.

You hear it all at one point or another.

Take some Delhi

Some drumming

add a DJ for some back beat, sounds and rythm

On the Celtic end of course you need some fiddle !
So add in Blonde ball of energy, ripping up the strings

And for a twist how about a kilt wearing, sitar playing,, Asian guy ???

Ok heres a kilt shot - no I didn't check to see if he was commando, which would be proper kilt wearing etiquette.

Now its getting dark and as I said the Canon is going to pieces now - cant keep up.
Remember this is  7 yr old camera technology.

So last band of the night was the Souljazz Orchestra out of Toronto.
At this point in the Beer Tent the lighting is just brutal, back of stage is a dark shadow and the front is not much better. So am dealing with extremes here , while not using flash to fill in the blanks.

At this point I have to switch to Black and White, to help deal with the issues of low light shooting. You can see the challenge, the horn player on the left is lit up really nice and the one on the right is living in a shadow.
 we are now in the ISO 1600, f/4 (for some wide angle from the Canon 24-105mm f/4L) so speed is my enemy, B/W helps hide it a little.

 Cool shot of the night was this guitar player with the back light blowing out the shot. Took a few minutes to get this one as I waited for him to move in/out of the light.

Last night of the festival is Sunday, night go out during day light for some people pics - we will see