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


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