gonerfest 9

Since my monitor has gone out and I have little desire to learn how to use Photoshop on a 15" laptop, I’ve been considering switching to posting photos straight from the camera like the Johnny Lowebow and St. Vitus pics I recently uploaded. This idea has, undoubtedly, also been spurred by the fact that I was able to get some really good shots due to fantastic lighting at the last two concerts I attended. This is not always the case, in fact, it’s rarely so.

I’ve also been making an effort to learn how to use my flash more effectively, primarily by breaking it out and actually using it. I’ve long shunned the strobist arts, but when that Nobunny photo won the Forecastle contest for me, I started to reconsider as that show was one of few I shot with my strobe before abandoning it. I’ve always preferred fast glass to popping a flash, trying to be as minimally invasive to both the performer and the audience as possible, but I’ve really been enjoying the increase in natural sharpness I’ve seen in my pictures since mounting my strobe again. These efforts have also made for better photos sans editing.

Gonerfest is this week and it will be the real test. I’ve rented 2 additional Sigma prime lenses, a 20mm for wider shots, a 50mm for tighter shots, to go with the 30mm I shoot with regularly, a lens that has been a real workhorse and performed for me admirably. While I have a nice 2.8f zoom lens, I’ll need a wider aperture to capture the rowdy acts of the night time shows, sure to be poorly lit, with any sort of crispness, and so I’m going all prime. I figure anything tighter than 50mm is pointless; if I’m in a situation where, say an 85mm, is needed, there will be a sea of people, their heads which will be bopping, and their arms which will be apt to wave about, between me and the performers, making a good shot a rare beast indeed. I’m most interested in the 20mm, which will hopefully allow me to get better group shots when I’m pressed up against the stage like a soon to be rape victim bent over a table. I also plan on bringing my flash into the fray.

So Gonerfest 9 will be the test. If I get some good shots, shots worth posting, this might be a new phase for me. In all honesty, looking at photos and rating them good or bad, wheat or chafe, and not trying to figure out which ones could be punched up and worked on to create something worthy of posting sounds vastly simpler and a lot easier. Of course, it could turn out that I have very few, if any, additional photo posts until I finally get to once again pull Photoshop up on a 32" monitor and reduce some noise, unsharp mask, and throw a Kodachrome filter over the whole thing. We will see.  Feel free to comment, provide feedback, or hurl excrement.

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Cyclops at the Buccaneer after party in Memphis during Gonerfest 9