December 13th, 2007

xmas

Dig That Crazy Christmas!

Last night Kitty and I went to the annual Brian Setzer Christmas Spectacular at one of the local Indian casinos. This was the 3rd year in a row for attending this show. We weren't going to attend this year's show since we opted for Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (which is tonight!) instead, but when Kitty won tix from a local radio station, of course we had to go!

It was basically the same show as the past 2 years with minor changes. Since the Brian Setzer Orchestra has a new cd out, they played a few cuts from that. There was the usual mix of big band re-mixes of Christmas songs as well as a "solo" set of old Stray Cats songs. All-in-all it was another very fun show. As one of my co-workers who plays guitar stated, Brian Setzer is a guitarist's guitarist. He can play rockabilly as well as classical style or jazz.

One thing I wanted to try out was to photograph the show. There are big signs that say photography is prohibited, but I think it's more to prevent the performers from getting blinded by flashes. With so many cell phones having cameras built in, it's almost an unenforcible rule. With me, however, I brought my digital SLR with my 300mm zoom lens.

I had tried once before to photograph a concert. Back in the mid 80's I sneaked a camera into a Crosby, Stills, & Nash concert one week and a Culture Club concert the next. I didn't want to use a flash (which would guarantee a flock of security descending upon me) so I bought 1000 ISO film. I had just enough light to get some pics without blurring. The only problem was that I didn't know how spotlights would effect the pics. Faces got blurred because the meter was taking an average reading, thus overexposing the face. I needed to stop it down a few notches. With film cameras, I didn't find this out until a week later when I had the pics developed. This time, I was able to make adjustments on the fly. The results were remarkable. I set the ISO to 1600 with a night setting. Since we were towards the back, I had the zoom all the way out to 300MM for most of the show. Here are the results:


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