This was the 3rd Anniversary of the Stone Mountain LIVE show at the Stone Mountain Arts Center in Brownfield, Maine, and I was privileged to both photograph the show and produce a retrospective video that was played at the beginning of the evening. The special guest performer for the show was Mary Chapin Carpenter, who asked to not have her photos posted.
A complete photo gallery of the evening is available at [url]http://smac.dmg-photography.com/SML-Aug-2009[/url] and photos from other shows can be found at [url]http://smac.dmg-photography.com[/url].
Joining Carol Noonan on stage were the Stone Mountain Boys (Duke Levine, Kevin Barry, Sonny Barbato, Richard Gates and Billy MacGillivray with Chris Cote providing the vocal fireworks). Also performing that evening were Katy Noonan, Consuela Candelaria-Barry, and Eric Royer (the Guitar Machine guy). Here are a few photos from the show. Technical details follow the pix.
With the exception of the wide-angle shot (handheld with a Canon 1DMk2) all of the shots are a Canon 5DMk2 mounted on a fluid-head tripod (basically rigged for video shooting), a 70-200 f/2.8 lens, 1.4x TC at times. The ISO was either 3200 or 4000. The shutter speeds are 1/60 – 1/50 second as I was switching between shooting images and shooting video. (If and when I do this again I will likely preprogram one of the 5D’s custom settings to be optimized for shooting at SMAC so I can then switch back to manual mode at a higher shutter speed).
For the past few shows I’ve been shooting some limited video as well as stills — theoretically one of the great advantages of the 5D and similar cameras. Of course the reality of doing this is much more than just clicking on the movie mode — stabilization, tracking, and focusing on multiple subjects is much harder for video. Compounding the problems is that having the tripod and whatnot forces me to the back of the room — twice as far as I am normally from the stage (with probably a 2-stop drop in EV — somewhere in there)… I *knew* I should have purchased that 300mm f/2.8 back when I had a “real” income….
As always the Lightroom processing is pretty minimal. Some have minor exposure tweaks. The vertical shot of Kevin Barry has both exposure (1/3 stop) and fill (+20) because the band only gets indirect stage lighting along the wall and I tend to lock the exposure down for the main performers.
I have to admit I had a frustrating time with the video… again. Despite having the nice HoodLoupe gizmo on the back, critical focus is still hard to ascertain for a live performance. Part of this may be exacerbated by my eyeglasses and perhaps I should try using the Loupe with my naked eye (cranking that diopter adjustment hard). A magnifying viewer would help the videos, but not my bank account, so we’ll wait it out a bit longer. When taking video of set subjects, the 5D is actually easier to focus than my video camera. The 5X zoom makes it simple to locate and lock in focus. Unfortunately you lose this ability as soon as you start recording… (which has me thinking hard about trying the Magic Lantern firmware, which I think lets you zoom in while recording)