12Bar is a fairly well known live music venue. John "The Jacket" Hawes, my way in to this event as his tag-along Tog was amazed to see a couple of rows of chairs in the gig space at the back. Its apparently never been done in his experience. This was taken at the famous 12Bar in near Tottenham Court Road, it was a very small venue with a balcony overlooking the stage almost completely covering the 'pit' in front of the stage. It allowed for some interesting shots, like the one to the right, because I was able to zoom into the faces of the singers at an incredible range with just a 200mm lens, and do it from a very non-traditional angle. Its a small music venue, little stage with a back wall from the 1600s.
I particularly like the closeup shot of the singer and the shadows it caught on the singers face because it gives a compelling capture of the singer, who was almost intimate in his interaction with the audience.
The aperture was pushed as wide as it could go, and the ISO was very high to ensure the shutter speed was fast enough to be clear. Whilst this shot also works in black and white, it loses something of the 'folksy charm' which is so natural to the singer.
The whole image was run through noise reduction software to make it as clean as possible, but you can still see the noise in the image in some areas, especially around the clothes due to the mixed color of the cloth.
He had a strong John Lennon look going on, though his music bore little resemblance. Sat on the little space, on a stool, under a spotlight. As such, he was easy to capture, 50mm lens, I could pull it back to f5.6 and ISO100 becuse of the lighting, which is incredible at a gig. I was even able to bring out the telephoto for some really upclose shots of his face and the microphone. Quite happy with the outcome of these. Couple of very atmospheric ones, though i had to take the exposure compensation down to -0.7.
Dust Poets are a five piece folk band from Canada, doing a variety of music, a number of covers and some BlueGrass (Faux-Grass as they called it). They were a challenge to get a photo John would be able to use. 50mm lens was not wide enough to capture them all considering the shallowness of the 'pit'. From the balcony you got a very top down view, but after taking alot, a handful came out with the singer looking up and other faces visible. I then moved to the chairs and leveraged the flip out screen to get some upwards shots of the band, capturing some interesting lighting effects on the ceiling. Happy I'd managed a couple of printable shots for John, I swapped over to the zoom and got some really nice up close ones, especially of the singer, who's had made for interesting shadows.
All in all, a much easier shooting venue than some I've done, but the challenge is the shape of the room, making moving around, and getting some distance almost impossible.