I took my mirrorless camera with me yesterday when attending my friend Chiemi's recital at Global Labo on Eighth Avenue. I'll soon be posting on my other blog, The Aesthetic Adventure, my thoughts on the performance itself, but in the meantime I wanted to put here a few of the photos I shot while part of the audience.
The greatest difficulty I encountered was in the ambient room lighting. As you can see from the shots here, there was an entire wall of floor-to-ceiling windows behind Chiemi. Bright sunlight poured through them that completely overpowered the overhead fluorescent light fixtures and shone directly in the eyes of the audience. As I have always had an aversion to using on-camera flash, I ramped up the ISO to 800 (which I've found by experience to be the highest usable setting on the Lumix GH2) and, ignoring the backlighting, exposed for the performer's skin tones. This, of course, resulted in the background being completely blown out; but as there was no usable detail there anyway I didn't feel that was any great loss. Instead, the absence of background removed from the frame any distractions that might have prevented the viewer from fully concentrating on the photos' main subject.
I was particularly pleased with the group shot I took at the recital's end. Photographers always hate this setup because it's almost impossible to photograph a group this size without catching at least one individual yawning or talking or simply not paying attention. Everyone here, though, was wonderfully alert and made sure to give the camera their brightest smiles.