Daily Photo – Texas Garage Event

These guys played on the pool deck of the new AMLI building in downtown Austin during SXSW (part of the Texas Garage Event in the parking garage of the structure).  There’s really not much difference between the original and the final, so let’s look more at the composition and lighting choices.


  • Shutter:  1/250
  • Aperture:  f/4.0
  • ISO:  400
  • Camera:  Canon EOS 1D Mark III
  • Lens:  Canon EF 14mm f/2.8L II USM
  • Lighting:  Canon 580EX II connected via off camera shoe and held in left hand.


Composition and Processing

  • Normally I’d try to shoot live music without a flash, but this stage was really really dark.  On camera flash would have been far too harsh, and there was no room to set up a strobe on a stand, nevermind any sort of umbrella or softbox to diffuse the light a bit.  Fortunately, the organizers of the event set up this giant white reflector over the stage (I imagine it also helped shade the stage during the day and protected them from rain too).  I used an off camera shoe cable to connect a 580EX flash to the camera, then held it in one hand above my head (pointed at the concave canopy) while I took the shot.  That distance was enough to keep the hard light off the musicians, while the light reflected off what was effectively a 10′ wide umbrella.
  • I wasn’t thrilled about the position of the band members in the photo, but my main interest was in trying to capture the angle of the bass as it bent away from the camera.  14mm is the widest lens I have, but I really should have used the 1Ds instead of the 1D to exagerate the effect more (the 1D has a 1.3x crop sensor, whereas the 1D is full frame.)  As it is, the bass doesn’t quite take over the shot like I want it to.

September 24 2008 08:20 pm | Photography

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