last Sunday I had the pleasure of capturing Novel Sounds, the first major concert of The Melbourne Rainbow Band for 2014 in images. Founded in 1995 Melbourne Rainbow Band is a community wind ensemble that provides a creative outlet for like minded people of almost any music skill level, regardless of their sexual or gender identity.
Conducted by Greg Peterson, the concert featured music from pieces such as 'The Hunger Games', 'Wicked', 'Macbeth', a world premiere 'Edge' by Mark Lyall, vocal performances by Rob Martin and dance performances by Taylor Scanlan and Joshua Waiss Gate.
Having worked with Greg before in February (documenting his cabaret show 'Songs in the Keys of Me' at the Butterfly Club) was a big advantage and made it easy to work out the brief together; close-up images of the band members during the 1-hr rehearsal (with flash if required) and shots during the concert, mainly from the back of the concert hall with much more limited movement to avoid disturbing the audience. The purpose of the images were to provide updated marketing shots of the band at this year's first event.
In preparation for the event, I gathered as much information about the venue, the James Tatoulis Auditorium at the Methodist Ladies College in Kew, Melbourne.
With a seating capacity of 364, I assumed that I would be quite a long distance away from the stage during the performance, so in order to cover the brief, a range of 'fast' (suitable for low light) wide-angle and long telephoto lenses would be required.
Hence I packed my bag with 16-35mm, 24-70mm, 70-200 and 300mm lenses, all with a maximum aperture of f2.8, two camera bodies and flash lights. Since musicians in orchestras typically sit close to each other, I also decided to take a 100mm macro lens for portraits to help me isolate the subjects with a nice bokeh.
Well - one hour goes by quite quickly, so I had to move really fast around during the rehearsal to capture a variety of wide angle and close-up images. Luckily, the windows to the auditorium were open as well, letting some ambient light in and allowing images at lower ISO values.
During the concert I shot mainly with the 70-200mm and the 300mm lenses, with the latter mounted on a tripod to allow 'relatively' low shutter speeds. The windows of the auditorium had been closed in the meantime and hence lighting was very dark, so I was regularly taking images at ISO 5,000 up to 12,800!
Nevertheless I was able to capture great images during the performance - at least that was the feedback from a very happy client!
It was a fun concert and I look forward to capturing the next event of The Melbourne Rainbow Band.
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