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Thread: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

  1. #1

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    Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Busy busy day today - just wrapping it up at 12:42am

    Some time ago I did some product shots for a singer by the name of Yulia. She's perhaps not as well known around the world as she should be (yet) (stay tuned), but the girl is just insanely talented. I think many modern "singers" would be lost without their bands, but Yulia sings many songs with minimal instrumentation in a voice that's incredibly strong and absolutely pitch perfect (4.5 octave range too!). A couple of weeks ago I got an eMail from her asking if I'd be so kind as to take some photos for her when she was visiting Nelson to run some coaching workshops and stage a concert. I met her for the first time yesterday, and she's just absolutely lovely -- and I've just spent the day shooting the workshop & concert with her and her husband (and making their 3 month old baby smile with gestures that were never recorded) (thankfully).

    The concert photography was tough due to the lighting - I was maxed out on 3200 ISO the whole time - opened up to F4.0 (70-200/2.8L with 1.4x TC) - and shutterspeeds ranging from 1/20th to 1/80th (eek), but tomorrow I get her to myself for the whole day with studio/location shoots - being able to have decent lighting is going to be heaven on earth.

    So more shots to follow, in a day or two ... but for now, here's one of over 1000 frames shot during the day ...

    Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Some days it's just great being a photographer

    PS: Have a listen to a quiet number of hers here ... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xMEZURVaE3o

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    Moderator Donald's Avatar
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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    One of the reviews on her website refers to the clarity of her voice and it being like crystal. Those were my thoughts exactly as I listened. And there's an amazing clarity of diction as well. Is English her first language (I note she can sing in 10 languages)?

    Oh, and the pic is not bad either!

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    jprzybyla's Avatar
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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    As it has been said...tough job but someone has to do it. Magnificent as usual.

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    Mark von Kanel's Avatar
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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Sometimes your job just sucks!

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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Quote Originally Posted by Donald View Post
    One of the reviews on her website refers to the clarity of her voice and it being like crystal. Those were my thoughts exactly as I listened. And there's an amazing clarity of diction as well. Is English her first language (I note she can sing in 10 languages)?

    Oh, and the pic is not bad either!
    Hi Donald,

    I'm really glad you listened - I just wish I had some better references to direct people to; most of the youtube ones I could find were quite poor quality and absolutely none of them amount to even 10% of how she sounds at a live performance. Heck, I'm the least likely person to be listening to opera, and yet I can enjoy her singing it! During the show she even got an elderly gent up from the audience and was lying across his lap whilst she sang parts of one piece! (I got the photos!).

    In terms of English being her first language - no - she's from Russia. Her and her Mum escaped her violent father about 10 years ago and came to New Zealand. She learned English and finished highschool in 2 years - broke into the NZ (and then world) music scenes - signed for Sony Records (who didn't promote her well) - almost gave it up to become an air hostess - met a chap by the name of Glyn - and never looked back. Glyn is now her manager and her husband (and a talented musician in his own right). It was a privilage to be at the workshop yesterday where together they selflessly spent many hours coaching 10 young singers (including my #2 daughter), with the idea being that some appear in the show; in the end they ALL appear in the show). Tell you what also - before the day I thought it would be one of those shows where "the kids sing enthusiastically, but badly, and the audience claps in encouragement", but how wrong I was ... most were fairly nervous, but several sent chills down my spine with some amazingly strong vocal performances (and most were only around 17) (and no "hiding behind a loud band either). It really was an eye opener when these young folks pop up on the stage - step up to the mike - start to sing - and out comes these amazingly strong voices. Kids that age just aren't supposed to be able to do that! To give you an idea as to the "company she's now keeping", she's signed a 4 album deal with producer Craig Leon, who's previously produced work for the likes of Sting and Pavarotti.

    And stars like Yulia are supposed to be "stuck up little Madams" - not warm and lovely people who give hugs and get "strangers" like my daughter to help look after her 3 month old first-born daughter. What an amzing and humbling role-model for young (and not so young) folks.
    Last edited by Colin Southern; 11th December 2011 at 04:55 PM.

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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Thanks Joe & Mark,

    I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with in the studio today (I've got her for the whole day -- so many things we need to shoot!).

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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Edit: Probably the best example of her work online can be found in the iTunes store http://itunes.apple.com/nz/album/201...an/id388038247 (just be sure to play it loud through good speakers!)

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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    What a voice... and the Russian undertone.... magical

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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Quote Originally Posted by Colin Southern View Post
    The concert photography was tough due to the lighting - I was maxed out on 3200 ISO the whole time - opened up to F4.0 (70-200/2.8L with 1.4x TC) - and shutterspeeds ranging from 1/20th to 1/80th (eek),...
    I see so many shots wide open, high ISO and the photographer claims that it was an artistic decision to blur the background. At last some honesty about the real life decision.
    Great shot under adverse conditions.
    Graham

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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Quote Originally Posted by dave keeley View Post
    What a voice... and the Russian undertone.... magical
    Hi Dave,

    I've just spent the entire day with Yulia in and about the studio ... absolute gem of a lady. To give you an idea of how strong her voice is, I noted at their workshop yesterday that their advice to the young singers was to keep the microphone about 2 finder widths away from their lips, and yet on stage she had it 12 to 18 inches away, so I asked her "why the difference" she said that if she had it 2 finger widths away she'd burst the diaphram in the mike

    Was neat to have her singing and dancing along in the studio today - so much fun

  11. #11

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    Re: Ok - I'll admit it - I'm smitten

    Quote Originally Posted by GrahamH View Post
    I see so many shots wide open, high ISO and the photographer claims that it was an artistic decision to blur the background. At last some honesty about the real life decision.
    Great shot under adverse conditions.
    Graham
    It was interesting; the 1Dx will be better (just a couple more stops and the shutter speeds would be in "a good place"; pushed the 1Ds3 to the edge of the envelope, but was quite pleased with how the old girl performed.

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