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Thread: Salcombe Festival 2010

  1. #1

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    Salcombe Festival 2010

    The Salcombe Festival, which is held on a weekend every June, contains a mixture of music, street entertainers and maritime events.

    The daytime events are mostly various 'buskers' performing at street corners and pub gardens, etc. But the downside of this is unwanted background problems.

    It was very bright harsh sunlight with heavy shadows and most events occurred in a mixture of sunshine and shade; so I'm not really happy with any of my photos.

    Using an external flash might have helped but I wanted to 'travel light' and not to intrude on the performances. When I get more time I might return to some of the RAW images and have another rethink. Possibly, less editing 'improvements' and a more natural sun/shade as it comes approach may produce better results.

    But here are some of my better attempts.

    Becky Brine, Jazz Singer. To avoid rubbish bins and a parked car with harsh highlight reflections, I ended up laying down in a shop doorway to get a suitable angle. I did remove the blown highlights but that gave a rather flat image, so I eventually went for a high contrast.

    Salcombe Festival 2010

    Juggler, once again, a mixture of harsh light and shade plus the need to have a high shutter speed.

    Salcombe Festival 2010

    Laira Youth Band lead the Floral Dance. This was the only available angle which was a total nightmare of exposure. After this shot I did run along the street to get some shots of them marching through the narrow street but that was in heavy shade with totally blown background highlights.

    Salcombe Festival 2010

    Portishead Town Band. I took quite a few shots but only a few angles worked.

    Salcombe Festival 2010

    Return of the 'Old Seadogs'. I've had several goes at this photo but just can't get the overall colour correct. I think it will need a bit more thought.

    Salcombe Festival 2010

    Singer & Trumpet Player. When I first saw this performer, I thought 'What's that old tramp doing there'. Then he started singing some of the old Nat King Cole classics with a slightly gritty jazz voice. Plus some wonderful trumpet solos.

    Salcombe Festival 2010

    The best of the remaining 'keepers' are here http://www.pbase.com/crustacean/salc...al_2010&page=1 but I'm not really happy with my effort this year.
    Last edited by Geoff F; 28th June 2010 at 07:01 PM. Reason: links added

  2. #2

    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F View Post
    I ended up laying down in a shop doorway to get a suitable angle.
    And did you ask passers-by if they 'have any loose change?'

    Good shots, Geoff. I like the female jazz singer shot.

  3. #3
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Singer's face blocked by microphone is the only issue with the first photo.

  4. #4
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Geoff F
    ~ But the downside of this is unwanted background problems.

    It was very bright harsh sunlight with heavy shadows and most events occurred in a mixture of sunshine and shade; so I'm not really happy with any of my photos.
    Hi Geoff,

    Last year's felt more successful and I can sympathise with your disappointment, going back a second time one often has unreasonable expectations of fixing past mistakes, however small they may be in reality. I have 'been there' myself and now often 'chicken out' these days What I found happened was that 'this time' circumstances were different, presenting a whole new set of problems which I didn't deal with half as effectively as I should, because I was too busy concentrating on 'last time'.

    Of course, it may just have been an 'off day' when nothing goes as you'd like.

    But I'm not saying either applies to you at Salcombe though, I shouldn't presume to know.

    I have had a look through all of the PBase images and the overwhelming feeling I get is 'too much depth of field' for the backgrounds. Sure, there are many other shots where much else was against you; like the exposure of subject vs background and camera-subject vs subject-background ratios being extremely adverse to the desired result. Unfortunately there is no EXIF data so I cannot confirm my suspicions by seeing the aperture used. Maybe you were struggling with too much light and couldn't stop down enough.

    Anyway, I hope this reads as "sympathetic support" and not "putting the boot in"

    FWIW, I wouldn't be so quick to write these off; there are some gems in there that with a little cloning out of background distractions and dodging and burning, would make decent images. My favourite (without the waste pipe) would be "Becky Brine on stage.jpg".

    I feel inspired to tackle something similar now, just to see if I can achieve some good images, I tend to steer clear of carnivals, fairs and fetes because they are exceedingly difficult situations. Sure, a few dis-jointed, almost abstract images might be possible by going in close, but to capture an essay of the event is very difficult in my experience - making Donald's recent fun-run all the more accomplished. (Now why can't I find that thread to link it in, I think I'm going gaa-gaa, that's the second time in 2 days I have lost a recent thread)

    Cheers,
    Last edited by Dave Humphries; 29th June 2010 at 11:37 AM.

  5. #5
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    Singer's face blocked by microphone is the only issue with the first photo.
    Agreed, but looking at the other shots, she does rather like to nuzzle it

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    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Very nice series, Geoff. I like the juggler best, despite the pipe appearing to come out of his head. It shows the action, and the street background. In this case, the DOF helps!

    Cheers,
    Rick

  7. #7
    Shadowman's Avatar
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    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    That does seem to be the stylings of the new generation of singers. Have you seen the artist's who hold the microphone upside down like ring announcers at a boxing match.

    Quote Originally Posted by Dave Humphries View Post
    Agreed, but looking at the other shots, she does rather like to nuzzle it

  8. #8

    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Nice work Geoff. I love the last image but for me jazz is a smoky black and white world of high contrast....so this image would definitely benefit from similar treatment in P&P

    Steve

  9. #9
    Moderator Dave Humphries's Avatar
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    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Quote Originally Posted by Shadowman View Post
    That does seem to be the stylings of the new generation of singers. Have you seen the artist's who hold the microphone upside down like ring announcers at a boxing match.
    No, but I agree in principle - I was watching (on TV) the lead singer of Muse (at Glastonbury) Saturday night and he often had a fair amount of the mic actually inside his open mouth.

    It did sound good though I thoroughly enjoyed their set

  10. #10

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    Re: Salcombe Festival 2010

    Well thanks for the comments.

    Some of them may well work in B&W but that will have to wait until I get more time.

    Becky Brine does 'cuddle' the microphone and most of my total rejects of her involved that problem. And of course, too great an angle loses her face. The microphone is excessively large but she dresses as an authentic 1930s singer and that includes the equipment.

    The stage is always an exposure nightmare with the back section and roof being black while the front half of the sides is transparent. And when a singer stands near the far end of the stage, dof is difficult.

    With that harsh light I was certainly concentrating mostly on exposure, while dodging passers by. But photography was only part of the day and I was also there to listen to the music.

    And another problem was finding somewhere dark enough to keep reviewing what I had shot - thank heavens for a traditional English Pub!

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