Monday, May 19, 2008

Tegan's Fingers and the Art of Cropping

When taking pictures I usually try to get the shot I want without thinking about later adjustments or cropping. In the digital world we live in it's easy to take a photograph and possibly improve on it with Photoshop and other programs. But I live in the natural world too and I prefer to just leave things alone. Of course my Nikon D80 is a digital thing, but really all it does it capture light on a sensor according to the way I set the camera. I would prefer that it capture the light as naturally as possible. And this approach also includes the composition of the picture. This feels natural to me, whether it really is or not.

At the Tegan and Sara show I saw in Aspen in April, I wasn't able to get close enough to the stage to get the shots I really wanted. And there were a lot of people between me and the band. So I later spent some time cropping the photographs to get better views. This has helped me to see into the pictures more and I found some interesting details.

Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara - fingers on guitar close-upI cropped one to show this close-up of Tegan's guitar. It's not really a great picture -- it's a bit too blurry maybe -- but I like the way the guitar strings seem to vibrate under Tegan's fingers. This is something you really don't notice when looking at the entire photograph.

Here is the original photograph before cropping. You can click on either one to see a larger view.

Tegan Quin of Tegan and SaraAnother crop from the same original is at Flickr here: Tegan Quin of Tegan and Sara on Flickr.

Recently I watched the Beatles 1965 movie Help, which has a number of scenes showing the Beatles miming to various songs. These sequences influenced later music promo films, especially MTV video clips. Some of them include close-up shots of the Beatles playing their instruments, showing fingers on strings. I guess this could be called "finger syncing." As a non-musician I've often been fascinated watching musicians play their instruments, especially with the way their fingers touch guitar strings or the keys of a saxophone or piano, or hold drumsticks. I tried to capture that idea here. In a natural yet digital kind of way...

Friday, May 02, 2008

Tegan and Sara - Belly Up, Aspen

Tegan and Sara played at Belly Up Aspen in Colorado on April 30, 2008. It was off-season in Aspen, the period between the end of the ski season and summer, so the town was quiet. But the club was filled with a boisterous crowd of Tegan and Sara fans, including many who had driven from Denver. I was able to take a few photos with my Nikon D80 from the crush of crazy fans on the dance floor in front of the stage. All four of these were cropped in camera. The camera was set on manual (f1.4, 1/60 shutter speed). I used a Nikkor 85mm f1.4 lens with no flash.

Sara Quin, Tegan and Sara, Aspen, ColoradoSara Quin

Tegan and Sara, Belly Up, Aspen, ColoradoTegan and Sara

Tegan Quin, Tegan and Sara, Aspen, ColoradoTegan Quin

Sara Quin - Red Guitar, Tegan and Sara, Aspen, ColoradoSara Quin

In the eighties I photographed Wednesday Week at the Belly Up Tavern in Solana Beach, California. The two Belly Up clubs are separately owned by a pair of brothers.

More Tegan and Sara at: Tegan and Sara Photographs by Joe Beine