Rag Week 2010, St Andrews’ Got Talent

This is going to be a long post, so apologies for loading times.

12th – 20th February 2010 saw Rag (Raising & Giving) Week return for another highly successful year & amongst the events this year was St Andrews’ very own version of Britain’s Got Talent. Acts ranged from singer-songwriters to dance groups, bands, beat boxers & even a magician. There was a seated audience, so I couldn’t get up close to the stage with a fast prime, so instead I sat to the side with a 135mm f2.8 & turned the sensitivity up a bit.

Singer songwriter to kick the night off.

This is the second time there has been a harpist & I’ve been on the wrong side to get a good photo!

If the competition was judged on trousers, these guys definitely would’ve won.

Some dancing to mix things up.

One of 2 acts that a certain Luke Hodgman performed in.

The magician was rather impressive.

He produced some twenty odd umbrellas from somewhere.

And covered the stage in confetti!

A rather well-practiced band up next.

The fancy-pants band back again, as their microphones weren’t working properly the first time round.

Drum kit abuse at its best.

This guy had one seriously impressive voice.

Scotland’s under 18 beat box champion.

Finally, the Rocksoc band!

Sash doing what he does best.

Then busting out a solo.

Some American rapper who needs to buy a belt.

And his beat box accompaniment.

This guy was certainly brave.

And the audience loved it!

I think these guys were the overall winners, but can’t remember for definite.

Rather cheerful looking pianist/singer.

One last acoustic cover to finish the night.

Lights at the Halloween Bop

These are from way back around Halloween, I went to crew the Halloween Bop in Venue 1 & thought I’d try & get some nice light trails from the moving lights.

These were all shot with the kit lens, hand-held with ~2 second exposures so I’m quite surprised any of them came out at all.

Definitely going to take a tripod one day & attempt this properly, maybe leave the body on interval shooting or something.

The venue doesn’t always have the scary face hanging down the back, it was just a Halloween thing.

All of these lights are controlled from the Pearl 2000 you saw in yesterday’s post.

I wanted to try & catch some of the beams in the air with the haze, but because the kit lens is quite slow (3.5-5.6) I had to crank the sensitivity up to 3200. Haven’t tried putting them through Noise Ninja yet, need to find a way to integrate it into Lightroom because opening the image in Photoshop just to use Noise Ninja is a bit long-winded.

U2 Rattle and Hum anybody?

Live Bands in the Union

This was sometime last month, but I didn’t have any time to go through the photos & upload before now. I went along to see one of the bands that I like sound check, turned out they had canceled & I somehow ended up staying for the entire night… These were all shot on the 50mm f1.7 without flash, making great use of the vertical grip – really transforms the handling of the camera. My Etymotic ER20 came in very handy too, as with them in I could stand right up against the speakers to the sides of the stage to get a good angle on the musicians without risking a splitting headache or ruining my hearing.

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Played around with a few senstivities but stuck to 800 for most of them – anything higher wouldn’t necessarily get too noisy, but wouldn’t capture the lights in a very realistic fashion.

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The depth of field at 1.7 is so small I ended up with loads like this – instrument is in focus, but his face isn’t!

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Everybody loves silly motions to go with the song!

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Pity the colour of the guitar never came out quite right.

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Got really lucky for this one, the spotlight pointed at him just happenned to come on at the right moment. Love the way the microphone stand is leaning at the same angle too.

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The mic stands were a big annoyance for the most part though, as they would consistently get in the way of the shots, but there’s not really much to be done about that! This two in particular are rubbish, but fun just to see them hung in the air like that.

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The harp was beautiful, but it was impossible to get a good shot of the harpist because she was ‘behind’ the harp – I couldn’t have gotten a nice shot of her from the right without climbing up on the stage.

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Tried to get the guitarist through the strings of the harp, but could’ve done with closing down the apeture or focussing on further away.

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This was about the only time I actually saw her face above the thing!

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The t-shirt read “sex drugs & sausage rolls”.

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Not a very good one, but proof that there were bagpipes :)

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Full on fiddle solo~

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Another gratuitous harp shot to end.

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Not massively happy with most of what I took, still got a lot to learn about the new body, particularly with the old manual lenses. Still, practice makes perfect right?

New site, new ideas

That’s right, I’ve finally updated the site after more than 2 years of inactivity! I also have a new, more memorable URL – www.imagesofeden.co.uk!

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I learned from my mistakes with the previous site, which was completely statically coded making updates & changes very time-consuming, building the new site on WordPress with the Yet Another PhotoBlog (YAPB) plugin & the YAPB-specific theme Phloggin’. I’ll be adjusting & tweaking things for a while to come yet, so don’t be surprised if the appearance changes or if things are still broken – (in fact, considering letting me know if you come across anything that doesn’t work? Feedback on the site design is of course welcome.

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This new implementation not only makes updating & altering much quicker & easier, but also adds a host of new features such as categories, tags, comments, RSS feeds & more. Layout is 960 pixels wide, which should be fine even for dinky netbooks with their 1024×600 screens.

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With this month heralding my 21st birthday I will soon be the proud owner of a Pentax K20D, a 14.6 megapixel digital SLR that is compatible with all of my existing Pentax film lenses. I will be shifting over to digital for the majority of my photos, mainly for how better suited it is to the Internet-centric lifestyle that I live, however I will still be shooting film on occasion & digitizing negatives with my Epson Perfection V200.

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I have some 50-60 rolls to scan & archive, so updates of old film shots will intersperse the new digital ones for quite a while to come yet. I’ll also be re-digitizing all of the film shots from the old site, as they were done using a far inferior scanner & aren’t of archive quality.

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I’ll be updating on a wider range of subjects, but they’ll all be nicely categorized, so you can ignore what you’re not interested in. Updates will hopefully be on a much more frequent basis too!