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Sunday, December 20, 2009

Zuiko and a Talent Contest

I was asked to cover a talent contest, and it would be in a very dark and small auditorium.

Immediately I assessed the situation:
  1. Fast lens with high ISO and high shutter speed setting was a must
  2. Working in compressed and limited area was inevitable
  3. Lighting and white balance would be very difficult
Wow, this was going to be tough! And since I was using the Olympus E-system - a system that anyone would say won't cut it for such an event. I took this as a challenge, it's good to see how it would fare in those situations.

Show some 'ttitude, bro!
35mm, f2.5, 1/80s, ISO1000, -0.3ev

And at the same time, I had the E-P2 on loan from Olympus Malaysia for me to test out and write a short field review. Thus, I knew that I had to limit my E-system setup so that I would not bog up my gears. The E-30 was chosen for its better high ISO performance than the E-3, and I paired it with the Zuiko Digital ED14-35mm F2.0 SWD and ED35-100mm F2.0 PRO lenses. I also had the FL-50R flash for any flash situations.

Being a corporate event, it wouldn't start until the CEO arrived. Not much protocol, just a handshake between the organizer and him sufficed.

14mm, f2.0, 1/60s, ISO640

The house was immediately set rocking with the Heavy Metal performance of Linkin' Park's New Divide. Throughout the contest, there were variations of musical genres that encompassed Rock & Roll, Bollywood, Local, Latin, and even Hip Hop!

E-P2 with the 14-42mm 3.5-5.6 did a great job here capturing the energy of the event.

I got the main spot at the front stage, just a few feet away from the performers. And just mere 3 feet back was the auditorium's seating area. It was very cramped! The vantage point was mostly shooting upwards, and during in-between performances, I quickly snapped candid shots of the VIPs attending the show.

No doubt shooting was tough. Fast action performance with audience provided the same level of energy, it was electric. Fast pace, low compromise shooting was a definite challenge!

I nearly messed up this job! Half way through, my batteries both in the HLD-4 extension pack were dying out, and very fast!!!! I told the client, and she panicked!! I assured her, there's enough juice, but may not be enough to cover the prize giving ceremony. To reduce power consumption, I flipped the LCD screen inwards and I used the top panel to check my camera settings. (I couldn't believe I shot without chimping for most of the time!!)

Latin number with classical guitar accompaniment was just immaculate!
100mm, f2.0, 1/60s, ISO2000

In between shots, I sometimes swap the 14-35mm with the 35-100mm lens for those long range shots. But most of the time, the 14-35mm f2.0 lens was the workhorse. The E-30 managed to tame the 14-35mm erratic AF, and I did get a high hit ratio.

Overall, I believed I did a good job. I did a bit of post-processing, mostly on the tone curves correction and USM sharpening. The final image was resized to 3200 x 2400 for the client. The images turned out alright, and the client was pleased.

Shallow depth-of-field with low shutter speed, a challenge to get sharp shots
f2.0. 1/80s, ISO1250, -0.3ev

Her husky voice and pro-like performance lived up to her snazzy jazz number!

Throw white balance down the drain when everyone's turned green!!

I messed up this shot with low shutter speed, luckily I realized it!
14mm, f/2.2, 1/13s, ISO200

Rock and Roll was alive in this beautiful rendition.

Thank you for the music! This was a great show!

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