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Anatomy of a Rock Shoot – Wind Up Toy at the Havre de Grace Opera House (Part II)

Nov 8, 2017

This concert was so appropriate for Halloween, if quite tricky to photograph with the swirling, shifting colored lights. In this scene, the lead singer’s head is being deposited in the bucket below – looks pretty real too. Nothing to worry about though, he’s back for the next number. Here are the rest of the images that I’ve turned into B&W. For once it’s easy to fend off enquiries into seeing them in color – things like red background and green faces are difficult to fix effectively. Only a few work out, one being the guillotine scene – I gave a copy of that to JimmyO (the drummer), maybe they can use it. Before the rest of the images, a short note:

My solution to "flashy" stage lighting: after little playing around with the camera settings I came up with this set-up:

               • Lock the aperture on wide-open

               • Set the ISO on AUTO

               • Lock the Shutter Speed on 1/250 of a second AND use the wheel right by my thumb to fine tune it between 1/160 and 1/400 of a second – a range of 2/3 stop over and under – as I shoot.

This should greatly increase the percentage of usable shots when the stage lighting is swirling and the lighting haphazardly shifting as much as four to five stops. At the same time, it will hold the ISO down where it isn't needed. Crazy. Of course with relatively steady stage lighting one can simply lock in an aperture, ISO and shutter speed, varying that by the 2/3 stop up and down with the thumb wheel. Not so Crazy. Man, I love this camera…


As you can see from the images and the video, Wind Up Toy is an intense performance. And perfect for Halloween. I’m looking forward to them being back next year so I can take Nan – and hopefully be asked to photograph it again so I can use my new work-flow for this insane kind of lighting. Now all I have to do is get this series into my Havre de Grace Street section as a slide show.