It was finally the weekend again, time to just forget about all those dreadful work and just delve into stress-free world, and of course, not forgetting to trigger the shutter of my camera. As I was checking through all the event listings of the happenings around KL area, I found one rather outstandingly striking event being held at One Utama Shopping mall, and the best part of it was... open FREE to the public. The event was the 3rd Anniversary FlyFM Celebration Concert featuring live performance by local bands and artistes.
The most notable artiste, and one of the few female singer that night was none other than Jaclyn Victor, the first Malaysian Idol champion. To be honest I have no idea how she would look like, or how she sounded like, since I have not seen her or heard any of her songs before. When she fought her way up in the music career I was already out of the country, studying in Perth, thus not really keeping in touch with the local music scene. As she was gaining fame and establishing her music career throughout the subsequent years, I was totally absent from Malaysian music. This was my first encounter with Jaclyn. Rather an astonishing encounter I must say.
Since Jaclyn was performing alongside other local bands and artistes, she was only on stage for two tracks. I would say she was quite attractive in comparison to many local Malaysian female singers, and gosh, her voice was no joke at all. When she opens her mouth wide enough to swallow an entire set of microphone piece, you can actually feel the speakers peaking to its limit containing her voice !!!! I could see why and how she became the Malaysia Idol. Not many people can scream the way like she did.
Considering the fact that Jaclyn was only performing two tracks, I had very little window of opportunity to photograph her. I honestly can tell you that taking her pictures was a total nightmare. She never stopped moving !!! And she moved really FAST, and very randomly, making it very difficult to predict where she would be heading. It was quite unexpected for me to be able to freeze some of her movements, since the songs she was performing were very up to beat, and fast paced.
My difficulties faced this time in taking her pictures are:
1) Terrible lighting conditions, varying intensity, and unevenly spread throughout the stage.
2) Mixed lighting colors, resulting in terrible color balance control.
3) I have no external flash, so it was not an easy job in freezing movements
4) I had to use high ISO, hence noise issue.
What I did to overcome the challenges:
1) Stand at the first line. I went extremely early, more than an hour before the show started and charged to the first line of the crowd, and there was NOTHING blocking my view, nothing at all, providing me full flexibility in compositions, and getting as close as I could to the face of Jaclyn.
2) Sticking to ISO 400, and still shooting without an external flash (no money to buy one yet) or the built in flash (coverage very poor). Olympus cameras are weak in ISO-noise performance, so I would not push it too far unless I absolutely need to.
3) I used spot metering. Since the background was very dark, using matrix (evaluative) or center weighted would have yielded much slower shutter speed, and consequently over-exposed skin. Spot metering, and fixed focus point in the middle as I pin pointed the face for the accurate exposure not only worked out lovely skin tone, but also faster Autofocus speed.
4) Since I was at the extreme front, there was a railing that went high up just below my chest, and I conveniently used them to rest my elbows on as bracings to stabilize my shots. It helped me heaps especially shooting under such horrendous lighting and fast paced motions.
All in all, I do think those shots come out pretty alright, and I am quite happy with them. I did very litte processing on them, mostly only on adding contrast and adjusting a bit of color correction.
It was a night of pure entertainment, I was totally immersed with loud crowd cheers and awesome music. There was no other better way to enjoy a Saturday night. I even had the chance to work my camera.
Coming up next would be the other local bands, and the radio DeeJays of the FlyFM. Stay tuned folks, and support local artistes !!!!