<rant> Once again SquareSpace has let me down and lost a blog post. I'll try to recreate it as best I can, but I'm sure the original was much better than this version. Now it's time to stop griping and get back to writing. Please excuse my short rant... </rant>
A week after the Chamber Music Connection (CMC) Winter Orchestra Concert, I was back to photographing chamber musicians again. This time it was for the CMC Winter Ensemble Concert, which is actually two concerts with one hour rehearsals before each. It's a real marathon for me (and the rest of the support staff), lasting about six hours. Needless to say, I was pretty wiped out by the end of the proceedings, but it was worth it.
I really enjoy shooting the rehearsals as I can get "up close and personal" with the musicians without being annoying to an audience. During the concerts I can move around a bit (very quietly), but I'm mostly limited to being in the back of the room and shooting with a telephoto lens. During the rehearsals, though, I can do just about anything I want as long as I'm not too disruptive. The musicians are used to me being there, and they're concentrating on their music, so I mostly blend into the background.
As usual the music was wonderful, and I greatly enjoyed listening as I worked. The lighting wasn't too bad. In fact for both rehearsals and the first concert, it was pretty good. There's a large westward facing window that lets in enough light to overpower the overhead artificial lighting. By the time the second concert starts, though, the window isn't helping anymore, and shooting becomes more difficult.
These photos are from the rehearsals. I made them with my Fuji X-E1, in black and white JPEG mode. I used my 60mm f/2.4 lens, which I've really grown to like. It's small and lightweight and does a very nice job. The Fuji's JPEGs are very good quality and save me a lot of post-processing time. Their good enough, though, that I can really push them if I want to do so.
I followed my usual (and favorite) workflow to process these photos. I tweaked brightness and levels in Lightroom. I added the thin black border, added clarity, and did some dodging and burning in Silver Efex Pro. I then set the final levels back in Lightroom.