2x Spain in Hamburg

Last night I saw another great concert at the Fabrik club in Hamburg: Chick Corea, Stanley Clarke and Lenny White.  I like all three of them and I wanted to photograph, so I was at the Fabrik an hour early.

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Normally this is early enough in order to get a spot directly at the stage with no one in front of me, but last night the crowd was so big, that the best I managed was second row.  However, and luckily so, during that one hour of waiting for the concert to begin people go to get a drink, go to the toilette, etc. and with this natural movement, I was able to get a position all the way up front.

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The stage at the Fabrik is so small that people with front positions are no more than 2-3 meters away from the artists.  This is really great since you don’t have to use a tele, and as usual I only had my 40D with a 50/1.8 and 17-40/4 with me.

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It’s not easy to shoot at the Fabrik: the light is fairly low, so I have to go to ISO 800 with the normal lens and ISO 1600 with the zoom, the DOF is very shallow and the AF of the 40D is really at its limit.  Add to that my three moving subjects and a club owner, who allows photography only during the first music piece, and you get the picture.

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Since photography is not my main concern during a great concert, I mostly forget about the camera and just enjoy the music.  But every 15 min or so I think about it, take the camera out from underneath my coat and sneak in a few frames.

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Last night I went home with about 90 frames and here you are seeing the top six.  I didn’t do almost any editing: slight crops, a bit of of recovery to tame the highlights and a tad of clarity, all applied in about 15 seconds each.

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And the music?  Great!  Among other things we were treated to two very different renditions of Spain, one during the main concert and one as encore — both superb.

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