I recently got to see the Wailin Jennys at Infinity Hall in Hartford CT. I am on their mailing list and receive their notices of upcoming shows. So back in November, I got a notice of these artists coming to town–I had never heard of them. Youtube to the rescue! I fell in love with their incredible 3-part harmonies, and immediately got tickets when they went on sale. This allowed me to be ‘in the front row’.
Of course, being a shutterbug, I had to look to see what the venue’s policy was on camera use. No flash, no ‘pro’ cameras, and that was about it. I’m not entirely sure what a pro camera is by their definition, but I suspected it was probably any bulky looking SLR. Each artist can also set their own policy, but I brought my second smallest rangefinder (my Leitz-Minolta CL) and my two M-Rokkor lens, 40mm/f2 and the 90mm/f4. I knew the 90 would tough to shoot in such a lower light environment, but thought I’d give it a try.
I also decided on Kodak Tri-X because it is so versatile and can be shot at ISO 1250-1600 without losing a lot. This is the one place where modern dSLRs really outshine film IMO, the fact that you can easily shoot at higher ISOs with little to no digital noise. But my dSLR looks big, and *gulp* pro-like, so I left it at home.
I used my iPhone “Light Meter” app and it suggested I’d need to shoot at ISO 3200 for f4 (dang) at 1/15, but I still shot a few shots with the 90mm. It is not as easy to shoot that lens at that speed and most of the shots basically had a bit of shake either from performer motion, or ham-fisted photographer. However my favorite shot of the night is from that lens, so …
With the 40mm, I just set it at f2 and shot away. I tried to limit my shooting so not to annoy people (plus the security guy was right near me). The only downside is that the stage is really high, so being in the front-row, I had numerous shots either with much of the stage in the shot.
Anyway, development was in Rodinal, 1+100, semi-stand for an hour. 3 gentle inversions at the start, 3 at 20 and 40 minutes. I thought this would help with keeping hot spots from stage lights to a minimum while still developing any shadow detail I was able to capture.
I scanned these with my Epson V700, and it couldn’t figure out where the frames were, so I had to scan each 4-5 shot film strip and then crop down to the individual shots using Lightroom. There were a few little scratches or hairs I had to clone away, but otherwise these are straight from the scanner. I didn’t bother doing any sort of light adjustments.
First the 90mm shots. The first one is my fav of the night. I am going to try to make a silver-gelatin print from this negative.
The 40mm shots gave a nice view of the whole group, including Richard Moody who played violin, viola, and mandolin.
It was a great night of music, including opening act Heather Maloney, who unfortunately was hidden from my vantage point behind a number of mic stands and instruments.