Posted on: October 17th, 2013
A recent commercial by Nokia was a little over the top on what it is like to attend a performance at school, but even their new phone would struggle in the low light prevalent in school theaters. Excited parents make most performances I've been too look like the modern equivalent of fans holding up cigarete lighters at a rock concert as they try to shoot videos or stills with their phones. I can help reduce the scrum of parents charging the stage and produce images a cell phone can't for schools in the NYC area.
High end professional cameras fare much better, but take away even a few lights (with burned out bulbs, assuming there was ever enough light), or a very energetic performance with kids moving quickly on stage and motion blur, shadows and distorted colors become a problem.
So I took a page from my days as a sports photographer and hauled in a couple hundred pounds of equipment to light the kindergarten graduation at Success Academy Upperwest last spring. I may never go back to available lighting. Gone is the graininess caused by shooting at 6400ISO. Like a Sports Illustrated photo, dancing kids are not a blur. Even the tricky orange uniform shirts look normal.
These are photos you can't make with a cell phone. Partly thanks to the long telephoto lenses I can use, but mostly thanks to the better light, which most parents didn't even notice I was using. I may never convince all the parents to sit, relax and enjoy the show, but I think these images might convince them.
© 2021 Photos by GE.