Wednesday, 20 June 2012

seeing ghosts

Nerina Pallot
I took a few pictures during the music gig last Saturday, but have only just had a chance to upload them from the camera.

I hadn't really planned to take pictures and strangely enough, as we moved from further away to closer to the front I could sense my likelihood to get any sensible snaps diminish.

It was a combination of factors, I'd only brought a small camera and the density of people close to the stage (but not at the front) meant shooting through the gaps to get anything at all.

The singer above is Nerina Pallot, who played a good and quite joyfully delivered set, mixing her own piano and guitar based songs and accompanied by a small band comprising bass guitar and drums.

I know it's a rather impressionistic snap, which I took on automatic mode instead of the shutter priority I usually use at these type of events. I usually keep the shutter speed fast enough to prevent everything getting very blurry, which is a factor with a lot of stage lighting shots, even at pretty fast ISO ratings.

But here, using the camera's auto mode, I noticed something that I've also seen when I'm walking around galleries or sometimes in churchyards.

I call it 'ghosts'.

It's when, with a modern camera on its automatic setting, it thinks it has seen a face.

It puts up that little square display that locks on to the face to keep it in focus.

Some cameras (including mine), can also put up multiple little face squares.

It's sometimes quite touching to see an old portrait in a gallery or a stone carving in a churchyard get the squares appear. The camera is thinking it's seen person, and in a way it has.

Here, at the music gig, there was a different phenomenon. The camera would pick up the faces of other people in the audience. Weirdly, it would be the one's that were not so engaged, maybe just talking or looking around.

The reason was obvious. In automatic mode the camera was deciding what type of picture to take. Then suddenly it it would spot a nearby face )much closer than the artist on stage) and would flip into its portrait setting.

I think I'll go back to traditional shutter priority for music venues.

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