Monday, February 10, 2020

Roll: Sun-Riser at The Cubby Bear

This past Saturday I went to see Sun-Riser at The Cubby Bear. My brother-in-law, Aaron, is the bassist in the band. I've done a decent amount of photography for Sun-Riser in the past, but always with a digital camera. This time I decided to use my Nikon F and 50mm f/1.4 lens, just to see how difficult it'd be. I guess I wanted to feel like an old-school rock-and-roll photographer or whatever. I used one roll of Ilford Delta 3200 with available light, and one roll of Ilford HP5+ 400 with flash.

Available light exposures at concerts usually work okay for me if the stage lights are decent, but the setup at Cubby Bear was not conducive for photography. The performers were mostly backlit, with only a few dim colored lights illuminating their faces. With the Delta 3200 film, I had to shoot wide-open at f/1.4 with 1/125th shutter speed. In the darkroom, I pushed the film to nearly 12,800 ISO. The resulting negatives still came out underexposed. Focus is also a bit off in most of the Delta 3200 shots, as it was very difficult to achieve spot-on focus at f/1.4 with the backlit performers moving all over the stage. So, the photos are a bit on the grungy side, but I do enjoy their atmosphere.

The HP5+ flash exposures, in my opinion, were more successful. I was initially nervous about blowing out the performers' features with the flash (a Vivitar 283), but the negatives turned out well-exposed. I made these flash pictures at f/8 and 1/60th (the Nikon F's sync speed).

I'm not sure if I'd shoot one of these shows on film again, but it was a fun experience. Without the crutch of checking my exposures after every shot on the digital camera screen, I felt more in-tune with what was going on in front of my camera. Here are my results (Delta 3200 and available light first, followed by HP5+ with flash).