Capturing Student Orchestras

I have the privilege of being invited to shoot several student orchestras that perform annually at a large venue which for the past several years has been Avery Fisher Hall at Lincoln Center in New York.  To be frank, my daughter plays in one of the orchestras, and I actually played in the same orchestra’s when I was growing up, so I have a fondness for the groups.  I know some of the conductors either from having played with them myself as well as playing with them today in other groups.  It is for this reason that I take on this project – as after doing it for several years, this is something that one should think carefully about regarding the amount of work involved!

The day is filled with three rehearsals/sound checks for the three orchestras and then three concerts.   I am given free access to shoot during the rehearsals both from the stage and anywhere in the hall (with proper credentials and prior clearance from the appropriate folks).  That is the good news, and the bad news – as one wants to get as many angles as you can – and that is where it can get tiring.

On Stage
On Stage

How does this all go?

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Color Temperature

I find that a lot of people don’t quite understand what color temperature is or why there are even settings for it.

The explanation is reasonably straight forward.  It is a subject a photographer should understand and be able to manage.

The simplest place to start is thinking about the rainbow you see in the sky.  This is a prismatic effect of sunlight on water droplets in the air and shows a spectrum of colors from the sun in the same way you would see a spectrum of colors from a prism created from a beam of sunlight.  They key point here is that sunlight contains all of the colors of the rainbow, we need not get into the physics of how the light is displayed – just understand that sunlight has a rainbow of colors.

Now, the next thing to understand is that if you were to look at the colors that make up a tungsten or fluorescent light, or that of the light from your xenon strobe as broken up through the same prism – you would see that the color makeup of each of these is different.  Each of the lights has a different color temperatures – or different quality of light.  The definition of the color temperature is that of the aggregate color given off from a radiator at different temperatures.  Fee free to read more about it in Wiki, but the idea is that different light sources have different color qualities.

Why do you care?

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