OLIVER LOPENA photography Portaits, Live Music, and Event Photography - NJ, Philadelphia Sat, 27 Jun 2015 03:53:36 +0000 en-US hourly 1 http://wordpress.org/?v=3.5.1 Fuji X-Pro 1 | Concert Photography /2012/07/fuji-x-pro-1-concert-photography/ /2012/07/fuji-x-pro-1-concert-photography/#comments Fri, 13 Jul 2012 20:42:41 +0000 Oliver /?p=1421 I finally had a chance to put my new Fuji X-Pro 1 through the paces at a concert when I shot ukulele extraordinaire, Jake Shimabukuro, at Havana in New Hope, PA.  So, how did it turn out?  Read my full treatise after the jump.

Fuji X-Pro 1 w/ XF35mmF1.4 lens (f/2, 1/125, ISO 2000)

So, where do I start?  Well, if you’ve been a follower on my Facebook page, you’ll know that I had recently undergone somewhat of a camera “mid-life crisis”.  I had been a dedicated DSLR user ever since owning a Canon 20D… it was a time not too long ago, but still way before every soccer mom and their uncle owned a DSLR.  At the time, these cameras felt special… intended for select individuals who understood the technical aspects of photography and learned it the right way (rather than the pop-up flash, “green square” shooting set).  Call me a purist or a snob, or what have you… whatever.  Fast forward to 2012 and I have just recently expunged my entire collection of DSLR gear along with all of the L-lens phallic symbolism associated with it.  Replacing it… a Fuji X-Pro 1 plus 2 prime lenses (and that’s it).  In my opinion, yes, the camera is quirky and relatively difficult to use… but, honestly, I have zero regrets so far.

Fuji X-Pro 1 w/ XF35mmF1.4 lens (f/1.6, 1/150, ISO 2000)

A Fuji X-Pro 1 for shooting live music?  Certainly, I must be smoking crack, right?  But, alas, I am not smoking crack.  The universal expectation of shooting live music in a small club is that the lighting will be undoubtedly shitty.  That is a fact.  What it demands is fast glass, accurate AF, and acceptable high-ISO performance.  Fast glass – check… I shot with a 35mm f/1.4 and a 18mm f/2.  No problems in that department.  I’ve never been a fan of the 50mm focal length (that’s what the 35mm translates to with the X-Pro 1′s 1.5 crop factor), but I’m in love with this lens.  The 18mm (27mm equivalent) is nice and snappy.  I initially thought that I would prefer the 18 over the 35 (from a historical focal length preference standpoint), but the 35 is a GEM!  Secondly, regarding the AF… yes, that’s what I used (no MF necessary).  Center-point focus with AF-S and spot-metering using the EVF, to be specific.  For such tight quarters, where DOF is shallow and focus is critical, EVF was just the way to go.  AF speed was not lightning quick (an accepted common criticism of this camera), but it was way more accurate than any DSLR I’ve ever used.  And, finally, high ISO noise… what high ISO noise?  I’m talking modern full-frame camera high-ISO performance here.

Fuji X-Pro 1 w/ XF35mmF1.4 lens (f/1.4, 1/125, ISO 2000)

Now, for the shortcomings… EVF lag was annoying.  The EVF briefly freezes up when acquiring focus.  In my opinion, this is the most annoying thing about this camera.  Using the OVF could have been an option, but (again) you can never be 100% sure if you’re achieving critical focus at such wide apertures unless you use the EVF.  This makes focusing on overly-mobile subjects challenging.  In terms of other shortcomings, I can deal with them.  For small clubs, it doesn’t get much better than this for me.  It reminds me of when I used to shoot at clubs with my Leica M4 (snob alert!).

Fuji X-Pro 1 w/ XF18mmF2 lens (f/2.5, 1/140, ISO 2000)

So, would this camera work at larger concert venues?  Well, I probably wouldn’t show up in a large stadium pit with this camera, but that’s probably the only caveat; however, I just might give it a shot anyway.  Besides, 3-song limit stadium shooting is lame anyway.  Well, not really, but that’s what I like to tell myself these days.  Check this out, pixel peepers – Flickr.  Also, check out the rest of my photos on Examiner.com.

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Emmy the Great @ The Trocadero Balcony /2012/05/emmy-the-great-the-trocadero-balcony/ /2012/05/emmy-the-great-the-trocadero-balcony/#comments Sat, 26 May 2012 04:40:00 +0000 Oliver /?p=1415 One of my all-time favorite female singer-songwriters, Emmy the Great, played a rare State-side show in Philly last summer at The Trocadero Balcony.  See all of my photos from the show at Examiner.com.

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Weezer @ Festival Pier /2011/05/weezer-festival-pier/ /2011/05/weezer-festival-pier/#comments Mon, 23 May 2011 18:43:56 +0000 Oliver /?p=1393 I consider myself one lucky dude to have the opportunity to shoot one of my favorite bands of all time, Weezer! I also took some photos of Panic! At the Disco, fun., and Foxy Shazam. Head over to Examiner.com to see all of the photos.

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Kina Grannis @ World Cafe Live /2011/04/kina-grannis-world-cafe-live/ /2011/04/kina-grannis-world-cafe-live/#comments Tue, 19 Apr 2011 17:24:39 +0000 Oliver /?p=1370 Holy shmoly… has it really been that long since I’ve shot a show?!?!  Yes, too long; however, I was happy to have been able to bring my photo assistant/umbrella carrier/wife along for company.  Kina Grannis is all kinds of blowin’ up YouTube these days, with her official video for “Valentine” getting more than 7 million views.  Check out her YouTube channel to see a mix of her performing her originals (such as “In Your Arms” [video posted below]), as well as a slew of cleverly done covers.  Also, feel free to head over to Examiner.com to see even more photos and read my review of the show.








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At the movies with GANG /2010/07/at-the-movies-with-gang/ /2010/07/at-the-movies-with-gang/#comments Thu, 15 Jul 2010 03:31:37 +0000 Oliver /?p=1299 In case you didn’t know, GANG is undoubtedly the most awesome band from here to Pluto!  Yes, that’s right.  No wonder I was supremely psyched to shoot these guys at the historic Roxy Theatre located in the Rittenhouse Square area of Philly… fun times!  If you’ve been a follower of my live music work, you’ll know that GANG is one of my all-time most photographed acts.  Watch them perform live and you’ll realize why I can’t get enough of them.

For the uninitiated, do yourself a favor and head over to GANG’s MySpace page to listen to some of their tunes.  You’ll also want to check out their new music video for “Why Can’t You Just Be” so you can see them roll around town in their convertible 6 Series Bimmer… hehe.

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Renata and Johnny /2010/06/renata-and-johnny/ /2010/06/renata-and-johnny/#comments Fri, 25 Jun 2010 20:44:05 +0000 Oliver /?p=1273 When Renata asked me to shoot portraits of her with her 8 month old German Shepherd, Johnny, I figured sure, why not?  It shouldn’t be too challenging to get a dog to behave and act natural for the camera, right?  Kids, dogs… same difference.  Not surprisingly, it turns out that 8 month old German Shepherds are just about as cooperative as 2 year old toddlers… not very, that is.

FYI, for you Weird NJ fans, the fountain in the background is known as “Light Dispelling Darkness” located in Roosevelt Park in Edison, NJ.

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Accordion busker shoot with Susan /2010/06/accordion-busker-shoot-with-susan/ /2010/06/accordion-busker-shoot-with-susan/#comments Sat, 12 Jun 2010 03:03:53 +0000 Oliver /?p=1227 Let me just start off by saying, Susan Coffey is so hot right now!  Despite that, she was happy to oblige my cheese ball accordion busker concept.  I initially had some reservations committing the accordion into the shoot, but I think Susan actually started to like it after a while… or maybe not.  Regardless, she did a super crazy bang up job and just might have single-handedly managed to elevate the worldwide coolness level of the accordion.  Not only that, I would argue she even added some major points to my coolness stats (of which I am in dire need).  Mission accomplished!

FYI, you can keep track of Susan’s work at deviantART.

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Sculpture garden shoot with Alyson /2010/05/sculpture-garden-shoot-with-alyson/ /2010/05/sculpture-garden-shoot-with-alyson/#comments Mon, 31 May 2010 20:32:33 +0000 Oliver /?p=1189 I recently had the opportunity (and honor) to shoot with the lovely Miss Alyson Allegra at a beautiful sculpture garden in Central Jersey.  Conceptually speaking, we were going for a “fairytale journey through the wilderness” theme.  Regardless of whether or not we actually stuck to that theme, I’m loving the aesthetic.  FYI, Alyson was a fantastic model!  Hopefully, we’ll be shooting together much more in the future.

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