NYC day 24 – Lyle Divinsky

The second band I saw on Saturday was Lyle Divinsky and the Something Somethings. I say “Something Somethings” because it changes every gig, and Lyle hasn’t settled on a name yet. Go listen to his music.
The second band I saw on Saturday was Lyle Divinsky and the Something Somethings. I say



Excuse me while I talk about processing photos again. In my last post I mentioned how low light shots of musicians can be improved by converting to black and white. At the Rockwood Music Hall the lighting was pretty bright, and the light on the musicians was white, rather than red and green.
Excuse me while I talk about processing photos again. In my last post I mentioned how low light shots of musicians can be improved by converting to black and white. At the Rockwood Music Hall the lighting was pretty bright, and the light on the musicians was white, rather than red and green.

However, on some shots the quality of light changes so much across the frame that converting to greyscale is the way to go.
However, on some shots the quality of light changes so much across the frame that converting to greyscale is the way to go.

This shot would look terrible in black and white because the contrast of the wall and the face is so slight. It would be a photo of “mostly mid-tone grey”. I mean gray.
This shot would look terrible in black and white because the contrast of the wall and the face is so slight. It would be a photo of

But this photo, while it lacks bright white highlights, at least has a good contrast between the background and the subject.
But this photo, while it lacks bright white highlights, at least has a good contrast between the background and the subject.






I tried to get this shot for ages.
I tried to get this shot for ages.


A tricky shot with changing light from one side to the other. Again, this would only work in black and white.
A tricky shot with changing light from one side to the other. Again, this would only work in black and white.




Lyle Divinsky is has an amazing voice, and is a really charismatic front-man in his band. I’d come especially to see him, but I could tell massive portion of the audience were just out and about on a Saturday night and had no idea who he was. He won everyone over with his opening song, and rocked out hard for the rest of the set.


NYC day 24 – Sveta Bout

On Saturday evening I saw two bands. I’d met both the lead singers earlier in my New York trip, and had listened to the CDs they’d given me.

Here’s Sveta Bout, performing at the Lovin’ Cup. Sveta is awesome. Go listen to her EP.
Here's Sveta Bout, performing at the Lovin' Cup. Sveta is awesome. Go listen to her EP.

So, here’s the challenge: take photos of people moving (playing instruments and dancing) in very low light. Problem: opening the aperture makes focusing a real bitch. Next Problem: longer shutter speeds make freezing action a pain in the arse. I mean ass. Further problem: when turning the ISO up, the noise on the crappy sensor is almost unbearable.
So, here's the challenge: take photos of people moving (playing instruments and dancing) in very low light. Problem: opening the aperture makes focusing a real bitch. Next Problem: longer shutter speeds make freezing action a pain in the arse. I mean ass. Further problem: when turning the ISO up, the noise on the crappy sensor is almost unbearable.

One solution: convert to black and white so the graininess looks good?
One solution: convert to black and white so the graininess looks good?


Second solution: use the new noise reduction in Lightroom 3. This is so powerful it can turn human skin to plastic. Use cautiously!
Second solution: use the new noise reduction in Lightroom 3. This is so powerful it can turn human skin to plastic. Use cautiously!


Third solution: take loads of photos in a burst, and hope that in one your subject is sharp.
Third solution: take loads of photos in a burst, and hope that in one your subject is sharp.


Sveta Bout. Don’t Sveta Bout it!
Sveta Bout. Don't Sveta Bout it!


NYC day 25 – Maker Faire and the EepyBird’s Coke & Mentos show.

Sunday was my second-last day in New York. Oh no!

Now, when I was first planning my New York holiday, I mean vacation, I only bought my plane ticket out. For various reasons I made sure I didn’t book the outward and home flights together, because doing exactly that meant I had to buy flight home from the EJC twice. So, my flight home was flexible up until just before I left for NYC.

My best-case flight home was Monday 27th, chosen so I could stay until the Maker Faire. It was the very last thing on my mental TO-DO-IN-NYC list, so I made sure I went.

The Maker Faire is all about building fun but useless stuff at home. As someone who has been building a room that rotates in my living room, this kind of things really appeals to me.
The Maker Faire is all about building fun but useless stuff at home. As someone who has been building a room that rotates in my living room, this kind of things really appeals to me.





Not everything can be built at home. For instance, a “life size” version of Mouse Trap.
Not everything can be built at home. For instance, a

Or how about a propane powered rocket that shoots flame from the wrong end?
Or how about a propane powered rocket that shoots flame from the wrong end?



This is a fun musical instrument played by pulling on ropes. It’s like bell ringing with different sounds.
This is a fun musical instrument played by pulling on ropes. It's like bell ringing with different sounds.


The inside of a geometry puzzle.
The inside of a geometry puzzle.

A magnetic liquid kaleidoscope thing.
A magnetic liquid kaleidoscope thing.

A machine that throws balls from a rotating funnel, through holes set in two oppositely spinning disks, and back into the same funnel (I think).
A machine that throws balls from a rotating funnel, through holes set in two oppositely spinning disks, and back into the same funnel (I think).

The highlight of the Faire (for me) was the EepyBird.com stage. you may know these guys from their experiments with Coke Zero and Mentos.
The highlight of the Faire (for me) was the EepyBird.com stage. you may know these guys from their experiments with Coke Zero and Mentos.

The smaller bearded half of EepyBird is Fritz. I know him from years ago, a time when he made his money as a juggler and diabolist, rather than getting soaked with sugar-free cola. I mean soda.
The smaller bearded half of EepyBird is Fritz. I know him from years ago, a time when he made his money as a juggler and diabolist, rather than getting soaked with sugar-free cola. I mean soda.

I took photos while they set up. Fritz told me it gets a bit crazy for their show, so said I could come inside the barrier to watch and take photos.
I took photos while they set up. Fritz told me it gets a bit crazy for their show, so said I could come inside the barrier to watch and take photos.

The “do this at home” method.
The

Results!
Results!

Celebration!
Celebration!


As you can see from this photo, the crowd was HUGE. These guys are the rock stars of the Maker Faire.
As you can see from this photo, the crowd was HUGE. These guys are the rock stars of the Maker Faire.

The Experiment (show) begins!
The Experiment (show) begins!

I got soaked too!
I got soaked too!

The reason they use Coke Zero is the lack of sugar. No sugar, no stickiness!
The reason they use Coke Zero is the lack of sugar. No sugar, no stickiness!

Fritz at the end of the show. I tried to take more photos of the show itself, but the fizzy pop on my camera lens kinda got in the way.
Fritz at the end of the show. I tried to take more photos of the show itself, but the fizzy pop on my camera lens kinda got in the way.

The aftermath.
The aftermath.

Clearing up.
Clearing up.


It’s amazing how many kids (of all ages) wanted a half-empty bottle of mildly minty Coke Zero as a souvenir.
It's amazing how many kids (of all ages) wanted a half-empty bottle of mildly minty Coke Zero as a souvenir.


Later I cycled across Queens and into Manhattan for a burger, then over to the New York Clown Theatre Festival end-of-festival party. I missed the start, which included a clown funeral procession through Williamsburg. I joined in with the dancing for a while, but I couldn’t keep up with a crowd of clowns doing silly things.
Later I cycled across Queens and into Manhattan for a burger, then over to the New York Clown Theatre Festival end-of-festival party. I missed the start, which included a clown funeral procession through Williamsburg. I joined in with the dancing for a while, but I couldn't keep up with a crowd of clowns doing silly things.

My bike route on Sunday.
My bike route on Sunday.