Lorette Schroth

Lorette Schroth (warning: music auto-plays) is a talented singer/songwriter with a unique sound. Click on the link to see if you can figure out all the influences. (It feels a little Russian or Middle Eastern, maybe? Might just be the violin playing.) She has an album out now, but she’s still new to this. There is no Wikipedia page, and I’m guessing this blog post will be a top result if you’re searching on her name anytime soon. She was a little nervous-looking on stage, but sang clearly and powerfully.

From a photographer’s point of view, she didn’t move around much. There was a nice bright spotlight on her for her set to help with lighting, but she wasn’t giving many different looks. That’s not her job, that’s mine. Her job is to sing, and she did it well. I tried some different angles, but most of the best shots were from one of two angles, and that’s what you’ll see here.

The band backing her up has a couple of guitarists (one acoustic, one electric), a violin, a drummer, and pianist who was completely in the dark. How much in the dark was he? At ISO 6400, I couldn’t get any picture of him. I’m not even sure my camera ever locked focus on his silhouette. In fact, the lighting difference between Schroth and her band was so great that it was difficult to get anyone else’s picture. The pianist was in the dark, but the acoustic guitar on the far other side of the stage was just as hidden. The electric guitar had some light, but the violinist had to play behind the lead singer, and so existed half in shadow the whole time. It’s a small stage at a small venue. It is what it is.

Now, let’s go to the Mexicali Live of Teaneck, NJ for some pictures:

Lorette Schroth's band at Mexicali Live, 01 Dec 2012

28mm, f/2.2, ISO 2500, 1/160s

See if you can find the band in this picture. The piano is just off to the left of this picture. The drummer was in somewhat of a good light sometimes, but there wasn’t much of a clear angle into where he was, so it didn’t matter. Mexicali Live is a dinner/concert venue. For this night’s show, the place had a full set-up of tables with people eating dinner. I’m not pushy enough to go standing in front of people and blocking the show for them. I tend to stand on the outside edges, up against the walls, and crouched in front of the stage.

Lorette Schroth's band at Mexicali Live, 01 Dec 2012

85mm, f/3.2, ISO 3200, 1/160s

I often use black and white as a way to cover up problems with the color output in a picture due to noise from high ISO shooting. I’m not doing that with this show; these pictures work better for me in black and white. It almost fits the mood of this show better. It’s a pretty good looking pic, even at ISO 3200. It’s hard now to believe that my first DSLR only went up to ISO 1600, and was pretty much unusable at ISO 800, anyway.

Lorette Schroth's band at Mexicali Live, 01 Dec 2012

85mm, f/2.5, ISO 6400, 1/160s

This picture is at ISO 6400 and has the most minimal noise reduction on it. It’s the picture from the whole night that convinces me that it’s OK to move beyond ISO 2500/3200. Hell, I might shoot my next show entirely at ISO 6400.

After the break: More fun with high ISO photography!

Lorette Schroth at Mexicali Live, 01 Dec 2012

85mm, f/2.5, ISO 2500, 1/160s

One more black and white shot that I barely touched noise reduction on, just because I liked the way the natural noise looked like grain:

Lorette Schroth at Mexicali Live in Teaneck, NJ

3200mm, f/3.2, ISO 3200, 1/160s

And, finally, a picture shot at 3200 ISO with no noise reduction added to it. I did a white balance correction and added some clarity, but that’s it. It’s still a pretty clean file:

85mm, f/2.5, ISO 3200, 1/160s

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