29 January 2010
My security blanket
Last night I was asked to do some photos at a comedy club in Basingstoke. Now there was a time when comedy clubs scared me a little. I was scared I was going to be the poor sap some mean comedian picked on for the evening.
Now though, I don't care. At least I don't care when I have my camera in my hands. I feel I have a proper reason to be there, to walk around, and stuff. Also I feel part of the crew, I'm there doing a job, and the comedians seem to respect that and hence I'm not a target.
My visit to Jan Jack's Laughter House (www.laughter-house.co.uk) last night was my first visit to a comedy club in about 8 years. Then I was sat in the back row, scared shitless I'd be one of the audience the comic picked on.
The show was great, with host Danny Dawes introducing Matt Reed, Spam Ayres, Joel Dommett and the main act Bob Mills.
It was one of the hardest things I've had to photograph. Normally at concerts and live shows the hit rate of acceptable shots goes down, but the lighting was just awful for me (great for the audience and performers) but for me, urghh, bad bad bad!
I had my Canon 5D Mark II up at 5000 ISO, I was shooting at f2.8 and I was still only getting shutter speeds of around 1/20th. Flash, not that I had one with me isn't an option at live shows like this. My hit rate took a tumble, I must have deleted about 85% of the shots either on the night or in post editing.
Given the lighting, and it was the first time I've photographed comedy, I'm really pleased with the results.