Monday, July 19, 2010

Waving the Red Flags

I had another opportunity this past weekend to shoot some more drum corps. There was a drum corps show in Corona, CA on Friday night and another, on Saturday night, at Paramount High School.

For both nights, I decided to shoot with the sun backlighting my subjects, rather than trying to go the typical route of shooting with the sun to my back. For one reason, at both stadiums, the stadium was running mainly east to west. So the sun was going to set on the endzone side of the stadium. This makes for extreme contrast situations. In both cases, the sun did set off to the side, but a little behind (not exactly behind the endzone. Another reason why I shot with the sun backlighting the subjects is because I find the results a lit more dramatic.

In this case, I finally was able to fit the guy in the frame entirely. You can see how the light paints just the edges off him, almost like a highlight maker.

Stay tuned, as I have a lot more examples coming of the benefits of shooting with the sun backlighting the subject.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

The Eye of the Cymbal

One of my favorite activities to photograph is pageantry arts. I love taking photos of marching bands , colorguards, and in this photo, drum corps. There are endless photo possibilities. It is so expressive, emotional, and action-packed. You can throw many adjectives at these kinds of photos. Anyways, every summer, drum corps across the world comes alive.

Drum corps is a marching activity that takes place on a football field during the summer months. It is an advanced marching activity, in which performers must audition for, to just make it to the corps of their choice. When they make it, they have to pay their own way. For a chance to make the top corps, the price can be steep, since the top corps travel across the country performing for die-hard drum corps fans from every corner of the USA. But these performers have such determination and drive that they find ways to fund their summer of drum corps every summer. It truly shows the passion and devotion they have towards this activity and they leave it all on the field, when they perform.

Drum corps is slightly different from your average marching band. The most glaring difference is that there are no woodwinds instruments in drum corps. Drum corps is made up only of brass and percussion, on the musical side, with colorguard supporting the visual side.

Design of a drum corps show is much more demanding, as well, and very sophisticated. As soon as one summer of drum corps is over, the wheels are already turning on the design on next summer's production. Unlike many marching bands, which have more than one show design during the course of the year, a drum corps spends the entire year working on only one show and perfecting that show to the best of their abilities.

One reason, besides entertaining fans, to work on perfecting their show is because it is judged. There are different classes of drum corps, depending mainly on the size of the drum corps. The best corps will usually reap the benefits of getting the "cream of the crop" talent, during the audition phase. But, regardless of the level of the drum corps and the scores, these performers truly just love performing for the fans and the experience of a lifetime, that they gain from it.

If you want to find out more about what drum corps is all about and to find a show near you, check out the Drum Corps International website, DCI. They have all sorts of goodies for your enjoyment, such as videos, information on all the participating corps, show schedules, scores, and general news and announcements. Check it out!

You can also find thousands of drum corps fans at Drum Corps Planet (DCP). DCP has forums there for fans to discuss all there is to talk about, in the drum corps world. You will also find articles and photos. In fact, I am one of the contributing photographers at DCP.

For this photo, it was taken at a recent drum corps show in Riverside, CA, on July 5th, 2010. This is the Velvet Knights drum corps from Pasadena, CA. This year, their cymbal line is one of the most photogenic parts of their show. As you can see by their hair, they are not shy to show off their skills.

Now, photographing cymbals is not easy. Trying to get their face to show is challenging. First, the cymbals are usually in front of their faces a lot. Secondly, keeping the auto focus on the face is difficult. The auto focus sees the shiny contrasty cymbal and just wants to "grab" it. The focal plane is so narrow that if it acquires focus on the cymbal, then the face will be out of focus.

In this shot, I was fortunate I had great light, as it was near sunset. I was also able to get the cymbals apart and see their face between the plates. Anyways, I think the photo speaks for itself.

About Me

San Diego, California, United States
Thanks for checking out my photography blog. I am a photographer from America's finest city, San Diego, California. This blog is just a regular update of what I am photographing or what catches my fancy, when I am out and about with my camera. So subscribe and stay up-to-date with my latest photographic adventures.


  © Free Blogger Templates 'Photoblog II' by 2008

Back to TOP