Sunday, February 13, 2011

Mardi Gras at Universal

Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2011
"Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons"
Olympus E-P2 with OM 50mm 1:1.4
1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 400, Manual Mode

The wife and I did something we haven't done together since 1992 - we purchased a pair of year passes (at a good discount) to Universal Orlando. Tonight we used them to see Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons. Since it was the start of Mardi Gras 2011 at Universal, we were also treated to a Mardi Gras Parade before the outdoor concert of Frankie Valli.

The concert was very well produced and Frank and the Four Seasons put on a great show. I can't remember the last time I saw concert entertainers in suits and ties. It was a class act all the way around. We had a really great time. 


Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons - Universal Studios Mardi Gras 2011
"Frankie Valli & The Four Seasons"
Olympus E-P2 with OM 50mm 1:1.4
1/100s, f/2.8, ISO 400, Manual Mode

The concert was packed, both with oldies like the two of us as well as a lot of surprisingly younger listeners. There were a lot of Orlando City police on hand for crowd control, but while we were there the crowds were mellow and no problems were seen anywhere. Everybody was just enjoying the music, the ambience, and the beer.

Man with a Fork (43/365)
"Man with  a Fork"
Olympus E-P2 with OM 50mm 1:1.4
1/200s, f/2, ISO 640, -1.3 EV

The Mardi Gras parade was interesting, with three very elaborate floats filled with costumed revelers throwing booty out to the crowds. I got hit three times with necklaces.

Night photography is, for me, a real enjoyable challenge. Although I took a lot of photographs, I wound up with very few keepers. And it could be argued I shouldn't have kept the few I did keep. Since we now have year passes to Universal, and they don't black out Mardi Gras or the concerts, I think I'm going back out, at night, on a fairly regular basis to hone my 1337 candid night photography skillz.

I used the E-P2 with the manual OM 50mm to avoid the very slow focusing delays I would have encountered with regular auto-focus lenses. The E-P2 is a lot more responsive when you use manual focus, specifically zone focusing. Other observations: I used aperture-preferred exposure for the parade because of the wildly varying light on the subject, while I used full manual on the concert because I could quickly establish a good shutter and aperture and then leave them alone to compose and shoot. Although I like the 50mm, I'm tempted to purchase something sharper in that focal length or wider.

Or not. I can't shake the feeling that part of the problem I'm having is my poor technique using the OM 50mm on the E-P2 for night photography. More work needs to be done before I do something I'll regret, like invest in another lens I didn't really need.

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