There is no better way to celebrate Mrs FlixelPix’s birthday than a trip to Belfast’s Empire Music Club to hear our good friend Malojian performing. If you haven’t heard his music then you have been missing out on something really special. The gig also offered the opportunity to try out the new Fujifilm XF50-140mm f2.8 lens with the X-T1 for some music photography.
As photography was really a bolt-on to a birthday celebration I didn’t shoot the gig as as a photographer, in fact I was so lazy I didn’t even move from my seat once. When the band arrived on my stage, to my horror they were washed in a single hue of blue light and there was little I could do get any sort of colour balance or clarity.
As a result I decided I would switch to shooting JPG only and used the onboard Fujifilm X-T1 Black and White film simulation mode (BY) and under exposed by two stops to shoot the show.
All of the images are straight from camera although there may be a little cropping on the top image to make it suit the site. Fundamentally the images were captured and processed in camera and I have to say I am particularly impressed with the results. During the show I even went as far as to publish directly from the camera to twitter and Instagram using the Fujifilm app on my mobile phone. See how to use wifi transfer on X-T1 here.
The Fujifilm 50-140mm comes with image stabilisation and it really paid off in this situation. With a constant f/2.8 aperture the 50-140mm is ideal for music photography although I think adding a battery pack to the X-T1 would offer a little more balance and grip given the overall size of the lens.
Malojian fans will immediately recognise the song being performed in the above photo, Stevie is a remarkable songwriter and live performer, his ability to write songs based everyday life is quite unique and he was able to capture the attention of the crowd with his usual lightning wit.
Performing alongside Malojian was the brilliant Paddy Nash & The Happy Enchiladas, this was our first time hearing Paddy and his band perform and they had their audience in the hands and on their feet throughout.
If I was editing the images for print I would probably enhance the blacks a little and boost the contrast but overall I was really impressed and the sharpness of the images given the blue heavy lighting environment. The XF 50-140mm is a remarkable piece of glass, paired with the X-T1 I found the perfect combination for capturing live music. I found I considered and time each shot with a little more deliberation so I came home with less shots but considerably less rejected images as a result.