Rebecca Roudman & Noel Benkman Concert at the Cadillac Hotel

Concert season is well under way again at the Cadillac Hotel in San Francisco.  This time around it was a pleasure to listen to, and photograph, cellist Rebecca Roudman and pianist Noel Benkman as they entertained a lunchtime crowd with classical music.  It was a stormy day outside, but Rebecca and Noel made the hotel come alive with their music.

I'll let the photos mostly speak for themselves.  As always, my camera settings are included under each photo.

ISO  640   35mm lens   f/1.4   1/60sec

ISO  640   35mm lens   f/1.4   1/60sec

ISO  640   35mm lens   f/1.4   1/60sec

For the above three photos, my shutter speed was a wee bit too slow.  There wasn't that much motion blur though.

ISO 800   90mm lens   f/2   1/200sec

ISO  640   56mm lens   f/1.2 1/60sec

ISO 800   90mm lens   f/2   1/200sec

I worked hard to get the above shot just right.  The intricacies of a pianist's hands are so difficult to capture. One of the dangers of using a high focal length lens is that you run the risk of motion blur.  I used 1/200sec, which made the image darker in my live view, but because of the dynamic range of the X-T2, all it took was a minor adjustment in Lightroom to bring the exposure to where I wanted it to be.

ISO 800   90mm lens   f/2   1/200sec

The above picture is my favorite of the concert.  The depth of emotion and concentration in Rebecca's face; she's in tune with the music.

ISO 800   90mm lens   f/2   1/200sec

ISO 800   90mm lens   f/2   1/200sec

The above shot is something that I've also wanted to try to capture.  I had been thinking about since ever since I found out about the concert.  The central question: What one single image would represent the concert?  I always try to find the answer to that question whenever I decide to photograph an event.  The hands are really integral to most musicians, so when I got an angle on this, I went for it.  Rebecca's hand is out of focus, with the focus mostly being Noel's hands, but I think it still works.  There's symmetry in the angle of the piano keyboard and Rebecca's hand and both of Noel's hands.  Increasing the F-Stop to get everything in focus would have meant a really really dark image, and possibly a grainy one too.

Gear used:  Fuji X-T2, 35mm f/1.4 lens, 56mm f/1.2 lens, and 90mm f/2 lens.