Lily Holbrook - Spring at the Stonestown Farmer's Market

It was over two years ago when I first ran into Lily Holbrook entertaining the Stonestown Farmer's Market shoppers, and here I was, photographing her again.  It was a feeling of full circle for me.  When I first met her, I was just getting to know my Fuji X-T1.  Now two years later, I'm using the Fuji X-T2.  And while I'll admit that I'm still a noob when it comes to photography, I've learned a bit more about composition and depth of field, and most importantly, trying to make things interesting by telling a story.

This time around, when I ran into Lily, I was using the XF 50mm f/2.  It's a compact, weather-resistant lens that doesn't really telegraph to everyone that you're a "photographer".  This was my first outing with the XF 50 lens and what better way to test it out than to photograph someone who I knew.

ISO 200  50mm lens   f/2   1/4000sec

I took the above shot while chatting with Lily in-between songs.  We'd realized that it had been almost a year since we'd run into each other.  I saw something neat about her ponytail and decided to take a shot of it.

Unlike the first time I'd run into Lily, where it was raining, today was a bright, sunny day.  The abundance of light pushed the shutter speed of my X-T2 right up to the max: 1/8000sec.  But I wanted to shoot wide open at f/2.

ISO 200   50mm lens   f/2   1/8000sec

One of the most important "tools of the trade" for a musician are the hands, so I tried to capture Lily's hands in motion.  The high shutter speed helped a lot in freezing the motion.  I wish I'd gotten a lot closer to her hands for the above shot, but I didn't want to interrupt her singing and the folks watching might have thought it weird...

For the next shot, I wanted to capture a little bit of the farmer's market itself, to show what things were like from Lily's perspective.

ISO 200   50mm lens   f/2   1/4400sec

I couldn't resist taking the next shot.  The little boy sitting on the ground was fascinated by Lily and listened to her for several minutes before wandering off.  We both noticed him and commented that it was neat a child was interested in listening to her music.  Perhaps she'll inspire him to be a musician as well?  As I've mentioned before in this blog, "inspiring the next generation, that's what it's all about, right?"

ISO 200   50mm lens   f/2   1/5400sec

Next is one of my favorite shots of the day because of the lighting.  She's got a nice, natural hair-light thanks to the sun behind her to the left, but also the light reflecting off the ground makes a nice, soft fill light for her face.

ISO 200   59mm lens   f/2   1/2700sec

I was worried that because of the sunlight, it would be a high contrast situation, but I was pleasantly surprised when viewing the images.  I like the trees in the background as well because the complement they entire image.  The only thing I could do without is the safety pole by her right arm.  I could have converted the image to black and white but decided against it because I liked all of the colors.  Removing it in Photoshop could have been another option, but I again decided against it.  I should have just stood a little more to her left and her body would have hidden the pole.  Next time I'll have to pay more attention to objects like that which might distract from the overall image...

And finally, Lily's winning smile!  Like all artists, it's a hard job, but she tackles it with energy and enthusiasm.

ISO 200  50mm lens   f/2   1/5000sec

If you're interested in seeing more of Lily's work, check out her website and Facebook page.

Gear used: Fuji X-T2 with 50mm f/2 lens.