While a horde of summer tourists donned I (heart) NY tees on the streets outside, the UK based Puppini Sisters wooed a packed house at B.B. King’s with the harmonized melodies of 1940s vocal pop.

PHOTO: EOS-1D Mark III, 24-70mm f/2.8 L , ISO6400, 1/160 @ f/3.5

Sweet and sassy throughout their set, the Puppini Sisters, who list both the The Triplets of Belleville and Marylin Manson among their influences performed an, at times tritely scripted, but ultimately delightful show. Backed by a single guitar, drums and upright bass, the trio sang a selection of covers from their album “Betcha Bottom Dollar” as well as original work from their sophomore release due to hit UK shelves this October. As an interesting cultural aside, the primary fanbase of The Puppini Sisters seems to consist of a more mature demographic than that what frequents most NYC music venues. With more octogenarians in attendance than twenty-somethings, it is likely that a significant portion of the crowd had not heard of The Smiths, Blondie, or Kate Bush (all artists whose work The Puppini Sisters cover).

In the end, with broadway-class vocal talent (x3), little production to hide behind and a smidgeon of kitch sprinkled here and there, The Puppini Sisters offered up a classic sound that appeals to young and old alike.


Though I’d heard that many shows at B.B. Kings were seated, I was admittedly unprepared for the lack of a press pit and how shooting the entire show from a stationery, seated position would affect composition. The seating arrangement however was not the only first of the night. This show was also my first shooting with a Canon camera, namely my new EOS1D-Mark III. And, since I like putting it all on the line, this was also the first time I’ve ever used shutter priority.

Though B.B. Kings is one of New York’s more modern venues, the lighting varied as much as two-and-a-half stops from one side of the stage to the next. This was, on the whole, weak enough to warrant the use of ISO 6400, 1/160 and f/2.8. for the entire show.

PHOTO: EOS-1D Mark III, 24-70mm f/2.8 L , ISO6400, 1/160 @ f/2.8

Since attaching my trusty Nikkor 17-55mm f/2.8 to a Canon body wasn’t a good option, I opted instead for Canon’s standard zoom, the 24-70mm f2.8 L. Since the 1D3 uses a 1.3x APS-H size sensor, this presented me with a slightly tighter field of view than I am used to using from the pit. As seen above, the 24-70mm range works well for 3/4 length shots of single performers, but lacks enough on the wide end to prevent full body shots.

PHOTO: EOS-1D Mark III, 24-70mm f/2.8 L , ISO6400, 1/160 @ f/2.8

Given my extremely restricted shooting position, the tele end of the range proved very useful for reaching performers at the back as well as opposite ends of the stage.

PHOTO: EOS-1D Mark III, 24-70mm f/2.8 L , ISO6400, 1/80 @ f/2.8

PHOTO: EOS-1D Mark III, 24-70mm f/2.8 L , ISO6400, 1/100 @ f/2.8