03.19.09 – Clover leaves and green were abundant in the Highline Ballroom crowd for one of Ireland’s best bands, Bell X1. Standing on their huge following in Europe, the indie rock trio is gaining popularity in the US with beautiful performances of their 2009 release Blue Lights on the Runway.
Highlights of the album include “How Your Heart is Wired” and “The Great Defector” both of which are available on the the band’s MySpace page.
I used Bell X1 as a testing ground for the new Nikon 70-200mm VR I had purchased that afternoon. Even though I’ve rented, owned, sold and rented again several copies of the lend, I was interested to see how an older AF-S zoom would perform on the new Nikon D3.
For new Nikon shooters, and Canon folks, the 70-200mm lacks version 2.0 vibration reduction and the nano-crystal coating of Nikon’s newer zooms. Nevertheless, the lens performed both for flare and (most importantly) autofocus.
The Highline ballroom is a really nice venue for shows, but it’s sort of a photographer’s nightmare. The lights are expensive but always extremely dim, the stage is very wide, and there’s never a photo pit.
With no photo pit, I decided to shoot from a single stationary location just stage left of center instead of annoy the band’s numerous fans by jockeying for shots. This decision resulted in a lot of missed opportunities, but my take the night was decent.
Due to the weak lighting, I shot at ISO 3200 and 1/200 at f/2.8 for nearly the entire set.
Thanks to Miya and Jeff for their parts in coordinating this shoot. Next time drinks are on me!