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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #1
DwightMcCann
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Default Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

I've got that damn cold that's going around so I'm inside ... so I actually got to these in a timely fashion for a change. And since Pekka has given me a special exemption so I can use my 1000 pixel images, I'm BAAAAAAAAAACK!
First the collage:






One of the fiddler that I liked:




Merle was good but not as visually interesting as most of the shows at the casino ... no spotlights, no fog, just plain and simple with 'the wives' sitting on chairs at the back of the stage. There are more on my website at http://www.dwightmccann.com/ChumashC...rd11032005.htm for you viewing pleasure.

I'll be shooting Brule next Tuesday at a private event at the casino and have the feeling that they are going to be doing something a bit different than most of the stage shows because of some discussion I overheard from the lighting guys ... we'll see what happens.

Gonna' shoot a few at a Katrina Wine Tasting Benefit this afternoon but I don't expect they'll be interesting enough for posting here.

Oh, and if anyone has experience converting LOTS of jpg's into a movie I'd like to hear about it.

Last edited by DwightMcCann : 6th of November 2005 (Sun) at 15:54.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #2
BottomBracket
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

What, no McCann effect? Dwight, these shots are somehow crisper than your other ones, if that is at all possible. Is it because of the absence of fog, or a new lens? Great work as usual!
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #3
DwightMcCann
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Nope, they didn't use the McCannalizers nor spotlights nor much of anything else ... very plain Jane visually. The three closeups were shot with my 300mm f2.8L IS which just seems to deliver a crisper image than the zooms I usually use. I meant to pull out my new 85mm f1.2L but never got to it. And maybe I hit the 'sharpen' button more times! You do realize that I throw out the 85% that aren't sharp before I do anything else, right?
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #4
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Dwight...these are awesome...again...

I love your honesty about throwing out 85% right away...I find I am throwing at least that many away everytime I shoot anything...

Cheers,
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #5
DwightMcCann
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Symes, just so you know, I currently shoot all these events with bracketing: -2/3, 0, +2/3 shot using the 8.5 fps feature of my 1D Mark II, which makes for more throwouts than I might otherwise have. While I do try to 'take care' with every shot, I shoot with 4 GB cards (I have two plus smaller backups) and I never spare a shot and usually have two or three hundred to start with, so a lot are duplicates and I sometimes only keep the better of two or three. But I sure do pare 'em down on that first pass through and should probably keep even fewer .... I have no idea what I think I am going to do with all the ones that don't make the final cut into publishing! As the Photo Editor at the paper said to me, "You only need ONE good one!"
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #6
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Dwight - If it weren't for Don Williams, Merle Haggard would be my absolute favorite and I've never seen pics of Merle that were in the same ballpark as these. They're absolutely spectacular -- perfect light, composition and crops -- beautiful collage too! I can almost hear "The Fightin' Side Of Me" now! Thanks for sharing.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #7
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Dwight, you throw away 85%? I thought you just take a dozen pics and then call it a night Seriously, I understand that, that's the way I am too. Sometimes it's more like 95% for me on the first pass, but what I do is that I junk the really OOF shots and burn the rest to CD or DVD. I make a more thorough inspection after a day or so and find that some pics that I may have thrown out at first turn out to be quite nice.

I like the sharpness of the pics. Very high quality. By the way, do you shoot in RAW or Jpeg? I think I asked you this before, but I forgot.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #8
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Great shots Dwight!! I can't believe how sharp they are - awesome!!
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #9
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Dwight:
Thanks for posting these. Merle has been a favorite of mine ever since he put out his album, My Love Affair With Trains. He's always been a little rough looking, and you really captured the texture that seems to be part of his image. The color is spot on.

Glad you got the image size issue resolved to your satisfaction.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #10
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Dwight.... these are just superb. You can truely see the difference a prime makes. And to be honest, I am not a big fan of collages, but this one is okay. Your just getting better with time, what ever the cause. Thanks for posting these. Cheers.

As far as conversion - I like Sony Vegas 5.... but it may be way overkill for what you want.

Another question for you... you say you shoot jpeg. I see a lot of people saying the only way to shoot is raw. Is there a reason why you don't, and if you did so, would that take the place of the need to bracket with it's increased latitude?
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Last edited by Croasdail : 6th of November 2005 (Sun) at 19:46.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #11
DwightMcCann
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Jerry, thank you very much. The collages are a requirement of my agreement with the casino ... half the people in the place have a print of one or more of them (they print them) ... I am going to do a CD with all the collages from the year and sell it for $10 just to cover my effort ... there are a lot of folks interested. Feel free to "steal" 'em and if you need something bigger than on my website let me know.

Bottom, yes, I lied, I only shoot about twenty frames and throw the bad one out! If I was shooting real portraits or landscapes I would use RAW. I have all the software, such as RawShooter Pro and PS CS, etc., but I feel that RAW is only necessary for fine work, which stage lighting is not. So, it comes down to workflow time ... if I shot RAW it would double the time. BTW, I don't think of RAW as a way to bypass good exposures ... I think of it as allowing adjustments in tone or exposure that don't leave gaps ... with a jpeg if you do levels and look at the histogram you see vertical empty bands, but with RAW (16 bit color) there is so much information available that the gaps don't occur ... it prevents banding and allows for much more subtle gradations. These are not characteristics needed for stage lighting. I bracket because the light is so contrasty that it is hard for me to get the spot on exposures I like without it, and at 8.5 fps I get the three exposures in about 1/3 seconds ... although I am considering going to five exposure bracketing ... the 1D Mark II will allow 3, 5 or 7. DON'T SHOOT RAW SO YOU CAN BE LAZY ABOUT EXSPOSURE!

Rick, I hit the sharpen button two or three extra times ... isn't that what everyone does? $4000 body, $4000 lens, $100,000 experience and I don't even use PhotoShop!

Belmondo, same to you ... that is, feel free to steal my images and if you need something bigger to work with just let me know. The casino pays me so nobody else needs to.

Mark, thank you. Can Vegas 5 do 15 fps without transitions? Can it handle LOTS of frames? I tried it for something else and liked it but never bought it.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #12
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Wow, that second pic is killer! Awesome!

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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #13
DwightMcCann
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

I think it is a guitar reflection ... I actually 'enhanced it' a fair amount.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #14
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

dwight... vegas 5 is like primier... it can handle just about any frame rate you render at, unlimited layers, and really nice masking. We use it with a hd handicam and if you have enough disk can do a feature length film. There is a free 30 day download available at sony... actually there is a new version I think. The nice thing is it does not require the horsepower the adobe product does and you can parse rendering to another machine if you have networked machines... very cool. And it will run on a 700 mgz machine.... so I use my old machine as the rendering engine. The bad thing is I am going Mac so I will have to abadon it eventually... it is the only app keeping me on a PC. I will be all Adobe when I make the move... oh well.
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Last edited by Croasdail : 6th of November 2005 (Sun) at 22:27.
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Old 6th of November 2005 (Sun)   #15
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Default Re: Merle Haggard in Concert [Large Images Warning]

Great shots as usual. The second shot with the reflection is awesome. He looks like he's had quite a life.
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