Backed by her jazz trio, Bode performed songs from her new release, The Little Garden, providing the perfect kick-off to the annual festival.
This was a last minute shoot that came up, but I was pleasantly surprised by the opportunity. The last time I'd seen Erin Bode was at a private party/recoding session a few years ago. It was a late-night affair with a dark, club ambiance that couldn't have contrasted more starkly to the warm afternoon glow that surrounded the Whitaker Music Festival's opening night.
The performance took place on a ground-level stage of the garden's natural amphitheater, and I shot from the front of the stage at the front fringe of the crowd.
There were no song restrictions and I shot sparingly over the course of half an hour during the first part of Erin's set. Since this was a basically a seated event, I limited my movements and shot from a crouching or kneeling position throughout the set.
The lighting for the first portion of the set was almost entirely natural light. The performance began at 7:30pm, so it was the perfect time to catch the last of the sun's glow through the clouds.
The stage was covered, so the performers were in open shade with soft light coming through the back.
Lenses & Gear:
I shot this set using the Nikon D3 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. The range of the zoom was great for this type of work and let me sit on the grass in front of the crowd without having to move too far forward.
Exposure & Metering:
Due to the soft, even lighting, the exposure on this shoot was pretty much a snap. I dialed in 1/500 and f/3.2 at ISO 1600. As the sun set and the ambient light fell, I lowered the shutter speed to 1/250.
Again, this was a great surprise and I'm glad I had the opportunity to photograph Erin Bode and her band. I'm looking forward to what the rest of the Whitaker Music Festival brings in the next few months.
But in the meantime, back to the rock show.