Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Pitchfork Music Festival

A selection of photos from the Pitchfork Music festival.  These were all taken on Sunday (July 19, 2009) and are not meant to be an exhaustive or complete record of the festival-- just some photos that I found interesting at the time.

I used a Nikon D90 and 55-200mm f4-f5.6 VR lens for most of these shots.

This is the third year in a row that I've attended Pitchfork, and I continue to be impressed by how well run it is.  They really have it down to a science.  Although I heard a few grumblings that the bathroom lines were too long, I didn't experience this myself (and really, who doesn't complain about bathroom lines at a festival).  I think my only complaint was the lack of diversity in the lineup-- I would have liked to see more female artists, myself.

Regarding the photos, I was struck by a couple of things:

1) We're really living in a golden age right now in terms of DSLRs.  Regardless of which brand you prefer, buying a new DSLR is likely to give you a camera significantly better (in terms of image quality and features) than what was available just a few years ago. 

Let's use this photo as an example:

balloons, confetti, smoke... frogs?

This was shot at ISO800, zoomed to 200mm, and with the camera held above my head to see over the crowd.  I composed this using the LCD screen (what's known as "Live View" on DSLRs), manually focusing on the stage.  This was one of a sequence of photos, with this one turning out the best.

The point is, this shot would have been much harder with the previous generation of cameras from Nikon (ie: the D80, D70, D50, etc).  Those models are just not as good at ISO800 and above, and they also don't have Live View, so the composition would have involved holding the camera in the air and guessing.  That's next to impossible at longer focal lengths.

In general, I couldn't be happier right now with the camera that I own.  (All I really want at this point is for Nikon to release a pocket sized version).

2) The Nikon 55-200mm f4-f5.6 VR is an excellent consumer lens.  It's sharp, has a good VR system, produces adequate bokeh, and weighs next to nothing.  It's also fairly compact, which makes it a good lens if you're not trying to draw a lot of attention to yourself.  Oh, sure, if you're a pro the 70-200mm f2.8 VR is faster and much better built, but it's also twice as big and FOUR times as heavy.  No one was paying me on Sunday, so I'd rather walk around in comfort and not have my shoulder fall off. 


JUSTIN said...

Sweet shots man! I walked on the Flaming Lips though; The Very Best was too good to pass up!

Andy said...

Thanks, Justin. I've heard The Very Best put on a good show, but I couldn't turn away from the Flaming Lips spectacle.