Jul 17, 2009

Quick Pics - Drum Corps in Dallas

I only marched for one year in high school band, but it was plenty to give me some real appreciation for the work and talent that the DCI folks put into making some truly remarkable shows.  I've always been a drummer at heart (ask my mom what happened to the pots and pans), but this was the first time I have seen one of these events in person, and it was very fun and entertaining.

The July heat made it even more impressive.  I was a massive pool of sweat just taking pictures.

I arrived early, and the ambient light was still very bright, although some clouds were starting to soften it a little from direct sunlight.
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Using a flash in the daylight can put a little fill into faces, and if you want, you can intentionally underexpose the ambient light.  If it is done well, it just draws attention to your subject without being obvious flash.  Of course, it also helps to take the flash off of the camera and hold it further away to avoid direct flash flatness.

I like this one, but the background is a little dark, and it is pretty obviously flashed.
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On this one I like the light balance, but I completely missed on the composition... 
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Still kind of obvious with the flash, but I like this one for some reason. That is some serious plumage.
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By the intermission, clouds had rolled in ahead of the much hyped weekend cool front. Made for some really cool blue sky backgrounds up in the bleachers. No flash on this either, just using the stadium lights and letting the background be dark and moody.
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My favorite performance of the night was by the Blue Devils. Besides being very well played, they used a large number of folding chairs. They marched around chairs, sat in chairs, stood on chairs, moved chairs around and all without anyone falling on their face.  From the bleachers, photo opportunities were pretty bland (the longest lens I had was a 70-200mm) but the chairs made an interesting visual element.
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OK, enough of that.  I know it isn't for everybody, but if you have an opportunity to see these kids (I can say that because I'm over 30, right?) perform, take it in and I think you will be impressed.

Happy Shooting

don j.

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