Xavier Cross Benefit, March 2010

Sat 06 March 2010
By John Mark Schofield in Photography

This is my third real exploration of both my renewed interest in photography and my new camera, my Panasonic Lummix GF1.  I had a great time, and it was very gracious of Yoko to invite me to the benefit and show me around.

Photographically speaking there were a few big lessons. First, hold the damn camera steady! I ruined a number of shots this way. I think part of it is my nervousness about shooting people in the crowd. I felt perfectly comfortable shooting the performers, but felt very shy about shooting random people attending. (Despite the fact that nobody seemed to mind, and a number of people actively vamped for the camera. Of course, that's a completely separate problem, as I'm trying to get slice-of-life photos, not posed shots.)

The second lesson was bump up my ISO. I shot at ISO 800, and didn't go higher because I was concerned about graininess. I'll definitely have to experiment with higher-ISO shots to see if that gets me the higher shutter-speed I need without getting too grainy. Here's the first real example of the problem that I decided to keep:  Sunny Soriano and partner doing aerial acrobatics

This one kills me. It's the beautiful and talented Sunny Soriano and her partner. This is exactly the type of photo I'm trying to take -- capturing something like the peak of action. And it's blurry as hell, not because of the extreme speed of the performers, but because I had too slow a shutter speed, and too shaky a hand.

There were about five artists painting live, doing works that were going to be raffled off at the benefit. (I didn't win anything.)   This is Ceci Castelblanco: 

Ceci Castelblanco painting on plywood

I love this shot of Ceci. Something about dark, painterly tones really gets me. I didn't get any shots of the fire performers that I really loved, but I like how the pose for one aerialist worked out. He's hanging by a strap around the back of his head! Aerialist at Xavier Cross Benefit

All in all it was a blast, and I'm really glad I went. I hope there's an equally interesting photography adventure this coming weekend!

Here's the full gallery for this event.