The Axe

Onosa’i Auva’a is a rugby player currently with Sale Sharks, but he’s also no mean guitar player.
He recently performed some of his songs at The Boardroom in Wilmslow, so I took my camera down to try to get few photos.
I had expected the light levels to be fairly low, so would need to shoot at at a high ISO setting (1600) to get reasonable shutter speeds, even with the 50mm f/1.8 wide open. High ISO is a prticular problem with the D200, since it gets very noisy. In anticipation of this, I had already decided that I would process any usable images as fairly low-key black and white and turn the noise to my advantage as pseudo -film grain.
The other problem facing me was viewpoint. He was positioned at the top of a flight of stairs on what can only be described as a mini-mezzanine. So, not only was the front view looking up from below, but a chrome bannister rail interfered with just about every other angle. Fortunately, a sofa in the stairwell gave me a bit of a leg-up so that I could poke the camera through a gap at the top of the stairs and get some reasonable close-ups.
So, two basic viewpoints, one of them less than ideal. Sometimes you have to accept that this is going to happen, so I chose instead to go for expression and focussing on things like the guitar to emphasise the nature of the performance. Photographing people singing is always tricky, since they tend to have their mouth open and can end up just looking silly. Timing and lots of rejects are the key here.
The end result was about 120 pictures taken edited down to eight (of which I could probably lose another two or three). The full set is here, samples after the jump.