Event: New Found Glory at The Basie

I had a busy Friday/Saturday last weekend, and you, dear friends will be hearing all about it over the coming days.

It’s started with a drive to Red Bank, New Jersey, to cover the New Found Glory show at the Count Basie Center for The Arts.

This was my first time shooting at the Basie, an classic old theater with seating in a rising stadium style and a great balcony level.

The building opened in 1926 as the Carlton Theater. In 1973, it became known as the Monmouth Arts Center, It was renamed, in 1984, as the Count Basie Theater, after renowned jazz musician and Red Bank native, William “Count” Basie.

Red Bank, which sits on the banks of the Navasink River, is a great town but I don’t get to it to much. But when a photographer who also shoots for Asbury Park Vibes had to pull out of the gig, I was able to step in, grab the photo pass, and do the shoot.

I won’t rewrite what I wrote for Asbury Park Vibes – it was a special show for NFG. Just click  here to read all about it.

This shoot was a little unique for me. It was the first time (I think) that I’ve shot a concert and didn’t have my trusty Fuji X100T, which busted a few months ago. (I wrote about it here). Something happened to the card slot area and I’m not sure what. In any case, I can’t get a card into the camera any more.

I got it in 2015, I think. The exposure compensation dial busted a while ago, I just forget I have it. And while the camera’s resale value is still very high (crazy high, in my opinion), I just don’t think it’s worth it to get it looked and/or fixed.

I’ve been debating about either trying to find another X100T or get the X100V (which is pricy), which I hear is great. Or…just use my Fuji XT3 as my “everyday/B&W” camera and either leave on the cheap 15-4 5 lens or look to get 23mm prime for it. When I used my X100T, 90% of the time, I had it set to B&W and have always loved those images.

Now, I’m trying the same with the XT3. For some reason, the shutter seems faster on the XT3 when I set it to B&W and I can do more with it. I’m sure it’s just me and not the camera but that’s how I wanted to use it for this concerts (and the others I shot last weekend).

And it was…ok. I like many of the shots (but I missed a few too – and that could be because of the lens I have on it. This 15-45 is a bit like the “Nifty Fifty” I had on my early Canon rigs. It’s not bad, and its good in many instances but not tack sharp as the glass and construction isn’t that great.

Leanna Firestone, who opened for New Found Glory

But often with these shot (including with the X100t), I’m not going for tack sharp. I want them to have some noise, be a little gritty, be it because of the glass or the (fake) smoke in the air. And people that have hired me tell me they like that look. It evokes the old-time concert shots, like this one of Miles Davis.

I’m not saying I’m going to keep using this lens because I don’t want to buy another one (though I am quite frugal). But if this lens…this tool…is giving me what I want…then why change?

The crowd at the Basie, from the side wings

Yes, a lot of grain this shot (I usually shoot the FT3 at about 2000 ISO – again it seems to work better for me at higher ISO’s ,just like the X100T did.) But this is the shot I wanted – a wide shot, showing the crowd (wished more were pointing back), getting some of the stage in there. This was an acoustic show, so there was many “action” shots – no jump shots or even really expressive shots (when I do my post about the Promised Land concert the next night, you’ll see the difference.)

This was the shot I was going for. Tack sharp. No. Does it give you a semblance of the venue, the crowd, the band. Yes, I think it does.

So there it is. I’m going to stick with the XT3, unless I find a bangin’ deal on an old X100T (and by that I mean $500 or so. Not the $800-$900 I’m still seeing it for.) or the X100V (which is very doubtful.)

And it’s good for the moody, noir-like shots I like to do.

Let me know what you think in the comments below about all this.


© Mark V. Krajnak | JerseyStyle Photography | All Rights Reserved 2023

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