Just wanted to leave a short note with a link to the photos I took at the Ponca Opry on Saturday night and the photos I took of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra at their performance at Hesston College in Hesston, Kansas on Sunday.
My favorite type of photo is portraiture at a live musical performance but I have been hampered by the low sensitivity of my Canon Rebel 350D which has an ASA that goes up to 1600. I like to take photos with available light because I don't like to annoy the performers by using a flash. I discovered a few years ago that the secret of taking great photos is to take lots of photos and to throw away the bad ones so I like to take several hundred shots during a performance and a flash will run the camera's battery down too quickly. I bought my first SLR in 1970 - a Kowa SETR and went digital in 2003 with a Canon Rebel 300D but I have been waiting for several years now for a single lens reflex camera to come on the market that had the sensitivity that I needed and was in an affordable price range. Finally the new Canon 50D came out a month ago and I saw one in Tulsa and was amazed by its increased sensitivity - almost a ten fold increase over my Rebel XT. That was the present that my wife got me for my birthday two weeks ago.
All my Canon lenses work with the new camera body and the camera has lots of new features but the feature that I have been waiting for is that the ASA goes up to 12,800 which lets me take all my photos with available light with an exposure of about 1/200 second which eliminates the blurring I was seeing with my Canon Rebel when I was up at the limit of its sensitivity and had to take exposures of 1/15 to 1/30 of a second. I used my new camera for the first time at the Opry on Saturday night and the results were spectacular.
On Sunday, my wife, my mother and I went up to Hesston College in Kansas and attended a performance of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra. I had photographed the orchestra when they appeared in Ponca City two weeks ago and Rick Benjamin, the conductor of the orchestra, liked my photos so well that he invited me to come up to their performance and to attend their sound check two hours before the performance and take photos of members of the orchestra durings rehearsal. I took over 1,000 photos with my new camera and some of the shots are breath-taking. It's some of the best portrait photography I have ever done. Here are some of the best photos of the Paragon Ragtime Orchestra's performance.