During Northern Voice 2011, much time was spent at Sanctuary Studios, making noise and having fun. I brought my DSLR to the Thursday session, to see if I could capture some of the energy.
It was not a large room - we were in the "stage room", which, surprisingly, has a stage filling half of the room, and a couch/sitting/standing area taking the rest. Not a lot of room, once everybody got in. It was also very dark in there, in line with the B Horror Movie motif for the entire studio (which was awesome). I didn't bring my tripod, so had to figure out a way to get a decently stable shot. I put on my wide angle lens, and shot at 10mm, wide open (which isn't very wide, only opening up to f/4) and ISO 1600. Even at that, I was only able to get decent shots with nearly a second of exposure.
IIRC, I grabbed a stool on the stage, plopped the camera on it, pushed down to stabilize it, and started blindly firing off a few shots. I didn't want to use the flash at all, because that would have been distracting and interfere with the energy in the room. Which meant any shot would have a whack load of motion blur. I'm a big fan of motion blur, because it shows motion and emotion and energy and activity. Technically, it sucks, because with too much motion blur you lose any definition of shapes/edges/faces. Whatever. I love the entire series.
The photo above caught Mikhail Gershovich wailing on the guitar, Brian Lamb on drums, Bryan Jackson on guitar, and Alan Levine on (my!) guitar. I have no idea what the song was. The entire evening was awesome, and made only better by repeating the entire experience on Saturday, with more people.
I think about the time in the Stage Room a lot. It was fun on so many levels, with a room full of insanely smart, funny, creative people who were completely relaxed and having fun making noise together. And so many of them are talented musicians, having fun letting those of us with… less talent… to play along. So much fun, had by all.