Photo Corners

A   S C R A P B O O K   O F   S O L U T I O N S   F O R   T H E   P H O T O G R A P H E R

Enhancing the enjoyment of taking pictures with news that matters, features that entertain and images that delight. Published frequently.

Outside 'Outside Lands' Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

11 August 2014

The Outside Lands festival, with over 200 music acts playing to 200,000 people on seven stages between 25th and 36th Ave. in Golden Gate Park, is over for another year, its seventh. From our perch on a hill, we could hear it now and then carried on the wind.

The conventional advice for the weekend was "avoid the park." But we felt like a long walk Sunday, so we ambled down to catch an inning of the summer league at Big Rec and, with our date of 38 years, to catch a few tunes at the bandshell.

The Golden Gate Park Band has been at it for 132 years now. The show on Sunday was called The Golden Age of Concert Bands and we caught some unusual John Philip Souza compositions like Willow Blossoms before we started home.

We had the Nikon D300 with us, set to Raw+JPEG for one of the rare times this year. We had a reason. We set the Picture Control to Monochrome so our JPEGs would be black and white. We just felt like stepping back 30 years or so for the day.

We only used the JPEGs as we shot, though. They gave us a sense of how the scene would be rendered. Kept us thinking monochrome, really.

Back at the bunker, it was a different story. We converted the Raw NEGs into DNGs on import, as we usually do, and opened one in Photoshop CC 2014 using Camera Raw to convert to black and white, where we fiddled with the sliders to lighten the leaves and darken the shadows. We modified the Curve, too, to get a little more shadow detail.

You can compare the in-camera JPEG to what we ended up with:



Comparing concerts is not as easy. The Band was free, requesting only donations. The festival was not cheap (35 scalpers, some with "expertly counterfeit passes" going for $1,000m were rounded up by the police). Both live performances but we had seats.

So who was listening to the Band? Lots of tourists, many from other countries. A child in a tutu dancing to the side of the bandstand as a parent took photos. A group guide suddenly moved to dance to the Souza. More than one elderly person, sitting alone in the shade of the leafy trees. Someone knitting. Couples on a honeymoon and returning for an anniversary. Friends having lunch together.

A diverse collection, in short. Some retired, some vacationing, some down on their luck, some disabled, some in strollers.

Humanity in all its glory. At the bandshell, at least.

BackBack to Photo Corners