Anamorphic Mook Noir

My pals in The Mooks played another Sunday afternoon show at the One 2 One bar in Austin last weekend. Kudos to One 2 One for these early shows! It’s so nice to be able to catch a band without being out until the wee hours of the following day. I’ll admit it - I’m getting too old for that sort of thing.

Since my wife accompanied me to the show, I left my camera bag at home. I didn’t want to be tempted to geek out with my camera rig and neglect her. Of course, that didn’t stop me from pulling out my iPhone for a couple of songs. I attached my Moondog Labs anamorphic lens (Yeah, yeah, there was a bit of premeditated photo gear smuggling - no camera bag though!) and grabbed a few snaps.

It wasn’t all too long ago that I thought smart phone photography was ridiculous for anything beyond a casual snapshot in good light. Forcing myself to shoot with my iPhone 6s has changed my perception completely. I actually like most of the images I get from it, even in challenging light. Still, it’s far from ideal as a concert camera. Or is it? I’ve used it a few times now and find that I’m getting better with it in a difficult environment even for my “real camera.”

Since I don’t care for the native 4x3 aspect ratio, I often opt to use my anamorphic lens rather than cropping to 3x2 or 16x9. There is a bit of distortion and some interesting effects with light sources in frame. I love the cinematic vibe in spite of any technical imperfections. I’ve also reached a point in my photography where I’m not so concerned about sharpness and noise in my images. After all, it’s dark and performers are moving. No, the iPhone can’t shoot at ludicrous ISO. So, I adapt and I still get images that I really like. Images that are emotive and less technically perfect.

The entire workflow from image capture to processing to making this blog post was done with my iPhone and iPad. I used Blackie for the camera app and Snapseed and Lightroom for processing. Rather than trying to correct the imperfections, I accentuated them. A bit more blur and grain was added to enhance the dreamy cinematic look that was already there. I like what I ended up with a lot. I may be leaving my Fuji rig home more often.