This past Saturday I got to see a couple of fun rock shows at The Tavern in Round Rock. The best part was that I didn't have to venture anywhere near downtown Austin and the mayhem that is SXSW! Telephantasm (Soundgarden tribute) and Naked and Fearless (Tool tribute) shared the stage and belted out worthy performances of the music of their respective bands.
It was my first time to visit The Tavern and I was surprised by the thick crowd on that rainy night. I got to the show a little early with my camera to check out the scene. When I saw how dark the stage was, I almost took my camera bag back to the car. The stage had no dedicated lighting. Clubs around here aren't known for having very good stage lighting but I think this is the first time I've come across a good sized club like this with none. Zip. If not for a bit of light from a projector showing backgrounds for the bands spilling on to the guys, autofocus would have been futile.
I really wanted to get some shots so I dialed my Fuji X-T2 all the way up to ISO 12800 and opened my XF 35mm lens up to f/1.4. Yeah, it was that dark. I knew the images were going to have dense grain and as I prefer to do anyway, I set my camera to shoot in black and white with the Acros simulation. Back at home I processed the images further in Lightroom to get a look similar to pushed Neopan 1600 film. The results aren't bad. If you pixel peep, yeah it looks like a grainy blizzard. If you look at a reasonable distance and can appreciate grainy film they're fine. The lack of light meant a lack of contrast so I also did a bit of dodging and burning in Lightroom to help bring in some contrast and open up details. Sure it's digital but the look and methods are quite reminiscent of film work.