I recently had the pleasure of photographing the National Children’s Chorus Spring concert here in NYC. The voices that emanated from these little bodies, was anything but little. The songs echoed through the space with energy and beauty. It was magical. It’s hard to believe kids as young as 5 years old stood before us with such confidence and talent, that far exceeded their age.
Here are a few images from the concert.
Karen Haberberg Photography
Here is some background information the Chorus.
The National Children’s Chorus is quickly establishing itself as America’s leading treble chorus, with a set of ensembles based both in Los Angeles and New York City. Tracing its lineage back to the 1904 inception the National Children’s Chorus has garnered a superb reputation for musical excellence, and has amassed an impressive resume of experience. Collaborating with some of the finest music companies in the nation, the group has recently been featured on numerous movie and television soundtracks, most recently appearing on screen for Paramount Pictures and its 2009 film Imagine That, starring Eddie Murphy. Through the years, the group has been featured numerous times as the musical act on Jay Leno’s former Tonight Show, and its members are regularly contracted as solo artists for professional engagements both on the stage and in the studio.
Students of the National Children’s Chorus in Los Angeles and New York are represented by more than sixty schools throughout both cities, and meet weekly for rehearsal and musicianship study. The extensive curriculum includes college-level conducting, composition, music theory, sight-singing in the KodÃ¡ly Method, and individual voice training in the bel canto style under the guidance of Michael Dean, Vocal Studies Department Chair at the UCLA School of Music. Through a holistic approach to educating the total musician within each child, recent graduates from the program have gone on to be accepted at top schools around the country, such as USC’s Thornton School of Music, UCLA’s Herb Alpert School of Music, UC Berkeley, the Curtis Institute of Music, Manhattan School of Music and The Juilliard School.
Check them out!
PHOTOGRAPHY PRODUCT NEWS
I am often asked, “I want a new camera, what should I buy?”
In my opinion, it doesn’t make sense to purchase a point and shoot camera unless it has manual features because it’s easy to just whip out your iphone.
The new micro 4:3 cameras with interchangeable lenses are definitely worth looking exploring. They are fast, small, lightweight, easy to use and have a lot of very cool features.
Check out the Sony NEX 6 or 7 mirrorless camera and the Olympus OMD. Beautiful images — but the cameras and lenses aren’t cheap. The body and kit lens run anywhere from $800-$1300.
However, if you aren’t a professional photographer or serious hobbyest, they could replace your digital SLR and your back will definitely benefit from not carrying around all that heavy equipment!
Here is a helpful review of the NEX 6.
- Lens quality: Are the lenses of a particular vendor known for their quality, both optically and mechanically (what is known as build quality)? Does this vendor offer multiple lens lines with economy lenses that might be a little less rugged but affordably priced, as well as pro-style lenses with the ultimate in sharpness and ruggedness? Depending on the type of photography you do, trading off a little weight and replacing a few metal parts with tough plastic might be important. Or, you might require lenses that can take punishment and still deliver sparkling results.
- Focal length ranges: Some vendors are stronger in the telephoto lens department and weaker when it comes to providing wide-angle lenses. Some do a better job with certain kinds of zooms than others. Make sure that vendor of the camera youʼre contemplating offers lenses in the focal lengths and maximum apertures you require. If not, see whether you can fill in the lenses you require from third-party vendors, such as Tamron and Sigma. These manufacturersʼ optical offerings might be completely satisfactory — or they might not. Itʼs best to see whether the lenses you will need are readily available at a price you can afford.
- Special features: Focal lengths, zoom ranges, and maximum aperture arenʼt the only features you want in a lens. You might need close focusing, fast auto focus (which is partially dependent on the design of the lens), or the ability to control the out-of-focus areas of animage. (Nikon, for example, has a line of DC lenses that are great for portraiture because youcan control how the defocused areas look.)
The lens on the camera primarily controls what viewing angle an image will be taken at. The viewing angle of a lens and the size of the image relative to that of the object is expressed by its focal length, measured in millimeters (mm) -the distance from the middle of the lens to its focal point.
Fish-Eye Lenses (6mm – 16mm) This type of lenses drastically distorts reality, by expanding the view of angle far beyond what would be considered normal for human vision. With an extreme fish-eye lens you could photograph holding your camera straightforward and still get your own feet in the picture. This type of lenses are often used for the special effect they create but can also be used to photograph interiors where there is not space enough to compose a proper image with amore regular lens.
Wide-Angle Lenses(18mm – 35mm/ focal length shorter than normal, and angle of view wider)Wide-angle lenses are probably the most common lenses around. They do expand the angle of view, but a good quality wide-angle lens can do so without distorting the image. This type of lenses also expands the perspective within the picture, which means that things that are close in distance will seem to be farther apart when seen through the camera.
Normal Lenses (40mm – 60mm / angle of view of the diagonal about 50°: a focal length approximately equal to the diagonal produces this angle) This category of lenses closely corresponds to the natural perspective of the human eye. Normal lenses are simple in construction and often produces the highest optical quality in terms of resolving power and lack of distortion. Normal lenses do not expand or contract perspective but simply see things in terms of perspective as they appear to the human eye.
Telephoto Lenses (Long Focus Lens)(75mm – < / focal length longer than normal, and angle of view narrower) When trying to capture anything further away then you can or wish to reach telephoto lenses can come in handy. By narrowing the angle of view they function just like binoculars bringing what is visually far away much closer. Telephoto lenses will also flatten the perspective within the image. When photographed with a Telephoto lens, subjects far apart in reality will seem to be much closer in distance.
Of course, the only problem with using prime lenses is that you must be willing to swap lenses whenever you decide to shoot something else or when you need a different perspective that you canʼt get by stepping closer or farther away. Digital SLRs have one additional consideration: If youʼre working in a dusty environment, you might not want to change lenses a lot because each time you take off a lens youʼre letting some dirt invade the camera body, and that dirt might end up on the sensor.
Lenses can be made to cover a single focal length or to be variable in terms of focal length.
Fixed focal length lenses
These types of lenses have the highest optical performance and they also support the largest aperture openings. The fact that the focal length cannot be varied can be to a disadvantage but some photographers claim when continuously using a single focal length lens you eventually learn to see and compose your images after that given perspective so that when you lift the camera you have already positioned yourself in the right place at the right moment to take the picture you intend.
These types of lenses can be very convenient to use since they can cover a large degree of focal lengths within the same lens and therefore minimizing the need for additional lenses. Most common zoom lenses cover a focal length from a wide angle to a telephoto, typically35mm – 75mm. Constructing a zoom lens is far more complicated than constructing a lens with a single fixed focal length. Because of this zoom lenses are often of a lower optical quality than fixed focal length lenses, they can also be considerably more expensive. Another drawback with zoom lenses is that they canʼt support as wide aperture openings as fixed focal length lenses can.
Stay tuned next week for more on camera lenses.
Check out www.karenhaberberg.com for information about workshops and classes.
High Dynamic Range, or HDR, is a digital photography technique whereby multiple exposures of the same scene are layered and merged using image editing software to create a more realistic image, or a dramatic effect. The combined exposures can display a wider range of tonal values than what the digital camera is capable of recording in a single image.
HDR will tend to be unusable with moving subjects. Software such as Photoshop makes merging the
images easy. Some cameras like the 5d Mark 3 can do this within in the camera.
It’s a great tool when you have very contrasty image as seen at night because it is capturing three different exposure and sandwiches them together to make one image. This gives more details in the shadows and highlights.
• When photographing portraits in low light, a ﬂash can be very helpful. Figure out the proper
exposure of your subject and then ﬁre off your ﬂash . Try lowering the power output of the ﬂash
to minus one or underexpose your image slightly.
• Use a slow shutter speed to let in the ambient light. 1/30th of a second.
• A light modiﬁer is suggested to diffuse the light. Also, if you can get your ﬂash off your camera, you have more options for lighting your subject.
This concludes the How to Photograph at Night series with Karen Haberberg. Visit www.karenhaberberg.com for more samples of her work.
A silhouette of your little one can be a piece of art. Here are some tips on how to create something you can hang on your wall and admire. Step 1. Photograph your child’s profile against a white background. Step 2. Go into an editing software program such as Lightroom or Photoshop and convert the image into black and white. Increase the contrast to 100 percent. Step 3. Next go into Photoshop and go to Filter/Sketch/Stamp as seen in image 3 below. Step 4: Use the paintbrush tool in Photoshop and fill in the portions of the image that aren’t black.
Part 2 of How to Photograph at Night
Shutter Speeds are very important to night photography
• Your camera can only be set to do a maximum of a 30 second exposure. For a longer exposure set camera to Bulb.
• The longer the exposures the more movement you will see. Even from stars,
fog, water, steam, mist., ﬁreworks.
• People will not appear with such long exposures.
• Remember to Experiment.
White Balance – White balance (WB) is the process of removing unrealistic color casts, so that objects which appear white in person are rendered white in your photo. Proper camera white balance has to take into account the “color temperature” of a light source, which refers to the relative warmth or coolness of white light. For now leave white balance i
Dynamic Range – In photography, dynamic range is the difference between the lightest light and darkest dark which can be seen in a photograph. You can see a distribution of this tonal range in a
Watch out for Noise – Noise is a function of one of the following: High ISO, Underexposure, Long Exposure Times
What to be done about Noise?
• Noise Reduction Software; nik software, noise ninja.
• Try and use lower ISOs
• Put Noise reduction ON in camera settings
Focusing – Focusing at night can be challenging. There are several approaches that you can try, and the right choice will vary depending on the shot.
• Try auto focusing on point light sources at a similar distance to the subject of interest and then turn off auto focus and reframe your shot.
• Look for something outside of your composition that is about the same distance away – focus on that, switch AF off, and recompose.
• Use Live View to zoom in and focus manually on an area.
• Alternatively, bring a small ﬂashlight since this can be set on the subject, focused on, and then removed before the exposure begins.
• Manual focus may be a possibility – either by trying to get a point light source such as a bright star (or your laser pointer, or a light placed in the scene, etc.) to focus manually through the viewﬁnder or by relying on the distance scale on the lens barrel.)
• Since perfect focus may be more elusive at night you have another reason to perhaps use smaller apertures with their greater depth of ﬁeld.
• Put Auto Focus Assist Illuminator on which sends out a light which will send out a light to help focus. The range is 24mm-200mm on your lens.
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