On November 4 and 5, 2011, Slim Cessna’s Auto Club put on two amazing shows at Ottawa’s Dominion Tavern. It is a small (and lovably dank) place, but this made the environment all the more dark and intimate. As I understand, the Dominion (which is one of my haunts) was the first place the band played in Ottawa some 10 or so years ago, and they’ve maintained a good relationship with the bar and its staff. My older brother is a huge fan, and introduced me to them around that time. I was enthralled and recommend their music to everyone I can. Slim Cessna’s Auto Club is a staple on any mixed CD I pass on.
I’ve been busy with the start of a terrific (but demanding) new job, meaning that although I still take my camera out with me wherever I go and shoot prolifically, I haven’t always had the time to go through the photos shot and discuss them here or post them to Flickr. I figured I’d better make an exception in this case. These photographs were taken on the Saturday night show on November 5.
I don’t do a tremendous amount of event photography, but I enjoy the challenge of working in low light (often without the ability to employ a flash) under quickly-changing conditions amongst the hustle and bustle of other attendees. This night and particular was a great night for shooting, despite the very limited light available. I ultimately shot at ISO 1600 (not necessarily the preferred setting for my 40D) and used my EF 50mm f/1.4 USM lens between f/2.0 and f/2.5 to compromise with at least some depth of field while gathering a good amount of light. Knowing that the stage lights would saturate the scene and provide most of the lighting for the show, I decided to process these exposures as black-and-white photos. That way, the oranges and reds of the stage lights wouldn’t dominate the images, and the relative noisiness of the high ISO exposures would have a similar appearance to film grain.
Please do have a look and enjoy. If you were at either show that weekend, let me know if you have any photos of your own, and what you thought of the band.
Here’s the only really sad and awful part of the night: my own timid foolishness.
Allow me to set the scene. I was the tall photographer near the front of the stage at the show on Saturday night, wearing a black dress shirt and jeans. A lovely, friendly, funny woman ended up dancing next to me. She had short, light straight hair — almost white or silver — and glasses with thick, black, rectangular frames. We sang lyrics at each other and bumped into each other a fair bit. We bantered about the band, and she mentioned swooning when Slim Cessna yodelled.
I completely neglected to introduce myself or offer to buy her a drink. I wasn’t quite sure if she was with someone or not, or wished to further make my acquaintance or not, and foolishly hesitated. She vanished. I’d love to catch up with her again, to say “thank you” for crooning along with me (or “sorry” for being such a dummy).
Anyway, it’s a long shot, but if the person in question ever reads this, or if you have any inkling of who I am thinking of, please do be in touch.