Mat Zen, F88

Mat Zen, lead singer of local band F88, singing his heart out to take his band to the finals of a regional pop,rock and soul battle of the bands competition. There were a number of bands competing that night, but when F88 came on, and Mat Zen starting singing Dido’s ‘White Flag‘, I had a hunch they might triumph that night. In my opinion, having a good voice is one key aspect of making it as a successful and entertaining singer; the other critical aspect, I believe, is stage presence and showmanship, a certain panache, and Mat Zen certainly had heaps of it that night, see if you agree…

Waving The White Flag, Those Arresting Yet Vulnerable Eyes Reminds Me Of Michael Jackson’s

‘I’m In Love And Always Will Be’

‘And I Won’t Put My Hands Up And Surrender’

A Poignant End … ‘There Will Be No White Flag Above My Door’

It was a lot of fun attempting this set. You may have noted that all the shots are from the same angle, reason is, I had no license to move around as the stage was (badly) located in a corner of the hall and the judges were seated right in front. So, next best thing to do was to stay put and try to catch Mat Zen in various moods and poses in the course of the band’s performance. Obtaining focus in the low light was a struggle at times when you are zoomed in at the long end with the XF 55-200mm while keeping the aperture as wide as possible to have sufficient shutter speed to freeze Mat Zen’s actions.

All photos: Fujifilm X-E1 with XF 55-200mm

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6 thoughts on “Mat Zen, F88

  1. These are brilliant photos of Mat, Ken. You certainly worked standing in the same spot to your advantage and good to see no one minded your mirrorless camera 😆 Low light is tricky to shoot, and I suppose the ISO was up too.

    • Many thanks, Mabel.
      I was partly hidden behind a huge pillar by the stage ;), so, was not distracting the judges in anyway. You are absolutely right, low light focusing on relatively quick moving subjects (like Mat) is indeed tricky with the X-E1 and a little better with the X-E2 (have not tried the latest AF from X-T10 or X-T1, don’t know if they do better in this aspect). In Mat’s case, i preempted his moves at times, and pre-focused manually to get some shots. As much as I can, I try to stay within ISO1250 when shooting low light, ISO1600 at the most; otherwise, the noise level becomes pronounced, resolution drops, colours go awry, which takes some effort to correct. Do you like to shoot performances too?
      Best regards, Ken

      • It’s not often that I go to performances since they cost quite a bit in Australia. I’m going to Florence and the Machine in a couple of months, and I’m sure it will be near impossible to get to the front, standing :/ Getting in is one thing, getting close to the action is another. So is getting a camera in at times…

        I find it challenging to focus at all on fast moving subjects. Actually, I really am not well-versed at all in focusing, but in due time I’m sure I’ll learn.

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