Halie Loren “Simply Love” CD release show

halie-loren-september-2013-9315

See the full set on Flickr

The first time I heard jazz singer Halie Loren, I couldn’t believe this caliber of artist was 1) living in Eugene and 2) not more well known. I still can’t explain the latter, since the quality of her vocals puts her up there with the likes of Diana Krall; plus, her interpretations of standards like “For Sentimental Reasons” and “Moon River” (two of the tracks off her latest album, “Simply Love”) are, well, not very standard at all.

As to why she lives in a town better known as the “Home of the Ducks,” it’s because she doesn’t have to live in a Los Angeles or New York City to know success. While her following in her home state is, ironically, kind of modest, she has a devoted fan base in Japan and has toured there a number of times, to sold out crowds. Her choice to live where she does is consequently a perk for the fans who share the same area code, as they get to hear her on a regular basis and experience CD release shows like the one at the Wildish Theater on September 21st.

Having been to Springfield’s downtown performing arts theater once before, I knew the setup would be a little unconventional with its stage at the ground level and rows of stadium seating extending up from there. Not wanting an elevated perspective to the photos meant having to choose seats toward the front, and since I didn’t know if I’d get a clear shot over viewers’ heads, this meant having to shoot from the front row. In hindsight, the perspective would have been fine in the second or third row, but since this wasn’t a rock show, I was also sensitive to disturbing anyone sitting in front of me with the noise from my camera.

When we took our seats, I found myself closer to the center than I prefer (I don’t like to have the microphone blocking the performer’s mouth in most cases), and wound up switching seats with my wife after the intermission. But ironically, the shot featured above, my favorite of the evening, was taken from my original position.

The other band members were not lit as brightly or evenly as Loren, metering at least a stop difference in most cases. The shadows were also pretty harsh, as seen on the bassist, Mark Schneider. There was a similar harshness of shadows on the accordion player, Sergei Teleshev, but I found when he turned towards the light there was some improvement.

Lighting on the pianist, Matt Treder, and drummer, Brian West, was more even, and while I had a nice clear shot of West, Treder’s back was almost turned away from me. While I probably could have gotten out of my seat to get other angles, that would have most certainly disturbed the other audience members in my row, who were seated no more than 12 feet away from Loren and her band. Going up the aisle to get a wide shot of the stage and its full complement of musicians likely wouldn’t have caused a problem, but most of the time I was just content to soak up the great music.

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3 thoughts on “Halie Loren “Simply Love” CD release show

  1. Hi, Cameron! Thanks for sharing the fantastic photographs from the concert! As you mentioned (http://www.hometheaterforum.com/topic/326587-concert-photos/), I’ve been practicing getting the most I can (often post-camera) in stage performances with challenging light. I enjoy photography and typographic design as not-so-secret hobbies — though since I can’t afford the glass or back I’ve been dreaming of (currently the EOS 70D for its video potential), I have to satisfy myself with software tools (Lightroom 5 in this case). About that “red wash” — yep, it’s ubiquitous, probably because it’s easier/more flattering than a green/blue wash, but also because it seems not to be as distracting/discombobulating for performers on stage. Add a key light or spot, and it turns pleasingly peach/pink, not sickly or ghost-ish. (Those deep eye socket shadows on the bassist are real, though — I’ve actually never seen his eyes! Heh.) Anyhow, I wanted to let you know how much appreciate those images the obvious joy and professional eye that comes through in your work. Many thanks!

    Matt

  2. Thank you Matt! It’s interesting to hear about lighting from the performer’s perspective, particularly one who is also a photographer. I picked the brain of the lighting guy at WOW Hall through their lighting workshops, and that’s helped me understand it from yet another perspective.

    My wife and I are looking forward to seeing you all at your next gig!

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