I have recently taken onboard taking photos of a new bar that has opened in Melbourne. It was fun: I photographed the opening night of a Piano Bar in Prahran (Jono’s Piano Bar) . I took photos of the venue, of the guests, the food and the entertainment (it is a piano bar). It was a lot of fun (sort of), but it was for a good cause (I did the work for personal reasons).
With this work, I discovered two things: I need a camera with a better sensor AND I need to have two cameras to photograph. Let’s break that down slowly.
I need a camera with a better sensor
I have an entry level full fame camera. I don’t mind that it doesn’t have a million features because I am there to TAKE the photos. I understand that the features that the other cameras have are to help produce the pictures we want more easily. But for me, this exercise of photographing the venue at night has shown me that I need a sensor that will produce less noise when taking photos in low light.
I opted to not use a flash at the event because it would ruin the ambiance of the place and event. The last thing we need in an event like that is a flash going off every 3-5 minutes. As such, for most of the photos taken in 6400 ISO I really struggled in post-production, where I brightened the photos as one of the steps. Even when I didn’t adjust much, the noise was there. I had to resort to Topaz De Noise AI, which is a great software, to denoise the photos. But even with Topaz De Noise AI at its best is nothing compared to not capturing the noise in the first place.
I have studied a bit the newer cameras and they mention that the more modern sensors are able to prevent low light noise better. This may explain why ISO numbers are getting increasingly higher in more modern cameras.
I need two cameras
In this event I took two main lenses: my Nikkor 50mm f1.8 and my Sigma 20mm f1.4. Each one was used with a different purpose and having to go “backstage” to change the lens every time I wanted to do something that required the other lens was problematic. At some point during the night, I gave up on switching the lenses and stuck with just one of them.
If I had two cameras, the switch would have been much easier. To change which lens I was going to use, all I had to do would be pick up one or the other camera that was hanging from my neck and shoot. Having a second camera also provides me with a bit of security, if one of the cameras stop working during the event.
Bottom line is that both items have hindered me from taking MAGNIFICENT photos during the event. But nonetheless, it was a great event with a fruitful outcome.
As of today (27/06/2021) none of my photos are up yet. Neither on their site nor on facebook/instagram. My understanding is that they will start being used this up coming week. In the mean time, here are some of the photos I like.
I ended up going the next night to have a few nibblies, a few drinks and to listen to the talented pianist (Jaime Burgess) playing classics and requests. He had guests come and sing, and even Jono (the owner and front-face of the bar) gave us a taste of how great he sings. The drinks, the food (, the company) and the entertainment made that night a success.
On Saturday I went back during the afternoon to take photos of some of their food. I will post the photos of the food in a couple of days.