A Performance in San Antonio

Middle School Performance, Lila Cockrell Theater - San Antonio, Texas

Middle School Performance, Lila Cockrell Theater – San Antonio, Texas

I took the day off and went to San Antonio today with my wife. My son’s orchestra was selected as the best middle school orchestra in Texas and was performing at the Lila Cockrell Theater. The Theater is an immense facility next to the convention center, more impressive than any music venue I’ve see in Austin. We started early this morning for the hour and half drive south, in rush hour traffic. As a proud parent, I had my gear in tow to capture the event.

The Orchestra director said this is the first time an Austin middle school was selected for this honor. And one of the few times any Austin area school (including high schools) were chosen, so it was a big deal. My wife and I figured that we should go down there, given the special circumstances. Not to mention, everyone’s been working hard for a few months for this event, putting in long practice hours.

I brought my usual duo of Olympus cameras, I’ve used lately. The OM-D E-M5 Mark II was on tripod to record the video of the concert. I used the Olympus PEN-F as a secondary camera, which I used to shoot this image. I also packed 5 lenses, since I didn’t know the logistics of the theater. I like primes since these venues are usually dim and I wanted to create a high quality video with large, light gathering apertures.

Packed with me was the 17mm f1.8, 25mm f1.4, 45mm 1.8, 75mm f1.8 and the 9-18mm super wide-angle, for architecture. I used the 9-18mm for this image, just to emphasize the impressive size of the place. I ended up using the 25mm for my video. I retrospect, I should have brought my 12-40mm f2.8 zoom, to get the precise framing, I didn’t get. The 25mm was a bit wide by the 45mm was too telephoto.

It turned out well in the end. The audio was surprisingly good for using the built-in microphones. I shot in HD, which is passé now. This is the first time I wished that I had a 4K capable video camera. Come to think of it, I did, with my iPhone 6s, but I opted for a bigger sensor and a real optical zoom. 4K is nice but it doesn’t magically make great video with out the sensor and optical fundamentals.

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3 thoughts on “A Performance in San Antonio

  1. A dramatic shot of the huge venue, the performers and audience lost in the space. I hope you could hear them, right up the back?

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