On tour with Seal. Day 3 – Croatia

July 15th 2010 – Hey guys, on the bus headed for Florence, Italy and I was able to connect to WiFi for a bit so I uploaded some shots from last nights show in Croatia. This one was more of a challenge due to lighting, access, etc. but I still walked away with some cool stuff. I shot with the Pentax Kx, The Leica M9, The Leica X1 and the Sony NEX-5.

The Sony NEX-5 is a great little camera and I prefer it to the NEX-3 for ergonomics, but the lenses are the weak link IMO. The zoom has much more distortion than the 16mm prime lens, and is borderline un-usable at its widest setting of 18 if you are shooting any type of architecture. Also, I found while the LCD is fantastic, it is still a challenge to see it in bright light though all cameras have this issues. The one thing that the Sony does have going for it is speed. It’s AF is fast though sometimes gives a false focus lock. When I compared some shots with the X1, it was no contest…the X1 slaughtered the NEX for Image Quality but for speed, and features the NEX-5 wins. For $700, the 5 is a great camera, and makes for a great all-in-one-take-anywhere solution.

Before the show I was in my (very beautiful) hotel room and I had 2 hours to kill so I took a short walk around the village with the Sony NEX-5.

The stairs going down from my room. Sony NEX-5, 18-55. OOC JPEG.

again, the NEX-5 with kit zoom but I did some desaturation on this one as I thought the colors of the original were a but too punchy.

Converted this one to B&W using SIlver Efex Pro

At sound check, the sun was beating down and it was hot & humid. It felt hotter than it does in Phx, AZ due to the humidity.

Showtime, so I started the night shooting with the M9 and Noctilux combo again…

And 3/4 of the way through I grabbed the X1 and had a go with it. If you can get close, the X1 can do a great job, even with its slower AF.

Two more Noctilux shots in B&W (In camera B&W)

one from the Pentax Kx and 200 2.8

and Olympus E-P2 with 14-150

So far so good! Having a great time and all the guys in the band, as well as management are class acts. After just three days I already feel like part of the family. Three days to go before my long flight home but I am thrilled that I was able to come along for the ride for a week. Tomorrow I should have some shots from Florence, Italy and I will mainly be shooting the X1 and NEX-5 while there. As for the next show, I may be shooting it with a Canon 7D to try out an SLR for once πŸ™‚

Thanks for looking!

This story continues HERE with day 4 & 5

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  1. Hi Steve, So cool to see Croatia scenes on your site. Good to have you (and Seal and Co) in my neck of the woods. Cool shots, Noct really shines through. One day…

  2. steve, i am eternally jealous….i was and am a huge Seal fan even before i knew he was a photographic artist as well. your b&w of him with the smoke and spotlight exudes everything genius about the man….his powerful lyrics truly come out with his passion for song and for life….not to sound extremely philosophical…but its true.

    that photo of him also exemplifies your talents as well. definitely convey my aloha to the man and that photo gets my vote for the next album cover!

  3. Steve, You definitely don’t want to be here in Connecticut! The humidity here is record breaking this year. It’s like being in the tropics! It’s been a tough one. The dew point is in the 70s! We have similar weather to Europe in that regard. Sometimes I check out the iPhone weather app to compare the weather and it’s the same in Italy and Paris as it is here in Connecticut! Freaky! I would like to try Arizona dry hear for once. I hear it’s quite lovely at night. It’s a warm but velvety breeze according to my brother-in-law.

  4. Steve,

    Great shots as always. I discovered your site a few weeks ago and find it to be a great “breath of fresh air” compared to all the other photography sites. You’ve helped re-awaken a sleeping passion for photography in me which has been dormant for too long. Hang in there.

  5. Love the concert imagery, Steve! While I envy you traveling through Europe to get the images, I have been fortunate to have media access to the Seabreeze Jazz Festival in northwest Florida since the first one in 1999 with 3 days of artists to entertain fans. The fun part for me is there are a lot of people who I see every year. If you ever get a chance, you ought to get some media credentials and shot this event. It is a rollicking good time every year with artists like Nick Colionne, Jessy J, Richard Elliott, Mindi Abiar, Joyce Cooling and the like.

  6. @Joan – Thanks for the oh so kind words. Enjoy the X1! Im enjoying mine πŸ™‚

    @Gordie – Thanks!

    @Micahel S – Yea, its HOT!

    @Scottie – I think that is just My style, ha ha.

  7. Hello Steve,I am a Chinese guy.My english is not well,and i hope you do not mand this!
    First time i had been see your photo in http://www.fengniao.com.I have to say:that is very cool!
    So i often focus on your website.
    I have a photography question to ask your advice.
    Your photoes used to different camera,but all photoes have same style.This style approach the Leica style.How would you do this?Thank you!

  8. Hehe…I had to laugh about that:
    “It felt hotter than it does in Phx, AZ due to the humidity.”

    Welcome to central Europe then Steve…I could not sleep last night due to the heat of the day still not coming down during the night.
    Sweating the whole day!


  9. Love the M9 shots. You are one very talented dude. It is because of you that I got the X1. Thanks so much! Joan

  10. @ Johannes – Thanks man!

    @Jonathan – Seal read your comment this morning so you just said HI yourself. Thanks!

    @efix – Yea, probably mine as well. Seal started to sing “Loves Divine” and they embraced. I knew what the result would look like with that Noct so I had to grab it. Thanks!

    @Sori – Thank you Sori, not only for your great comments but your emails and enthusiasm + support. It is appreciated.

    @Darell – I love doing this, and find it’s great “therapy” for me right now. Only bummer is that I only have two days left! Just when I was starting to get comfy…

    @Tony – The NEX-5 is speedy with its AF but I am finding its files soft and the kit zoom lens just have too much distortion for my tastes.

    @Susan – That Nocti may be $10k, but if someone had the means to buy it, it is well worth it. No other lens like it in the world IMO. This one is not mine, but Seal has been letting me shoot with his. If I had the means, I would buy one 100%. BUT, I do not. Quite the opposite actually. Still, this is a killer lens. If I shot concerts for a living I would own Two M9’s, a 50 Noct and 35 Lux, and 90 Elmarit or Cron.

    @Yann – Thanks, there is more to come through Sunday.

    @Will – Thanks. Yea, the M9/Noct shots just say POW!! Dream combo…I had to slow down with film as the costs were getting to be too much for me.

    @Elaine – Thanks. These shots were just for me to take for fun really, to get away for a while. If Seal ever wanted to use anything I shot he is welcome to it! Thanks again!

    @Dan – Yep, it is a blast – but it’s been HOT here! Still, seeing the band perform, and the audience reactions are magical.

    @Alf – Cant wait till tomorrow!

    @Eric – Yea, for some reason the Sony is soft but it is a nice little camera for the money due to its size and all in one kind of package. I think the lenses are the weak link.

    @fongyiktze – Thanks!

  11. Great!! Enjoy every one of your creation Steve. Looks like you are on a roll again!! Keep shooting and inspiring me (us)!!

  12. Awesome shots steve. Yesterday at my camera store we decided to do a , well I decided to do a shoot out of the 4/3 and quassi cameras and no matter what I did the Sony got destroyed time and time again when compared to the Samsung and EPL1. Anyone here have that kit zoom that I tested, is it really that horrible ? This was tripod mounted, timer, manually focusing every camera. The Oly Samsung cams even put up a great fight against the T2i and D90.

  13. Lovely!!!! Wonderful!!!! that looks like a blast – being on stage, taking photos of the band and seal, that’s what it’s all about!!!

  14. Florence, Italy? Now I am envious! Wow! I love the pictures. They have that music mood about them. I think all of the pictures came out exquisite, but my favorites are from the M9. I think it’s the contrasty tones and milkiness. All of the cameras produced wonderful files though. They are all keepers. I’m happy you’re enjoying yourself, Steve. When you get to Florence, if you have time, get a few shots of the city.

    So, is Seal going to use any of these shots for his CD packaging? Maybe inside? I like how bands have a little booklet to show the different venues and describe their journey. It reminds me of albums. Yeah, I’m old! I remember albums. I miss the days of album art.

  15. Hey Steve, even at this size the M9 and Noctilux combo shots stand out from the rest as far as image quality goes, are you also shooting with your MP while your away ? I picked up a Bessa and 35mm Zeiss a few weeks ago and have been shooting quite a bit of Tri-X and Kodak portra 160VC which scans really well

  16. What an unbelievable opportunity! I am loving the images and looking forward to more…and just when I had quelled my Noctilust to a reasonable degree! πŸ˜‰ πŸ™‚

  17. Hello Steve,
    What’s the handling and speed of the NEX-5 in low light situations?

    Have a nice trip over Europe

  18. Steve, these shots show that you really are “with the band”. I hope the trip is giving you the refresh you need and with pictures like these maybe Rolling Stone should be giving you a call!

  19. Great shots Steve, you really capture the mood well with these Seal tour shots πŸ™‚

    I’m actually quite jealous, Seal’s first album was my first CD ever… way back when I was like 8 years old. Say hi to him for me pretty please!

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