Laura Mvula at BME

February 16, 2014  •  Leave a Comment
2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 Feb2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 FebLondon, UK. Laura Mvula at the British Music Experience a week ahead of the Brit Awards 2014, 13 February

Jazz singer Laura Mvula appears at the British Music Experience during Brit Awards week.

Laura took time out to chat with music students about her career and her creative process as part of a Brit Masterclass.

The discussion, hosted by the British Music Experience, took place in one of those dark rooms that make a photographer's heart sink the minute you walk in.  Tall black walls, no windows, and no lighting except for creative red and blue LEDs focused to the sides, all conspire to make for a very tricky situation and shooting anything decent is sure to be a stretch.

2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 Feb2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 FebLondon, UK. Laura Mvula at the British Music Experience a week ahead of the Brit Awards 2014, 13 February

Students listen to Laura Mvula being interviewed by Rebecca from the BME

2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 Feb2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 FebLondon, UK. Laura Mvula at the British Music Experience a week ahead of the Brit Awards 2014, 13 February
2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 Feb2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 FebLondon, UK. Laura Mvula at the British Music Experience a week ahead of the Brit Awards 2014, 13 February

The poor light quality and lack of focusing contrast on Laura, together with my camera's inadequate high ISO performance, means this is about as good a frame as I could expect.  Just about in focus but very noisy from ISO5000, this image took some pounding in post to get a decent exposure and colour balance.  These are the kind of images I don't enjoy making.

In these kind of situations, I always inform the client we're working with poor light and consequently image quality will be affected.  This helps to manage expectations.  Sometimes if i'm early to an event and the situation allows I will speak with the AV technician to see if we can agree to jack a little more light on the subject, making my job easier and the images more useable.

After Laura spoke with the audience she performed one song on her keyboard.  The lighting setup did not change and all I had to go with was the red LEDs.  This time around the low light and colour actually work to give the images their own atmosphere, matching well with her sombre and muted performance.  For that reason I like these pair of pictures.

2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 Feb2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 FebLondon, UK. Laura Mvula at the British Music Experience a week ahead of the Brit Awards 2014, 13 February
2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 Feb2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 FebLondon, UK. Laura Mvula at the British Music Experience a week ahead of the Brit Awards 2014, 13 February

After her performance I had time with Laura for some quick portraits.  With the focus on her nomination in this week's Brit Awards I opted to use the award statue and branded wall.  I could sense Laura wasn't in the mood for too many pictures so I didn't keep her long.  My usual setup of a Speedlite on a stand flashing through a brolly did the trick and really works with her beautiful and even skin tones.  Job done!

2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 Feb2014 BME Laura Mvula Brit Awards 13 FebLondon, UK. Laura Mvula at the British Music Experience a week ahead of the Brit Awards 2014, 13 February

 


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