A couple of weeks ago, I had the pleasure of photographing Jordan playing this beautiful Steinway & Sons grand piano in the Akin Auditorium at Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas.
This was part of the photographs I was tasked with working on for our magazine coming out in April. We had a donor donate money for all of these new pianos, and we were creating photos that showed off their beauty. The Auditorium was remodeled recently, so I was able to capture some of the new lighting fixtures as well.
The blue lights gave a glow over the piano’s insides, and I used that to accentuate the detail. Plus, I’m a fan of blue lighting whenever I have the chance to use it.
For this photoshoot, I had a new wide-angle lens bought just for doing this. It was a new Tamron 24mm f/2.8 lens that gave me a unique view of pianos. I also had the 100-400 Sony lens as a backup for other close-up photos. I would tell you how superb the new 24mm is, but I think the images can do the talking.
Hearing Jordan playing the piano as I took the photos, was probably the best part. It’s nice to have a live performance when you’re working.
For the settings, I stuck with a medium ISO limit, allowing the SONY A7riii to do most of the work, and then using larger f-stops to capture the limited light. The light was focused on Jordan and the piano, so I wasn’t worried too much about not having enough light.
I also included a photo from a concert I photographed early in February to show when the hall looks like under the spotlight with some blue lighting spread around the stage. This was during a cello and piano concert featuring Julie Albers & Orion Weiss. These two could really play, but back to piano photos.
With a magazine, you want to take a variety of photographs to have lots of choices. I probably took about 900 photos before I was done. When faced with low lighting, but spotlights strategically placed around the stage, I allow the shutter to photograph multiple pictures per second to have every detail appear while I’m moving around.
I liken it too when I have to photograph sports. With music, the hands are moving fast, just like an athlete is moving fast and in action. So when shooting music, make sure you have a large memory card.
The Auditorium is one of our oldest buildings on campus. I tried to take advantage of the former upstairs area to show the broad flooring and how big a grand piano really is. Akin Auditorium is over 80 years old and has been taken care of very well over the years. With no one in the Auditorium, but the two of us. It made it look like a live performance to just the auditorium ghosts.
Jordan knew what he was doing with the grand piano too. He’s a natural and everything sounded and looked amazing. The way he played the keys gave me a variety of angles to use. He’ll be well prepared for his next concert, and I can’t wait to see him performing to an audience. Thanks again for helping Jordan.