A Night in Fantasia 2007 Anime Edition

November 25, 2007 | Author: | In: Anime Blogs, Conventions & Events, Everyday Life, Photography

As many of you are aware, last weekend I managed to get my Noir boxset autographed by Kajiura Yuki, and that she was in Sydney for the A Night in Fantasia 2007 Anime Edition concert. You may also remember that I mentioned something of a little surprise. Well the surprise was that I was asked to take photos of the concert as a media photographer! That’s right. Hit the jump to check out some of the photos that I took and find out how I managed to get this job.

As you may be well aware, I’m a pretty avid photographer and I enjoy taking photos of the various anime related events that occur in Sydney. Although with A Night in Fantasia 2007, I wasn’t too sure on the photograph policy for general audiences, thus I asked a good friend of mine, who also happens to be the AV Director, about such policies. Though I kind of expected it, he told me that photographs were not allowed in the concert hall. I thought it was fair enough and then considered attending as a a regular, but that is when my good friend suggest that I take photos as a media photographer, and to make it even better, do this for Anime News Network Australia (ANN AU).

Now this didn’t come too much of a surprise as we did talk about this sometime after SMASH way back in August, but I kind of forgotten about it when Eminence was just around the corner. So I accepted the job as I thought it would be a good chance to experience taking photos during a concert, and to see how far my photography skills have taken me thus far. So check out the photos below, they’re in no particular order either.

I can honestly say that these photos are FAR from perfect. I never expected the concert hall to be so dark, thus rendering a lot of the photos useless and only a few that I can actually use. With an ISO of 1600, the photos became grainy, and with the white balance not set correctly, I spent a good amount of time fixing up these photos. The lens that I used for this shoot was primarily the Canon EF 28-135mm f3.5-5.6 IS USM as well as the Canon EF 75-300mm f4-5.6. Not the ideal lenses to use in this kind of scenario, but it’s all I had to work with. This time also I used Manual mode throughout the entire session.

Though I do realise I needed one of those bazooka lenses that have f2.8 as they let in the most light, but also allows me to shoot from a distance, such a shame they cost and arm and leg. I tried various things throughout the night, like using a tripod, and the remote control, but alas, the results were all the same. Still, some photos were usable, to an extent, but I myself am not happy about the result overall. But then again I’m criticizing my own work all the time.

So what about the actual concert itself? Well this was actually my first attendance to an Eminence concert believe it or not. I’ve known about Eminence for quite some time, and I know some of the people that work for them as well. Heck my AV Director friend had always asked me to attend every Sydney concert for the past two years, but he always asked me the night before the concert. Despite taking walking around taking photos, I attended both 3:30 PM and 6:30 PM concerts, so I managed to watch the show twice and at times sit down and actually watch and listen to the performance. Now I’m not exactly a music critic, but I thought that it was a great performance. Hearing such sounds is always a treat to the ears and almost makes me feel that I’m in Nodame Cantabile.

However with A Night in Fantasia 2007, I was somewhat surprised that it was only a handful of performers, and that there was no full orchestra. From the photos and videos that I saw from the AV room, other A Night in Fantasia performances had a full orchestra. Although I got explained why, but I won’t go into those details. Also having a glance at the programme, there was only 14 pieces listed, which I thought was rather small, considering how short each piece was upon hearing them.

After a long night, and enduring with hunger pains since I didn’t eat that entire day. I managed to get a photo with Kajiura Yuki herself just as most of the general public had left after getting autographs. Although I didn’t really speak to her at all, since I had no idea on what to say, it’s really a great meeting such a renown person that has given so much to the anime fans, plus it’s a once in a lifetime opportunity.

Overall I think the concert was great, but I know it can be MUCH better than this. Although I think the bigger surprise was that this concert, majority of the crowd we first time attendees of an Eminence concert. Personally I think they didn’t get the full A Night in Fantasia experience with this concert, and that they should attend one of the future ones that will be held in the future to see what Eminence can really bring to the anime fan. There’s another Eminence concert being held sometime in December, but I am unsure if I’ll be attending that just yet, or even go as a media photographer again. Still, I quite enjoyed taking photos of the concert and it was indeed a new experience, and so I hope to work with ANN AU again in the future if the opportunity arises.

Also to note, ANN AU have a review that they will post on their site, so I’ll link to that once it has been published.

19 Responses to A Night in Fantasia 2007 Anime Edition



November 25th, 2007 at 2:24 am

omg you even got the stuffup photo too



November 25th, 2007 at 2:44 am

Hmm…the photos aren’t really that great
but considering the equipment you had…its ok
although you should be careful of some of the pics you take..
the 3rd pic has some black thing blocking up a good portion of the image.

but damn you got a picture with Kajiura Yuki :(
nice media pass btw :)



November 25th, 2007 at 4:34 am

“Though I do realise I needed one of those bazooka lenses that have f2.8 as they let in the most light, but also allows me to shoot from a distance, such a shame they cost and arm and leg.”

I know you weren’t getting paid for this gig, but if you can’t afford a lens like the 70-200 f/2.8 IS (which is what you really need in this kind of environment), you can always consider renting one for an evening. For just a single evening it’s actually pretty cheap. That’s one of the most popular rental lenses out there, so most every major pro photography shop will have some in their rental stock.

Also, in future if you have to shoot like this with less than ideal equipment, keep in mind that really grainy high ISO images like these are pretty much useless for print. You’re better off sticking with 400 or 800 ISO and just shooting like mad to get those rare moments when a photo comes out sharp. That way you can get 3 or 4 good, crisp, professional looking shots, rather than a dozen mediocre ones.

That said, well done getting that job. If nothing else, it’s good to add to your resume. :D



November 25th, 2007 at 7:10 am

I’ve been quite busy with class and work lately so I couldn’t really comment; but as soon as I saw a photo shoot again I had to comment xD

Yeah you need to have a decent telephoto that opens up to 2.8 for this kind of occasion in addition to the tripod you already had (shutter at 60-80; depends). How far away were you from the subjects and were you allowed to use a flash? If you’re allowed to use a flash, I suggest you do next time (1/2 power or more); sharp and clear pictures come first in delivering professional pictures. Not natural lighting.

Also, another big setback for you is not being able to shoot at ISO 1600, consider upgrading to the 40D (or whatever they call it in that area). Looks like you might be on your way to a side job :D congrats.

I’ve shot weddings with ISO 1600 on the 30D and made it deliverable.
And finally try a program called “Noise Ninja” http://www.picturecode.com/
Great program for removing noise. Hope my tips help.

I wouldn’t be to harsh on your own criticism since you lacked the proper equipment.

Things you needed for this shoot:
F 2.8 lens (perhaps a 70-200)
Better camera body.
And flash if you’re left with no other options (1/2 power and pray it’s effective from your distance).



November 25th, 2007 at 7:12 am

Oh btw, did you get your 580 EX1 yet? (continues to stomp on his EX2) LOL



November 25th, 2007 at 7:53 am

@___@ Ooooohhhhh… wish I could’ve been there. I hope you had fun! It looks amazing. *_* And, BTW, your photos are way better than mine.

……… I wanna meet Kajiura-sama………. ;_;



November 25th, 2007 at 9:05 am

Bubby: Some photos like that are unavoidable. That huge black thing is the stand for the musician’s music sheets. Because of how the layout was, I couldn’t even get a good shot of the guys at the back. But yeah, I was pretty much limited to the the equipment I had.

Orion: I had considered hiring a lens, but with the late notice, and my busy work schedule, I just couldn’t get around to doing so, plus not to mention I don’t know many places that hire out camera equipment, and ones that are closer to home or work. The reason I chose ISO 1600 was simply because of the limited equipment I had. I did try ISO 800, but the amount of blurry photos coming out was more so than at ISO 1600. Though I would have to add in the fact that the musicians are moving as well, so using a slower shutter speed isn’t the ideal choice either. Still, these photos are really for print, they’re more for web use, but I still prefer that they were of a higher quality. Besides, this is just another learning experience.

AOforever1: For a concert performance like this, flash was prohibited. Couldn’t use the flash otherwise I’d be blinding the musicians, and they need to keep focused on their music. The distance varied quite often from say really up close to about 15 metres, though I found that shooting from a distance proved better than up close.

I was using ISO 1600, as that is the highest ISO setting the 400D can go up to, so there is really no need for me to upgrade to a 40D. Although it would be nice to upgrade to such a camera body, but at this point, I’m not looking to go professional or anything. This is simply a hobby for me and I would consider myself to be an amateur, not an amateur professional (I consider the two to be different). However I think in the future I would look into upgrading to better equipment, but given my hobby of collecting figures, that ain’t going to happen any time soon, lol.

That program looks rather interesting. I’ll have to check it out. But yeah, I think using a 70-200mm f2.8 would have been a good choice. There is still much I need to learn about photography. A lot of the time it’s me going through trial and error and learning everything myself, but every tips that my readers give me help in many ways.

I still have the 580EX II. At this point I’m not looking into buying the 580 EX since I’m not at a point where I use the flash all the time.

CJ: It was a fun time indeed. But I want to attend one of the concerts as a regular attendee for once so I can actually sit and listen properly.



November 25th, 2007 at 2:48 pm

Adun: I wasn’t referring to the music stand in the 3rd pic but that other black thing down the bottom in the foreground which I cant make out what it is.
Also, were you shooting in JPEG or RAW? I certainly hope not JPEG



November 25th, 2007 at 4:35 pm

Bubby: Oh that is a person’s head. Like I said, it’s something unavoidable. I was shooting in JPEG mode. I would have shot in RAW mode but I’m not really up to adjusting all the white balancing manually.



November 25th, 2007 at 5:01 pm

“I was using ISO 1600, as that is the highest ISO setting the 400D can go up to, so there is really no need for me to upgrade to a 40D.”

The higher end bodies produce better pictures at higher ISOs. That’s what I was saying. No offense btw, just thought you might want to eventually level up your Photography rank :D
Speaking of figures, how many more figures till you get to the Ureshiko figure?



November 25th, 2007 at 8:30 pm

I would of went to Melbourne event, but no melbourne event was held. Hopefully with any luck a melbourne event will be held. Hope you enjoyed yourself heaps.



November 26th, 2007 at 2:31 am

Never knew you were an asian until I saw you in the pic just now. hahah.



November 26th, 2007 at 5:44 pm

AOforever1: Well I have a friend who is purchasing the 40D in a few weeks, so I’ll have a look at it to see how much more different it would be compared to the 400D. The Ureshiko figure I can’t really say. Since she was bought during convention season, those figures don’t really have a spot in the queue. I guess it would be when I get to them, but I’ll keep note that you want to see some photos.

NyanNyan: There should be Melbourne events some time next year, so keep an eye out for them.

samejima: Really? I though most people knew I was Asian, lol.



November 27th, 2007 at 9:06 am

*adun hate meter goes through the roof* D=

Damn it Adun… just damn it orz.



November 27th, 2007 at 10:31 am

So you’re the random guy that almost sprinted to the front to take photos when Kajiura-san came on stage for the interview sessions :p

Pretty good photos, it definitely was very dark inside.

Whats with Eddie Murphy btw >_>



November 27th, 2007 at 5:51 pm

Hijiko: ~uguu~

Vonbon: Yes that was me, simply doing my job :) Not sure what’s the go with Eddie Murphy.



December 3rd, 2007 at 7:55 am

They must have been really bored in the afternoon session. I was at the evening session and even though I had my eyes closed most the time, I”m pretty sure I would have noticed a giant glaring Eddie Murphy on the big screen…


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