Dead Battery

Thursday was my son’s first strings concert. He plays the violin, and seems to enjoy it, though we do have to nag him a bit to practice. Of course I took the full camera bag. It was still loaded up with gear from my drive through the fog, so I didn’t really pay much attention to details the rush to get out of the house in time.

When we got to the auditorium, and I turned on the camera, I noticed I had only one battery tick left. I hoped it would be enough as I pulled out the flash, and made a few test shots (ambient was 1/13 @ f/3.5, ISO 400). When my son settled into his seat on the stage, the camera stopped firing–battery power was so low that it disabled the shutter. Well crap, what do I do now?

“Hey!” I thought, “I’ve got my camera phone with me. I’ll just make due with what I’ve got.”


Um, no. This is from the third row in the auditorium. Its such a wide angle, that nothing is really discernible. I slumped in my seat, ready to accept yet another failure as a father and as a photographer. Then in a flash, two thoughts hit me simultaneously–we still had 20 minutes to the start of the concert, and I have the battery charger in the camera bag. My head turned to the nearby wall, hoping for an outlet, and there just happened to be one at the end of our row!

With the charger plugged in and pumping juice into the battery, I wondered how may shots I’d be able to get out of such a short charge. If I got 5, I figured, I’d be happy. That would be enough to get a decent picture of my son.

Not terribly dramatic, but it frames him up nicely, and the light blends pretty well. Flash, LumoPro LP120, was on camera, zoomed, 1/2 power. 1/40 sec, f/5.3, ISO 400. In fact, there’s only a little bit of shadow (on the boy’s cheek, in the back ground) to tell you there was any flash at all.

Of course, the kids all played well, and had a great time performing for their families. And I was able to get enough charge on the battery to shoot several friends’ kids as well.

Taken by Anne
Taken by Anne

Anne shot this one, with the same flash and settings as above.