The Lumix Diaries Heads to Patagonia

Posted Feb. 8th, 2015 by Daniel J. Cox

The Lumix diaries heads to Patagonia. Tanya and I recently left Kenya for the southern hemisphere. Our destination? The region known as Patagonia. All of our Patagonia adventures begin in Buenos Aires where we get everybody on the same page by spending a day in the city photographing the wonderful  tango dancers and other tourist attractions.

The city of Buenos Aires in the blue light of dusk shot from our hotel rooftop. Lumix GH4 with 15mm F/1.7 Lecia Summilux lens. ISO 800

The city of Buenos Aires in the blue light of dusk shot from our hotel rooftop. Lumix GH4 with 15mm F/1.7 Lecia Summilux lens. ISO 800

Our first outing was a walk to the Plaza de Mayo for the the changing of the guard that takes place each evening. One of the lessons we talked about was how I wanted to photograph the guards as they came out onto the square to lower the flag. I mentioned to all the Explorers that even though the sun shone directly on the front of the plaza and hence directly on the flag pole, I was planning to go to the side of the flag pole and shoot it in what I call side light.

Below are two examples of the same flag pole. One is shot with the light coming straight over my shoulder, behind me and shining directly on to the flagpole. This second image I’ve positioned myself off to the left of the flag pole and thus the light is now coming from the side.

The left image is has more of a feeling of 3 dimensions due to side light. The right image is boring due to front light.

The left image is has more of a feeling of 3D due to side light. The right image is boring due to flat, front light. Lumix LX100, ISO 125

The images above show two examples I photographed before the guards arrived so everybody could see what I meant when talking about side light. Below is the image I shot when the guards arrived and took the Argentine flag down from the pole during the gorgeous late evening sun coming from camera right.

The nightly changing of the guard at Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina.

The nightly changing of the guard at Plaza de Mayo, Buenos Aires, Argentina. Lumix LX100, ISO 125, -1 Stop EV compensation

After a quick run down to the plaza and an even shorter trip to the waterfront, we all met back at the hotel to head for the dinner show at the Esquina Homero Manzi Tango theater. Good food and an hour or more of a half dozen couples dancing the tango on stage. Although we all took our cameras, the place is so busy and packed it’s difficult to get any great photography, but hey that didn’t stop us from trying. To be a good neighbor to fellow patrons we stayed in our seats and shot quietly from the table.

Theater shows are always a good test for shooting in very dark conditions. The image below of the female lead singer was shot with the Lumix LX100 at 3200 ISO. Hard to believe.

For this shoot I brought my GH4, the Olympus 80-150mm, the Panasonic/Leica Summilux 15mm F/1.7 as well as my beloved LX100. After arriving and seeing how packed the crowd was, I left the big lenses in my bag, put the Summilux on the GH4, and brought out the LX100.

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Happy feet doing the tango. Lumix GH4 with 42.5mm Leica Nocticron F/1.2 lens. ISO 640

The GH4 with the fast 15mm Leica attached was a great option since I was seated right up front. It wasn’t planned that way, I just happened to be bringing up the rear of the line, which put me closest to the stage. I was thinking all the while about our Explorers who didn’t have as good of seat.

The Natural Exposures crew finishes up dinner for the start of the tango dancing. Lumix LX100, ISO 125

The Natural Exposures crew finishes up dinner before the start of the tango dancing. Lumix LX100, ISO 125

So after about 20 minutes, at an opportune time, I quickly, quietly and in a hunched posture made my way to the back of our table and whispered to An Vo an invitation to take my seat. She made her way to the front and shot pictures.

A dinner show like this can be fun to shoot. Stay tuned for more tango dancers tomorrow on the streets of Buenos Aires.

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