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GoGo Penguin under the floodlights | by Gael Varoquaux
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GoGo Penguin under the floodlights

Picture taken at a concert of the jazz trio "GoGo Penguin", at the "Jazz à la Villette" festival.


Composition with a cubism feeling.


I took this picture with my mobile phone (Samsung S7). I find that proper concert photography requires good equipment, because it is in low-light settings, from afar. A mobile phone isn't the right tool. But I like this shot because of its abstract composition given by the flood lights.


The technical difficulties in such a picture are managing the noise. I used the "pro" settings of my phone's camera, and locked the ISO settings to 320. I also used manual focus, set to infinity, and saved the picture in raw, to bypass the phone's post-processing which uses a too-aggressive bilateral filter. I did the post-processing in darktable, where most of the work was reframing and denoising. I framed the image to have black on all sides (using both cropping and framing). I tuned the tone curves so that the black of the image was actually full black. I used a bit of clarity filter and curve editing to increase the contrast on the bass player. The rest of the work was denoising: I added a bit of non-local-mean denoising, but set with a transparency of 50% to keep the grain (I like a bit of grain). On the side of the image, where there are less details and more noise, I added bilateral filtering as well as the "denoise (profiled)" filter, which is quite aggressive.

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Taken on September 8, 2018