Mario Frangoulis

Live at Melina Mercouri Theatre

Rhodes Old Town 2013

Mario Frangoulis - Introduction

The open air concert with famous Greek tenor Mario Frangoulis took place in the Melina Mercouri theatre situated in the moat of the Rhodes Old Town world heritage site.

The concert promised to be a real treat - as well as provide a good opportunity to try out some event photography skills.

mario Frangoulis live at Melina Mercouri open air theatre at Rhodes old Town

Mario Frangoulis 

Live on stage 23rd August 2013 at Melina Mercouri open air theatre, Rhodes Old Town

The above shot was taken hand held with a focal length of 123mm and shutter speed of only 1/40s  - note the excellent sharpness (no camera shake) thanks to the excellent image stabilisation of my Canon F2.8 70-200mmL ISii lens.

Mario Frangouilis - The photography approach

I knew the concert was sold out and was determined to get a good vantage point. Scoping out the venue in advance, I was tipped off by some locals that it was possible to view the concert from the outer parapet of the moat and thus be situated at an elevated position above the crowds. 

Mario Frangoulis live at Melina Mercouri open air theatre at Rhodes old Town

The concert was sold out

The above wide angle shot was taken with my 15-85mm 3.5 to 5.6 lens at F3.5 (the maximum aperture)

The lens has image stabilisation so I wasn't concerned about camera shake even had I reduced shutter speed to round 1/8th sec - BUT I didn't want to get motion blur from the subject (including the tree branches in the foreground) So I opted to increase the ISO to 3200 which meant that at 1/40sec the photo would be adequately exposed (determined by using the on camera light meter).

The concert stage was lit by ever changing coloured spotlights and supplemented with smoke effects.

mario Frangoulis live at Melina Mercouri open air theatre at Rhodes old Town

The above shot was also taken with my 15-85mm lens - this time at its maximum focal length of 85mm and maximum aperture (at this focal length) of F5.6 and ISO 1600

Normally I would prefer to use my F2.8  70-200mm L series lens at this focal length  - as the F2.8 aperture would enable either a faster shutter speed and /or a lower ISO. However as I already had the wide angle zoom on the camera when this photo opportunity arose I decided to go with the shot.

Unlike the previous shot where I specifically needed the exposure to also show the crowd and background  - on this occasion I was only concerned with Mario himself who being well lit by the stage lighting did not require me to use such a high ISO or shutter speed (or wide aperture) - this shot in fact has exposure settings around 3 stops less than the previous. To calculate exposure I used the spot metering mode and took exposure reading from Mario's face.

mario Frangoulis live at Melina Mercouri open air theatre at Rhodes old Town

The shot above was taken with my 50mm 1.8 prime lens (set at F2.8) I put the lens on primarily as a test to see how image quality compares with my 15-85mm zoom. The result is good - and perhaps a bit more sharp than the wide angle zoom. However ultimately I found that on this occasion I preferred the flexibility of the zoom lens. As I was situated on the parapet wall of the moat it wasn't possible to simply more my own position to change the scene captured by the fixed angle of view of the 50mm prime lens.

mario Frangoulis live at Melina Mercouri open air theatre at Rhodes old Town

This shot really demonstrates just how good the quality of the Canon 60D and Canon F2.8 70-200 ISii L series lens is even when hand held in low light

The image quality is very high despite being at MAX focal length (200mm), MAX aperture (2.8) Shutter speed of 1/100s (requiring Image stabilisation to assist in avoiding camera shake and ISO 1600 (4 stops above the lowest ISO setting of 100)

mario Frangoulis live at Melina Mercouri open air theatre at Rhodes old Town

And finally this shot of a fellow bystander enjoying the concert.

I particularly like the composition of this shot - partly due to the way the side lighting falls upon the gentleman and also due to the eye contact from his pet dog which I feel adds some humour to the image. I also like the few other faces lit to the far right which hint at the size of the crowd gathered to witness the show.

Note: click on any image to view page photos as slideshow and for shot info

Mario Frangoulis Summary

Lessons learned from this photoshoot

  • For event photography - get there early and speak to locals for tips on possible vantage points
  • Be aware of the scope of your equipment and use it to it's full advantage - i.e. if your lens has good image stabilisation don't be afraid to reduce the shutter speed below that of the oft quoted minimum of 1/the focal length (to avoid camera shake).
  • If you have a modern DSLR then be prepared to use high ISO settings  - try shots at 3200 (or if you have a full frame even higher still. Much better to have high ISO than a shutter speed so slow that you get subject blur or camera shake. Remember slight noise can be fixed in post process but a blurry photo cannot! (If you need some guidance on the relationship between shutter speed , aperture and ISO settings check out my page on digital photography exposure


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