Photographer Kolman Rosenberg spotted this U.S. Marine Band trumpeter, sweat pouring down the sides of his face, and immediately thought of Ed Clark's iconic Life magazine photo of Navy CPO Graham Jackson, tears streaming down his cheeks, as he played the accordion while Franklin D. Roosevelt's body was taken away. Rosenberg's "Marine Trumpeter" captures the spirit of the few, the proud, and the superb musicians who also happen to serve in the military.
Although many members of the Cleveland Photographic Society shoot photojournalism from time to time, Rosenberg is the group's "go-to" PJ guy because of his love for and long experience in the field. He was ESPN's go-to guy as well in August, 2009, when more than a dozen and a half of his still photos, most in black and white, were used to illustrate a memo-56
rable video story on Sports Center about two area high school wrestlers-one blind, and one an amputee—who define the meaning of friendship. (At this writing, the clip can be seen at http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/otl/ news/story?id=4371874.)
Rosenberg's photo of the Marine musician was shot at a "Take Pride in America" celebration in Northeast Ohio. "I was photographing the U.S. Marine Band while they performed in the football stadium. It was dusk and I found that I needed to increase my ISO to 800 in order to get the exposure that I was looking for to stop the action. I was shooting in RAW."
The photographer cranked the 200500mm Tamron zoom mounted on his Nikon D200 all the way out to 500mm, and shot wide open at f/6.3 and 1/400th second. That exposure allowed a sharp image of the trumpeter, put the musicians in the background out of focus, and froze the motion of the soldier's flying fingers. Because the lens and camera were mounted on a tripod, camera motion, too, was minimized at a shutter speed that's really marginal for the seven-pound camera/lens combination.
Rosenberg's choice of ISO sensitivity and exposure settings harks back to the golden age of film photojournalism, when Tri-X Pan (one of Rosenberg's favorite films, and a PJ standard) would be shot at ratings of E.I. 800 to 1600 just to make a shot possible. "I would encourage photographers to increase their ISO when necessary to get the shutter speed and aperture they need," he explains. "Digital noise may be an issue, but it's better to get the image with possible noise, than to not get a useable image at all."
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