An Austin Dive Bar and the Sony G Master 24mm f/1.4 lens

My wife Sandra and I will miss spontaneously jaunting over to Austin’s legendary Skylark Lounge, just a few blocks from our current home. We will be moving east of town to Bastrop in a few days, and are so excited about enjoying the vibrant music scene out there.

This is just a quickie post about testing out the Sony G Master 24mm f/1.4 last night on my a7R III in a “dive bar” setting.

Over the years I have shot many thousands of images inside the thriving music scene of Austin, San Antonio, and Central Texas. Whether it is at a stage-diving punk show or a two-stepping Texas Swing performance, my heart comes to life in this combination of sound, joy, and funky characters.

I love experimenting with different primes while at these shows. In seedy bars and dark dancehalls, a full-frame camera with fast glass is essential. Since I like to sling my camera around my neck and head out with just my phone, wallet, and keys, I choose one lens and that’s what I stick with for the night.

Last night we were just vegging out on the sofa, needing a diversion. I suggested the Skylark down the road, and we were out the door within 5 minutes. My choice of glass? The Sony 24 f/1.4. It’s a new purchase for me, and it was time to break it in.

We had no idea who was even playing. Come to find out it was legendary Austin singer/songwriter Dickie Lee Erwin and his band. The wide 24mm focal length was perfect for this setting. Here’s why:

  1. The Skylark is tiny. Sometimes I wonder if it is an old converted double-wide mobile home. Hence, I was able to catch some of these fun shots in cramped quarters from a wide perspective.

  2. The environment is Austin-chill. Getting up super-close isn’t a problem. For instance, the top close-up shot of Dickie Lee was taken only a couple of feet away from the headstock of his guitar.

  3. Well, this reason is a little etherial: Let’s just say that there is something magical about the 24mm focal length, especially wide open at f/1.4. Lines converge. The hero of the shot is isolated. There is just enough distortion to create a scene that bends reality without calling it into question.

The Sony G Master 24mm f/1.4 is really growing on me, as is the 24mm focal length in general. In fact, I even vlogged about street-shooting at 24mm in this recent video.

Thanks for stopping by!

Blessings,
Joe

Joe Van Wyk
Austin, Texas
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