The Fiddle in the Middle

The Fiddle in the MiddleOne of the places I was quite excited to visit while in Ireland was the infamous Custy’s music shop located in Ennis.  Though I was surprised by the small size of the shop interior it was packed full of fine instruments and the greatest selection of Irish traditional music I’ve seen to date.  While there I snapped this shot and purchased a tin whistle (a second O’Briain improved Feadóg if there are any other whistle nerds reading this!), some CD’s and a tune book.  A few days later I returned with my friend, Ruth and picked up a few more CD’s.  I just couldn’t help myself!

What I like about this photograph are the rich textures and subtle differences in hue between each fiddle.  I may not be a fiddle player but I certainly appreciate the instrument as one of the oldest and widely used in many cultures and traditions.  The F hole is so iconic and recognizable even by those who aren’t very familiar with acoustic instruments.  I share an affinity for the instrument largely because there are several fiddle players who have played a big role in my personal musical journey.  If they don’t mind a shout out on the internet, I’d like to go ahead and say a heartfelt “thank you” to Jane and Ruth for all of the tunes we’ve shared and the friendship that came from them.

This shot is another one that makes me very happy with my new camera and lens.  As with most interiors, the lighting in the shop was not ideal for photography.  I had my ISO set at 1600 (again, the noise level is more than acceptable thanks to the 5D’s noise reduction engine) my aperture at f/4.0 (max for this particular lens) and my shutter speed at 1/20 sec.  Normally I don’t take my shutter speed this low when shooting without a tripod but I was lucky not to have any motion blur and that is thanks in part to the super sensitive shutter release on the 5D; it makes it much easier to press without much movement in the hand and finger.  I don’t share these things to defend my work, just to reflect and possibly offer insight for others out there who may stuble across here on their own journey.  They say a picture should speak for itself but I’m a humble learner and I find it helpful to talk through my thinking process and reflect on the decisions I made on the spot.

5D Mk III with 24-105mm f/4.0L IS USM lens.  ISO 1600, f/4.0, 1/20 sec.