Saturday, June 30, 2012
Friday, June 29, 2012
Big news, my friends! I've just been assigned to a feature at the paper! While I'm still trying to wrap my head around this and research my subjects to be fully prepared, I'm very excited to let you know that I'll be covering three bands over the next week!
That more than covers my concert quota for the month of July and it will be my first official paying gig as a concert photographer!
Thursday, June 28, 2012
This week's Throwback Thursday post is from Milford Camera Shop's Christmas Party. It has to be from at least 2001 because I'm drinking a beer at a restaurant. There's some nice ghosting and light trails going on, compliments to Trainer Steve who took the picture. Left to right are: Dave, myself and Spooner.
My days as a specialty lab print technician and sales associate at the camera shop were some of the most formative in my life. I learned so much from all the photographers there and formed friendships that are lasting till this day.
I had the opportunity to meet up with Dave over the weekend. He moved to Texas several years ago, so we don't get to see each other all that much anymore. What made this visit extra special was that we got to talking about our goals and what we want to be doing with our lives. As much as I share on this blog, I don't open up to many people in conversation. For some reason, I always thought there would be this clear path in life. This is what I want to be when I grow up, so this is how I go about doing it. It's not easy admitting that you actually have no clue in life.
Dave's been going through the same struggles with what he's passionate about: films. He listened to the successes I've had up to this point, praised what I've done, listened to my plan of action then said something that meant more to me than he probably knew: You're doing exactly what you should be, Aud.
That's some powerful stuff. Thanks for that, Dave!
Tuesday, June 26, 2012
My family got together over the weekend to celebrate Aria's first birthday. Jimmy and Michele designed the block letters from fondant themselves. Nice work!
Enjoying some sun with Momma.
Mini is my newest cousin. She's a little shy still.
James was more than happy to test out a wide angle shot.
Aria was really staring the candle down...
...and decided she wanted to touch it. Luckily, Dad was right there to cut her off.
She really thought the cake looked pretty.
Big brother James dug right in.
Aria's first official stink eye picture!
And the classic Napolitano cake up the nose shot. I thought it would be fun to go back in my archives and find a picture from James' first birthday to see how his sister measured up.
No surprise here: Boys are messier! Happy First Birthday, Aria!
Monday, June 25, 2012
I wanted to share a few more dinosaur pictures from the Arts & Ideas Festival.
It never ceases to amaze me how incredible kids are. You can clearly see the puppeteers body in this shot, but the kids don't even notice. They're running away from a T-Rex.
It was impressive to see the fully functional jaws and tongue move around.
There was a great photo cutout, so I talked Moe into posing for a shot.
Sunday, June 24, 2012
Last Sunday, I went to the Arts & Ideas Festival on the New Haven Green to see Erth's Dinosaur Petting Zoo. Erth is an Australian puppetry company that feature giant puppetry, stilt-walkers, inflatable environments and flying creatures. My brother worked for a company that did similar giant puppets back in the 90's, so I was really excited to see the dinosaur puppets.
I absolutely loved this reaction shot. It was the first time I was able to play with my new camera and I was highly impressed. The shot above was cropped from this picture:
I don't think I'll be complaining about the 22 MB file size when I can crop in that much!
Saturday, June 23, 2012
Friday, June 22, 2012
Thursday, June 21, 2012
Wednesday, June 20, 2012
The day after Keane, I attended the Clearwater Festival. It was my first festival experience. My main concerns were that it would be so crowded I wouldn't be able to get anywhere near the stage and that the sound would be horrible. Both of these fears were quickly assuaged. Although there were a lot of people, there was plenty to do and tons of space to do it. Everywhere you looked, there were people jamming, picking banjos, I even saw some kind of tin homemade guitar thing. There were plenty of activities for kids: sing alongs, bubble pools, giant chalk boards, an instrument "petting zoo" where everyone could experiment. There were shops selling art and locally made food. It was a really neat experience I was able to share with my brother, sister-in-law and niece.
I had to stop to take a picture of the dot art on these didgeridoos; flashbacks to my senior year of Art History.
We set up our blanket under the gorgeous willow tree by the Rainbow Stage. It didn't provide a whole lot of shade and I ended up with a nasty sunburn. I really need to follow the directions and reapply...
Grace modeling her mom's sunglasses.
I was excited to see the Punch Brothers perform again. I only brought along my point and shoot because the website for the festival said no SLRs were allowed. Foolishly, I followed the rules when almost everyone else there had an SLR. I would've loved to have tested out my new camera here. Bummer, but I pressed on anyway.
We were set up on the top of the hill, but I had to move closer for a few songs. How could I pass up another opportunity to shoot The Punch Brothers?
Chris Thile rocking out on mandolin. Even after seeing him a couple months ago, I'm still blown away by his talent.
Apparently, you get better seats if you have a hover round. The group to the right of the stage was a little dance area. There was a roped off path right along side of the stage that I found enough of a space to stay for a few songs. I took it as a practice run for the potential "Three and Done" songs that concert photographers get at live shows.
The boys jamming.
This was the view from our spot, right under the willow tree. I was highly impressed with the sound at the festival. I didn't expect it to be so clear, especially for this kind of instrumentation, but Clearwater really knows what's going on.
And of course, out of the thousands of people there, Grace was featured. She is the most photogenic kid in the world; I'll take credit for teaching her that!
My final thoughts on a festival: I enjoyed the experience. It was really neat to be able to dance along with Grace to Rye Whiskey. Maybe it was too much to go to back to back concerts and fully appreciate them both. I think I'd rather stick to seeing a band play a full set alone, rather than see a bunch rush through a few songs. Don't get me wrong, I had a blast, but I just don't think festivals are my thing.
Tuesday, June 19, 2012
There's something undeniably different with British bands. It's a rare atmosphere. I experienced this for the first time last year, when I saw Noel Gallagher's High Flying Birds. The entire audience is engaged. They sing along to every song, they clap, they dance. That alone is an impressive ambience, and combined with the powerful lead vocals and stage presence of Tom Chaplin, Keane was an absolute pleasure to behold.
I'll admit I had my concerns seeing Keane live. Would the vocals be as good live as they were on the albums? Yes, yes they were. Chaplin was a force the entire night: engaging the audience, moving back and forth across the stage, pumping his fists, kneeling at dramatic moments, climbing the drum risers. The entire band had incredible energy that was completely infectious. I thought back to all my concert experiences and believe it or not, this was the first show I'd seen with a dedicated front man.
Opening act Mystery Jets put on a solid 45 minute set. I wasn't familiar with their work, but I'm definitely going to check them out.
As soon as Keane took the stage, fans were on their feet. It made for some creative cropping on my part, but I wanted to include a shot so you could see what I was up against. I'm not judging, everyone enjoys a concert in their own way, but it did lead to some bonding with the girl right in front of me who pretty much had to crane her neck to be able to see the majority of the night.
I like that I got a little bit of the architecture of the Beacon Theater in this shot. This was my third concert at this venue and it's both visually stunning and acoustically sound.
I eventually got a few complete band shots.
I featured this picture as my photo of the week. What I loved about this concert were the number of families I saw. There were at least 5 separate families in my immediate vicinity with young kids. I loved that this father brought his son to the aisle so he would be able to see for a few songs. Kudos to the parents that are willing to bring their kids with them, to give them the experience of a live show.
I actually shot video for an entire song, a feat that is so completely foreign to me, I can't explain. You can see just how much Tom moves around the stage and how many people I had to shoot around during the show.
During the last song of the night, Tom climbed the drum risers and the spotlight created the perfect shadow. I love this shot.
You Are Young
Day Will Come
Leaving So Soon?
The Starting Line
Nothing In My Way
Bend And Break
We Might As Well Be Strangers
A Bad Dream
On The Road
This Is The Last Time
Somewhere Only We Know
Is It Any Wonder?
Sovereign Light Cafe
Silenced By The Night
Keane played a 22 song set, that ran for an hour and 45 minutes and spanned their four studio albums. It was a long show, but it flew by. For me personally, I struggled with downgrading to my point and shoot camera. I fear that it's not enough for me anymore, which is good because it's going to push me to make some kind of move towards my goal. I leave you with my favorite shot of the night. Go figure, another silhouette, but one that I think encapsulates the concert perfectly.