Monday, July 30, 2012

Has it only been one year?



The mind boggles as I think about how much has changed since this picture was taken. It feels like it was a lifetime ago that I was bringing my point and shoot camera to concerts, with hopes and dreams of doing something more with this passion for concert photography. I never dared share these aspirations with anyone, much less all the readers that visit this blog. Thank you for being here.


Thanks to the Eels for being an inspiration to me and to their webmaster Jake for being the first band to use my pictures. The day I got that email, I was bouncing around the office like a kid at Christmas. It gave me the courage and determination to keep going and taking chances and I will forever be thankful for that.


This video gives you an idea of the reaction the fans have to the band. I love how E can't even cut the song properly because the fans are cheering so loud. He shrugs several times, unsure what to do and looks to the rest of the band for help.

Although there is no Eels tour this summer, I have a lot to look forward to. There are some amazing experiences on the horizon for me, but these two concerts are where it all started.



Sunday, July 29, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 30


Before you think that I somehow photographed The Eels this year, this is from last year at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Now don't go complaining that this doesn't fit the rules of my Photo of the Week challenge. It's my photo challenge, how dare you question it?

I was going through my old shots from last year for a post that's coming tomorrow when I stumbled upon this. "Holy crow, Audra! Why the heck didn't you post this after the concert?" I imagine you're saying right now. This is what I originally shot:


Awesome, right? It's completely, 5 stops to be exact, underexposed. I shot it during Knuckles Song. E and The Chet have no light on them. Since taking the photos, a new version of Light Room was released. If you have any doubt whether or not this program is worth the money, it is.

I'm selecting this as my photo of the week because it shows how far I've come in terms of processing my photos. It wasn't easy to make this picture look presentable and until this week, I had no idea it even existed. In a manner of speaking, it was made this week.

What I love most about it is that it has this unearthly mix of haze and clarity. It reminds me of a dream; the fading memory of the concert.

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Caturday


Addy's wanted to help with my to do list, so I added a task just for her. I'm currently on a plane headed to Jekyll Island, which will be my first official vacation since my knee surgery, three years ago. Before my ACL reconstruction "vacation", it had been two years since my trip to Hawaii. In case you can't tell, I'm really bad at getting away from work.

I've scheduled plenty of posts while I'm away, so keep on checking for blog updates.

Friday, July 27, 2012

fr EYE day


Happy fr EYE day!

Remember last week, when I pointed out that random dark brown spot in the eye? Well, here it is again. What I thought was interesting is that this eye belongs to the son of last week's eye. The other thing I love about this eye and I haven't seen before is the horizontal banding going on. I would say this person has brown eyes, but when you get up close, there's a greyish-green coming through. I don't know what the technical term is for this. I'm learning about eyes as I go over these pictures, but I think I'm going to show some of these pictures to my eye doctor and ask him.

This was the first eye where I saw this pattern, but it's not the last...

UPDATE: The bands are called contraction furrows.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Throwback Thursday: Family Vacations

I'm going on vacation next week! What better way to gear up for this than looking through the old family photo albums? Yes, yes, recalling some of my fondest memories here...


Here we are in front of the Lincoln Memorial in 1984. I sure do look thrilled. Then again, I'm only four years old, so maybe I hadn't gotten the hang of smiling for pictures yet. On a side note, my brother Jimmy is rocking the Ghostbusters t-shirt while I'm in an R2D2 tank top??? Where is that tank top? I want it back!!!


1985, Plymouth Rock. Ok, I'm not looking very happy in this one either. Nick is clearly having a blast, even if he doesn't have any of his teeth...


1986 at Yankee Stadium. In my defense, we all look pretty annoyed in this picture. At least Nick is pretending like he's having fun while the rest of us are shooting daggers at my father, taking the picture.


Maine fishing trip in 1987. Ok, seriously, who the heck puts their kids in front of a smelly, bloody bin full of dead mackerel and expects a Kodak moment?


Lastly, we have a couple of giddy kids at Hershey's Chocolate World in 1988. It's like Willy Freakin' Wonka; look at the joy and wonder on their faces! Wait a minute...we're not looking all that blissful. I can't understand why. Just look at my teal high top converse sneakers!

Hopefully next week finds me slightly happier than my childhood.*

*My childhood was actually pretty happy and we went on a ton of vacations. Thanks for that Mom and Dad! There were plenty of pictures of us looking happy, I just scanned the angry ones. Honestly, I hated having my picture taken as a kid. I think it was because I was momentarily stopped from having fun and being forced to take a picture. I also think it's hilarious that I'm a photographer. A photographer that to this day, still hates having my picture taken.

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Wedding Teaser


Shoe shots are not exclusive to concerts!

You might have noticed that I haven't been posting much over the past couple weeks: I've been hard at work.

The bulk of the wedding has been processed. Now it's on to renumbering and minor tweaks before I send them off for prints. My goal is to have all this done by Saturday with a preview post of some of my favorites next week.

For those that might be wondering what's happened to my concert pictures, they are in the wings. I have to wait for the paper to use them first. Hopefully that will happen over the next couple of weeks.

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 29


I'm cheating a little bit this week by using more than one picture. In my defense, when you look at all those characters, would you be able to choose?

I volunteered a little bit of time this week to take pictures in conjunction with Volunteers of America. They threw a "Spring Fling" dance for adults with special needs. As you can tell, many of my subjects were more than happy to hop in front of my camera. I didn't pose anyone; I just let them be themselves. I was especially thrilled when a few of the shy individuals gathered up their courage and stepped into my photo booth.

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Caturday Hunting


Look at that ferocious beast! Don't worry, Addy hasn't turned on me.

Not yet.

Addy got a new toy over the weekend and I've never seen her play with something for so long. Or cause her to make such wonderful faces. Check out the derp in the next shot!


Intensity!

Friday, July 20, 2012

fr EYE day


Aren't blue eyes incredible? They can have so many other colors in them! Greens, oranges, yellows and in this eye random spots of dark brown.

Keep an EYE out for that!

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Throwback Thursday


This week's Throwback Thursday post goes back to 2007 and was taken in Hawaii. Father and daughter walking on the beach, with just a hint of a rainbow in the sky.

Tomorrow is Vanessa's birthday, but that's fr EYE day. So Happy early Birthday, Vanessa! I couldn't ask for a better friend. Thanks for always being yourself and my partner in crime. My crazy experiences wouldn't be any fun without you!


Monday, July 16, 2012

Featured Photographer


I woke up to an unexpected email this morning: I had a comment on a photo on my webshots account. I've been a member on webshots since 2004 and have never received a comment. I originally set it up as a personal photo site to share with friends and family. It's a great service and free to upload 100 photos a month.

I began posting concert pictures on it, thinking why not, it might get me a few more views and more traffic to my website. I was completely shocked to find that they had selected me as the featured photographer in the entertainment category. Check it out here.

Considering the massive amount of photos they have to pick from, I'm pretty excited and proud that they chose one of mine. A special thank you goes out to the girl in front of me that stood the majority of the concert. Instead of getting frustrated and annoyed, I worked her into the shot, adding so much more to a simple concert picture. I channeled my inner Tim Gunn and made it work!

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 28


My first solo wedding of the season was yesterday. I couldn't have asked for a better day; thunderstorms hit overnight, breaking the heat wave. With everything blocks from the beach, there was a beautiful breeze throughout the day.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 27





It's moments like this where I can say without a doubt that I love my job. Noam and Chris were making faces at each other during their solos which resulted in this shot: just a couple of musicians having fun.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Holiday Catch Up


I've been so busy with concert photography (yey!) that I haven't had a chance to work on family pictures. Above is my cousin, John, and that's exactly how I've felt the past week. Here are a few highlights of the cute Napolitano's during the Fourth of July.


Aria's getting more used to the camera.


Grace peeking out from behind a set of knees.


James decided he wanted to practice some of his faces, so he pulled me aside and we had a little photo shoot. This was my favorite; such a ham!


I went to a Mets game on Sunday with the family. Above is the first pitch. Not bad, little point and shoot camera!


Grace was all about her yogurt.


Family shot post game.


Then we ended the day at the Jackson Hole diner. What a neat little spot and the burgers were out of this world. I went with the bacon and brie burger and it was slammin'!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Is it a distraction?


NPR had an interesting blog post yesterday about our use of technology at concerts. Read the article here. It happens at every show you go to, as you can see from the shot above. This is The String Finger Band and they opened for Noam Pikelny and friends last week. It's a part of the concert going experience at this point, and while I do not find it distracting personally, there are some things that every concert goer should keep in mind.

Your flash is not going to reach the stage in most cases, unless you're within 10 feet. Even if you are, your camera/cell phone is going to be thrown off by all the light behind the performers. (I'm talking big time stage lighting and strobe here.) Don't use flash.

If you feel the need to shoot video, move to a higher vantage point. Most venues will have a balcony or raised platforms. That way, you aren't holding your device above your head, blocking everyone else's view. The same thing goes for shooting pictures. You'll get better results if you hold your device with two hands and close to the body. My rule of thumb is that I never let my camera go outside the space that my body is already taking up. Learn to duck and weave through the crowd. Most times I have shadows of people in my shots. I crop them out.

I don't think cameras should be banned from concerts. I've been building up my portfolio by doing exactly that and now it's gotten me to the point where I can get a press pass to take photos with my professional equipment. To me, it's all about being respectful. I find that I personally enjoy a concert much more with a camera. I can still experience the band and the atmosphere fully; in fact, I think it heightens that experience. For me. Not everyone feels the same way, and I respect that. I did have another fan tell me that my camera was distracting him, so I apologized and moved to another spot. It's as simple as that.

Monday, July 9, 2012

The English Beat Teaser


Here's the teaser shot for The English Beat. I closed out my concert residency at the FTC with a very difficult shoot. You know the drill by now: once the paper runs the story, I'll get to posting full concert pictures.

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Photo of the Week...placeholder


Right, so, normally you come here on Sunday and find my selection for Photo of the Week. It's a little challenge I gave myself to find something to shoot every week. I took a LOT of pictures this week, and I knew the moment I took it, what photo I'd select. I just can't show you yet.

Until that time, here's a picture of my sugar cookies. While not the stunning work of art I originally envisioned, they came out all right in the end. Turning everyone's teeth, lips and tongues bright blue was just an added bonus.

Photo of the Week: Week 27 will be posted on Thursday, so make sure you stop back then!

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Caturday


This is Addy.


This is Addy lying upside down.

This is Addy lying upside down, asleep.

This is Addy lying upside down, asleep with her EYES WIDE OPEN!

Gahhhhhhhhhh, my cat is weird.

Friday, July 6, 2012

fr EYE day


Woof, and welcome to fr EYE day!

It's much easier to take eye pictures of your own pet, but I refused to give up. What's really creeping me out about this shot is that I have no idea who's little hands those are, reflected in the bottom of the eye. You can see me dead center, as you can in most of the fr EYE day shots, so it's not me...

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Throwback Thursday


Hope everyone made it through the Fourth of July safely.

Back in 2005, my friends used to jump over fireworks. Xian claimed that the sulfur didn't burn, yet his arm and leg hair were always mysteriously singed on the fifth of July.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Noam Pikelny Teaser


I had an absolute blast last night, covering Noam Pikelny and Friends. It's killing me not being able to share those pictures with you just yet. The story prints on Thursday of next week and then there will be a staggering amount of concert pictures.

Stay tuned!

Monday, July 2, 2012

Orgone Teaser


Last night was the start of my coverage of the Fairfield Theater Company: an intimate venue, with plenty of vantage points for me to move between. I was able to give my new camera it's first test at a concert, and it did not disappoint.

Until the article runs, I have to hold off on posting pictures...except for some shoes.

Enjoy!

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 26


My mother retired last week and her coworkers got her roses. On her first day of retirement, the ceiling fan in the kitchen broke while she was cooking an omelette. She had to disconnect the electrical wires, which were the only thing keeping the fan from crashing down while her omelette burned. Happy Retirement, Mom!

New macro + new camera = beauty