Friday, November 30, 2012

fr EYE day

hip hip hooray!

it's fr EYE day!

Thursday, November 29, 2012

The Return of Throwback Thursdays

The Eels at Music Hall of Williamsburg, July 30th, 2011

One of my weekly blog post topics had fallen to the wayside ever since the Gotye concerts in September. For the newer followers, Throwback Thursday posts are old pictures from before I had this blog; sometimes they are really old film shots. They tend to focus on something that's currently going on in my life.

I've been fairly busy processing wedding photos the past week or so and I'm about to start work on my first photo album design. I received word that my favorite band, The Eels, will be touring next year. Back in 2011, I took some great shots with the point and shoot camera and sent them along to their webmaster. This was the first band to use my photos and give me credit for it and my goal was to convince them to let me shoot with my DSLR on their next tour. Of course, the band took a break, so I focused my efforts elsewhere. I kept shooting and sharing images with bands and had some lucky breaks. I am always excited when I have the opportunity to photograph a band; it doesn't matter who they are because it's what I love to do.

The Eels at Music Hall of Williamsburg, July 29th, 2011 
(No, I did not use flash in this picture. It was the result of timing out the strobe lights provided by the band)

I reached out to the connections I've made concerning the Eels as soon as I heard. I've even made a back up plan to try to cover this concert for a website that I would very much like to shoot for. While I had a great experience in 2011, I know this band has a very bad reputation with photographers. On the one hand, that's good because not a lot of photographers are jumping up and down to cover them. On the other hand, it's made me feel very uncomfortable. This is my favorite band and I would be absolutely crushed if that reputation applied to me. The voice of self doubt rages, 'Maybe you shouldn't cover this.'

I made a reference this week that only my coworkers and close friends will understand: The Eels are like the Foran High School Graduation of concerts. I'm sure that makes no sense to you, but luckily, I have another Throwback Thursday post that explains this. (How blasé of me to reblog a past Throwback Thursday post in my current Throwback Thursday post!) When you have been warned by not one, but multiple photographers that have covered the exact same subject, that you should walk away, you should probably take that advice. That was definitely the case of the Foran High School Graduation shoot, except for one little fact. It is, to this day, by far one of the most bizarre and hilarious stories and experiences I have ever had.

What am I here for if not to experience life? And how will I grow and learn if I don't take that chance? It might turn out to be a horrible experience. It might turn out to be incredible. I'm sure I will have a great story to tell one way or the other. The Eels are the band that reignited my passion for concert photography and I want to properly cover them the way they deserve. Maybe, just maybe, I will change their minds about photographers.

Either way, I'm gonna wear a green shirt; it's what I'm know for!

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Beardsley Zoo

My brother and I decided to go to the zoo on Black Friday and were joined by Mia and family. I haven't been to the Beardsley Zoo since I was in elementary school. I have to say, it was a ton of fun! They don't have as many animals as bigger zoos, but it's not crowded, so you can really get a good look at what they do have. Plus, you can't go wrong with some fabulous wooden cut outs! Vanessa and Mia happily became peacocks. Grace, however, didn't want to stand still for a picture...

There were great viewing stations set up for the wolves. The shot above is a red wolf, while the one below is a bearded wolf.
I thought it looked like a fox on stilts.

Mia posing for a shot.

Grace's favorite: the peacock. They're free roaming, just like at the Bronx Zoo, but their plumage was much more full. Oh, and they have a half white, half blue peacock, which you get when a regular peacock and white peacock breed. Even more beautiful!

A little frog action.

The ocelot was basically my cat on a typical day: sitting in a cardboard box, watching the birds in the next room. 

Here's the amazing vampire bat picture I was telling you about in my photo of the week post...

Just kidding! The real shot is below.

The monkeys loved the auto assist beam on my camera.

I tried out a shot of the peacocks on PX-70 color protection film. It doesn't have to be shielded from the sunlight like the silver shade I've been primarily shooting. That's what it looks like as it's ejected from the camera; pretty cool right? Unfortunately, I overexposed the picture. I'm still learning that darn camera!

Mia walking with her dad.

The Beardsley Zoo has a couple of tigers, but no clear view of them. Bummer.

Grace and Mia taking turns on the elephant sculpture.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 47

This is by no means a great picture composition wise. It was shot at high noon, the worst time of day to take pictures. I've got a dark haired, dark eyed girl and little miss crazy curls with her pale skin and super blonde hair. Technically speaking, the photo sucks, yet I'm still picking it for my photo of the week. (And I'm picking it over the really freakin' cool picture I took of the vampire bats!) What's great to me about this photograph is that this is the moment where Mia and Grace became friends.

They were born a few weeks apart and have just celebrated their second birthdays. Mia is the daughter of my friends and Grace is my niece. They met for the first time last month when we went pumpkin picking and they did not hit it off. At the beginning of the zoo trip, they once again ignored each other, but I think they bonded over their chasing of the free range peacocks. When you get a pair of two year old's to sit still for a half a second, you don't think about lighting or composition; you just want to take that picture before one of them runs off.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Yeasayer at The Capitol Theatre 11.13.12

Yeasayer's show at the Capitol Theatre was a welcomed change to my concert going experience this year. For those that are newer to my blog, one of my goals this year was to make it to at least one show a month. While I wasn't entirely familiar with Yeasayer's entire musical catalogue, I liked their latest album, Fragrant World, enough to head on down to Port Chester for the second time this year.

Yeasayer is described as experimental rock/pyschedelic pop. If you hate genre titles as much as I do, you can go by the Audra musical categories: Music I Like and Music I Don't Like. Yeasayer fall under the Music I Like category. While their first two albums have a more of a world music vibe to them, their latest is more electronic. At times, there are hints of Of Montreal influences. For those Faux Pas fans out there distraught over the announcement of no more new material, I direct you to Yeasayer. The Brooklyn based band already has a Gotye connection with their remix of Eyes Wide Open.

I attended this show with a decent sized group of friends, thanks to some last minute tickets given to us by a friend. It was also the first concert I attended as a regular fan again since September; i.e. not officially photographing for a band or a publication. That didn't mean I wasn't going to bring along my point and shoot camera and take a few shots here and there. It did mean I had to change up the way I shoot quite a bit. I learned that the light at The Cap is a little tricky from the Ben Folds Five concert I shot in October. (I'm still waiting on the newspaper to run that story before I can share those pictures with you.) Yeasayer's light show was visually impressive, as you can see from the shot above, and I'm always a sucker for silhouette shots. My line of thinking was less about capturing the band, but more about documenting the experience from the audience. In that, I think I did a pretty decent job.

The show opened with guitarist Anand Wilder on lead vocals.

The entire show was an ethereal dance party. There was great energy in the smaller crowd. My friends and I showed up just before 9 and still managed to make it to the front of the stage comfortably.

Bassist Ira Wolf Tuton.

Wilder had the most even lighting the entire night, so I was able to snap a few decent portraits of him.

The intricate stage design and visuals were conceived by Casey Reas as part of The Creators Project.

Lead vocalist, Chris Keating, had amazing energy. I kept my eye on him and waited for the light to kick up just enough to be able to capture this shot.

It was a lot of fun playing around with light flares and the crowds raised hands.

And of course, I dug all the green light. 

Thanks to my adventurous friends who were down with a last minute concert. I always have more fun being able to share a concert with good people!

It wouldn't be the end of a concert post without a shoe shot. I was able to weave between audience members to pull off this picture of Keating's shoes.

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Photo of the Week: Week 46

I just got back from the wedding I shot in Old Town Alexandra, Virgina. I'm still downloading all the images I shot from the weekend. I don't have a tally on how many pictures I shot yet; let's just say a lot. The bride and groom wanted some night shots outside Hotel Monaco where the entire day was held. I set a long exposure, told the bride and groom to hold their pose and told the nice people who were waiting for me to take the shot to walk on through. I got a few looks, like won't this ruin your shot? Nope! They made it exactly what I was looking for!

Friday, November 16, 2012

fr EYE day

I managed to find another golden eye for this week's fr EYE day post! What I like best about this particular eye is that there are still patches of blueish grey around the edges. I'm lucky to have friends with such lovely eyes.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Benjamin Portait Session

Last weekend, I finally had the opportunity to meet the cutest baby: Benjamin. I have known his father, Derek, for going on 12 years now and he is probably one of my most photographed subjects of all time. We worked together at Milford Camera Shop and learned photography together, which inevitably leads to some pretty ridiculous images. (One of his favorite things to do at work, other than freezing his hair with compressed air) was to take your camera and shoot a series of self portraits. They got more ridiculous as soon as digital photography became popular. I happened to have a fun shot from a Christmas party on my computer I thought I'd share with you. Derek is pretty photogenic.

Three years ago, I had the privilege of photographing Derek and Jessica's wedding. To date, it is one of my favorite weddings that I've shot. It was an incredibly stressful day for me because I was only four weeks post ACL reconstruction surgery. I'd only stopped using crutches the week before and gotten out of my brace the week of their wedding. On top of that, it was my first solo wedding in two years; I'd gotten spoiled by having a second shooter with me. While I was a bit slow on my feet that day, you should've seen me trying to go up and down stairs, I was beyond thrilled with the results. This wedding was a huge turning point for me in my career. I proved to myself that I could handle it all on my own, even when I wasn't at my best physically.

There are images from this wedding all over my website, but these two are my top picks. What Derek makes up in wackiness, Jessica balances out with her grace. I've never met two people who are more perfect for each other. On top of that, they are some of the most playful people I've ever met. I suggested this pose when I saw Derek's tie, but man, they sold it! Oh, and Jessica busted out the entire dance to Thriller during the reception. Yeah, she's that awesome!

Needless to say, I couldn't wait to meet baby Benjamin.

Ty, the family cat, decided to get in on the shoot. He was incredibly patient with Ben!

 He's adorable, even mid drool.

Benjamin is a mini Derek, which absolutely cracks me up.

Ben appreciated his mother's singing. The next series of shots are my favorites, even though they aren't exactly what I was going for...

Doesn't he look adorable, giving his mother a kiss on the cheek? Don't be fooled, he was really going in for a bit on the nose! I'm definitely going to try this pose again, when Ben can stay still a bit longer. Jess and Derek were troopers, putting up with Mr. Grabby Hands!

I couldn't be happier for my friends and I can't wait to get Benjamin in front of my camera again. Congratulations, Jessica and Derek!