Monday, September 30, 2013

Basilica Soundscape Festival

In my continuing journey of becoming/being a concert photographer, I feel like it's important to show you the work I'm not so proud of. Not every shoot goes the way you expect. Not every venue has the best, or in this case ANY, light. Not every festival is for you. The Basilica Soundscape Festival was probably the least enjoyable shoot I've had this year. I covered it with Adam over on StGA and you can read his completely accurate review right here. It was pretentious. It was full of music I want nothing to do with. It was artsy fartsy and I was grinding my teeth pretty much the entire time I was there. There was no light on the stage and the majority of the other photographers there were popping flashes. My camera does not have a built in flash and I don't even think to bring flashes to concerts because they usually aren't allowed. I maxed out all of my settings: highest ISO, lowest f stop, and I pretty much shot hoping my lenses would find something to lock onto. I even tried manually focusing at times. I guess the lesson I learned from this experience, besides the fact that I should ALWAYS research what I'm agreeing to photograph ahead of time, is to roll with it. I still got some decent shots of musicians I wasn't particularly fond of. In my mind, that's the hardest thing to do. I didn't care for it, yet I still managed to capture what was there. That might sound like a simple thing, but it's definitely not.

Anyway, enough rambling. Here are the pictures.
Peter Sotos


Richard Hell

Julianna Barwick

Evian Christ

Pig Destroyer

If you're wondering about my comment in the beginning about there being no light, I need to clarify. There was light during Pig Destroyer's set. There were free standing light tubes surrounding the drummer. I made my way from the front of the stage after the first couple of songs, mostly out of concern for my own safety and the well being of my gear, and attempted some shots from the back of the stage. The good thing is that the lead singer and guitarist turned their backs to the audience so I squeaked out a couple nice shots from this angle.

Friday, September 27, 2013

fr EYE day

hello and welcome to fr EYE day!

I was hoping to reshoot this particular eye indoors because the reflections really take away how cool it is. I also need to do a comparison shot because the matching eye is completely blue. This is an example of sectoral heterochromia. People with heterochromia have two different color eyes. Central heterochromia is when you have a different color surrounding the center of the eye while the rest of the eye is another color. Sectoral heterochromia is just a part of the eye with a different color. There is a solid swatch of brown in the upper left corner of this eye which isn't perfectly shown in this picture. What can I say? I'm short on eye pictures and went into my stash of imperfect examples.

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Harvest Moon

Early on in my photography career, I used to go out and shoot events like this much more. I enjoy doing it, but I don't always take the time to go out and capture it. Last week, there was an enormous full moon and as it was rising, it was this incredible orange color. I headed down to the beach with my tripod, 35-350mm lens and 2X extender, giving me the massive 700mm zoom. You want the moon to look as big as possible, but at the same time, you want to give it some scale, so that lens is the perfect choice.

I remember trying to get this shot in particular many times in the past. It's nice to finally have it.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Michael FREAKIN Bolton!!!

For those of you that have been here a while, you'll know this was a big deal for me. It's not that I'm a huge fan of Michael Bolton, although I can appreciate what he does. I have been trying to cover Michael Bolton for more than a year now. Both of us being from Connecticut, there have been several opportunities, but they just never panned out. I was scheduled to cover his concert in Trumbull last year, but not enough tickets sold, so it was canceled. He played in Ridgefield on Valentine's Day this year, but I wasn't cleared to cover it. It's been a long running joke that Michael Bolton is my arch nemesis and that I would never be able to photograph him. I'm nothing if not stubborn and determined and these images prove that. It might have taken me more than a year, but I've finally shot Michael Bolton.

Mr. Bolton recently released an autobiography and he did a book signing / talk in Woodbridge at the Jewish Community Center. The half hour talk stretched for more than an hour and a half, where Bolton fondly recalled stories from his youth, growing up in New Haven, the struggles of his career, the successes. Heck, he even went on a ten minute rant about cutting his glorious mullet. While I was pondering the choice of covering this event in particular, there were moments of true wisdom coming from Bolton. He spoke about the changes in the music industry, about how musicians are struggling to make a living, he encouraged a young singer in the audience and gave him advice on how to progress. I can be quite snarky at times, but I do have to applaud Bolton for his honesty.

The woman in front of me was knitting, which I thought was hilarious and incredible. She did not present Mr. Bolton with a sweater at the end of the night, though. 

I waited in line for a chance to get a copy of his book signed. While I can't get into the details of that just yet, I did take the opportunity to bust out my SX-70. Michael was impressed with the camera and we talked about photography for a couple of minutes. I do have a particular fondness for all my Polaroid shots and this one is no exception.

The most important thing I've taken away from this experience is that with a little bit of determination, I can cover the things I want. Sure, it might take a while and I might run into a few rejections along the way, but I can't give up.