Posted in Concerts, Photography Meanderings, Rock

Eye Contact

You hear all the time that the eyes are the window to the soul, one of my goals when I’m shooting concerts is to get the eye contact; now mind you I don’t ask for it, I don’t do anything distracting to get it, but generally it happens, even when I don’t think they can even see me as with Alice Cooper.  I was way over off to the side and a couple of rows up, yet this happened;Alice Cooper-6

There wasn’t anyone that I could see in his direct eye contact, I even asked the photographer behind me if she got him looking our way…….she didn’t.

On Monday I got kind of the same thing, but it was almost as if I was recognized, don’t see how that’s possible, but REO’s bassist comes out on stage and this happened;REO

and it continues with the other two bands Tesla………Tesla-14Tesla-3

and…….Def Leppard;Def Leppard-15

 

Posted in Gear & Lens Reviews

Canon 70-200 f2.8

Here I am with the box!
Here I am with the box!

I purchased this lens a few months ago and have had adequate opportunity to use it.  I have shot several concerts local venues and national acts, I’ve photographed a night wedding and I have taken portraits with it.  I am going to approach this with the Pro/Con format.

Pro’s

This is a sturdy lens (see con’s) with 23 elements and an all metal body which is dust & element resistant.

The lens is fast, with that f2.8 I am able to shoot in extremely low light situations;  with my Canon 6d I can successfully photograph in near darkness with little noise  at an ISO between 800 – 1600.  The wedding was a late evening outdoor wedding with very little lighting or should I say very little good lighting.  However with the help of the videographer (always make friends with the videographer!) I was able to have enough light to focus and pull some great images,  even with the ambient light as long as I had enough to focus with I was golden.

Focusing is quick and tack sharp and extremely fast with a manual override even in auto focus mode. It comes with a removable tripod collar, a hood and a beautiful carrying case.

Con’s

This lens is HEAVY.  3.28 lbs before you attach it to your camera body.  It’s not your day-to-day knock around lens that’s for sure and it requires a steady hand.  For such a large lens the telephoto is only up to 200mm on a full frame camera, so if you are looking for something to get the wildlife that’s far in the distance, this would not be the lens to grab.

This lens is not cheap.  The starting price is around $2500.00, but it is an “L” lens and it’s one of Canon’s top of the line and premier lens so is it worth the price? That’s for you to decide.

My Recommendations

I highly recommend this lens for those who are portrait or wedding photographers.  I do photograph portraits and weddings from time to time, but my most of my work is events and large venue concerts.  This lens is perfect for those dark venues, with bright lighting.  I have had some great results with this lens.

I hope this helps anyone who may be on the fence about making this large of a purchase.  Maybe if you are not sure if you want to spend the money, then  borrow the lens for a few days, see if it’s what you are looking for.  This is exactly what I did, I have a photographer friend who owns this lens and I was able to use it and well, I knew I needed to have it.

The Prize
IMG_1251 The Prize
Posted in Gear & Lens Reviews, Reviews

Early Christmas!

I am a naturally happy person. Things are not what make me happy, too many things clutter my simple life. I don’t need people around to be happy either, but I love my family and friends and I feel much more than happiness being around them, I’m joyful.  As it goes, if I get something new it’s not to make myself happy it’s because I know I will enjoy using whatever it is I have received.  However, last night I received an early Merry Christmas to me present; the Canon 70-200mm f2.8 USM II lens.  I have drooled over this lens for a couple of years and have even had one on my camera, which really increased the feeling of want and need.  As a photographer who works with portraits and weddings and large venue concerts this lens is the industry standard and I now own it.  To say it makes me happy is an understatement, it makes me ecstatic!  It simply proves that good things come to those who wait and I have waited and it’s my time enjoy what this lens can do for my photography.

I have read all there is to read about it, I’ve used it on my camera so I know first-hand what it will do for my craft and how with my skill I can create amazing images. I didn’t make this decision on a whim, I thought it through and had an opportunity that I could not pass up and I bought it.

Photo Credit to Photographer Sam Arnold

Here I am with the box!
Here I am with the box!
Next is opening the lens case to expose the goodies inside.
Next is opening the lens case to expose the goodies inside.

IMG_1252

As I use this lens in the next few weeks I will write up a complete review……for now I am going to go and enjoy it; with a huge smile on my face!

Posted in Concerts, Personal, Photography Meanderings

Giving up?

You know, I write so often about what I have done and where I’m going and sometimes I have to take a step back and breathe, because there are days or weeks that I feel as if I have no time as I am going from show to show or portrait to portrait.    This past week was one of those weeks.  I really try to balance out my life with work, photography, friends and family then add to that learning opportunities.  For the ordinary person I’m sure my schedule seems to be overwhelming, but for me it’s my life.  As a creative I also need to take time to renew myself and spend time alone with the natural world.  I also need to spend time with people I care about. I prefer that one on one time as it gives me opportunity to open up (something that only happens with a choice few) and it allows me to get some much needed feedback.  These are things I need because living alone I don’t have anyone to come home to where I can bounce off my day/evening so I have to rely on myself, and I am my own worst critic. The other night after a huge concert I came home totally upset with the way I felt the shots turned out and I wasn’t sure I would be able to use any of the images as the lighting was a complete nightmare, I wanted to cry. As I was reminded this weekend I am a painter of light, so surely there was something I could use.  Turns out I had a few shots that many would call the “money shot”.

I love concerts; I love the challenge of the lights and the thought process that goes into it, but it’s stressful especially when you know someone is relying on you to do you best work.  I really felt it this week and when I looked at the images, I wondered if this is really what I should be doing.  However, that thought was fleeting as I brought up the images and I know there is nothing I want more (ok there is, but I’m being patient).  I love this and I know I am doing exactly what I should be doing as opportunities are opening up for a future I only dreamt about.  Spending time with a few friends this weekend and time out in nature has refreshed me for another busy couple of weeks. So I take a breath and keep going because my passion is being a photographer.

Luke Bryan-31 (Medium)Luke Bryan-29 (Medium)

Posted in Concerts, Photography Meanderings, Rock

Concerts, Concerts and More Concerts

I have been a busy lady these past few days, lots of things going on and I have been extremely fortunate to be involved with some wonderful events.  Locally we have an annual event called the Cape Coral Coconut Festival and each year they bring in some of the best bands around.  This year proved to be no different with the 80’s style hair band Lazy Bonez opening for headliner Loverboy!  What a great evening of rock music.  Typical of Florida weather (you never know what you will get) we had a November rain (yes you may sing at this point) and it was quite chilly.  However the bands played on and the crowds showed up despite the rain, proving you can’t keep the hard core rockers down!

Last night I traveled up to Clearwater to once again photograph the great girl band in the history of Rock and Roll; HEART.  Let me tell you these ladies can still rock the stage with all the classics.  What a wonderful show they put on .  This is my third time photographing them and they never disappoint my camera lens.

I have one more concert this week and it will be blues inspired with Tab Benoit and Will add photos once they have been taken.  Enjoy my journey back to the 80’s.

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Posted in Click Here for Photographic Services, Concerts, Photography Meanderings, Rock

Rock Concert with a Light Show

Mahaffey Theatre
Mahaffey Theatre

On August 2, 2014 I was fortunate enough to photograph the iconic Progressive Rock band YES.  I arrived early to check out the venue as it was new for me to photograph there and upon arriving I phoned my contact.  As I was waiting for him to arrive, the staff invited me to enter and enjoy the beautiful lobby area of the Mahaffey Theatre.  The employees were so incredibly nice to me it made the beginning of this beautiful evening so wonderful.  I was escorted in and was thrilled to find out I was shooting toward the front of the stage; sometimes in venues such as this I am relegated to the back of the hall, but tonight I was up front!  Again an awesome start to what was going to be one of the best concert evenings I’ve had in a really long time.  Every concert I attend is incredible, in very different ways, because I love photographing rock bands.  This night was magical because YES is one of my bucket list bands to photograph and I was honored to be the only photographer there (not including their house photographer).  As I finished up with the last song I was able to shoot, my escort led me to the back and asked if I wanted to get a “long” shot of the stage, well of course I did and I thanked him for the opportunity to do so.

YES
YES

As I packed up my gear to depart the venue I walked outside and the evening was so beautiful and balmy.  I then realized they were piping the concert out on the patio area so I found a bench sat and listened as I watched one of the most magnificent light shows being displayed over Tampa Bay.  Did I mention the Mahaffey Theatre overlooks the bay?  Well it does and the balmy breeze mixed with the lightning and the twinkling of the lighted palms along with the incredible music that was being emitted I was simply too relaxed to move.  This had to be heaven, because I was sitting there remembering concerts that had a bit of drama involved and realized this was well worth being there alone.  Great photos, great venue, equals a great evening.

God's Light Show
God’s Light Show
Posted in Blues, Photography Meanderings

Loss of a Legend

This past week we lost a Blues legend; Johnny Winter he was 70 years old. I had the opportunity to see him twice in a years time and both times he was amazing. His body unfortunately was beginning to give out and his eyesight had completely failed, but his guitar playing was something to behold.
Born John Dawson Winter III on February 23, 1944 in Beaumont Texas and born with Albinism along with his brother Edgar Winter the duo began their music careers early. By the age of 10 Johnny appeared on a local children’s show and played and sang with his brother Edgar. His first record was recorded at age 15. Winter also played with the great Muddy Waters, BB King and Bobby Bland. (Resource: Wikipedia http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Johnny_Winter)
I saw him first up in Clearwater where I had all access and was able to board his bus and garner an autograph, he seemed so frail after witnessing his greatness on stage. The second opportunity came in November 2013 as I was asked to photograph the South West Florida Blues Society, Blues Festival for radio station 94.5 The Arrow. It was incredible to see his fingers fly across the strings of his guitar up close and personal, snow white hair long and flowing as was his custom. I feel he left us too soon and I’m sure there was more music waiting to embark from those fingers. I feel blessed that I was able to witness such greatness in the blues world.

Rest in Peace John Dawson Winter III

Johnny Winter Feb. 23, 1944 - July 16, 2014
Johnny Winter Feb. 23, 1944 – July 16, 2014