Getting Up Close With the Guitar

Before the Indiana State game Sunday two students came out to play the National Anthem. Before they started though I made a couple of photos of them as they were warming up. I played guitar a long time ago, and I was never any good at it way back then. I have always appreciated it though, and these guys killed the anthem.

The Week In Photos

Last weekend was a fun weekend full of sports for me. I did have some other moments sprinkled in throughout the week, but this edition of this week in photos is mainly basketball. It is hard to believe that I have made it a month and a half into the year only shooting one sport. For some reason that is what has been there for me to shoot so far. Hopefully that changes soon with some new sports just starting up. For now enjoy my weekly collection of my favorite photos here.


Seeing John Williams Conduct the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra

Last night was kind of a bucket list item for me. I don’t really have a bucket list so to speak, but I have some things that I have always wanted to do. Watching John Williams conduct his music live is one of those things. John Williams basically scored my childhood for me. He is responsible for Star Wars, The Empire Strikes Back, The Raiders of the Lost Ark, E.T., Superman, and so many more scores that really can bring me back to my childhood with just a couple of notes. If you know me then you know that I love to listen to scores while editing. It is a great way to just chill out without having words running through your head. Whenever a classic Williams score comes through though my productivity goes down. John Williams is the reason that I love scores so much so it was great to see him conduct in person. Can you tell that I am happy that I was able to see him live? You can take all of my expectations going into the show (which were high), and I still came out thinking that it was a better night than I thought it would be.

The Set List

This was a great selection of John Williams hits. You had good songs from bad movies, and the classics that we all came to hear live. Here is what the Symphony played in Indy:

  • “Flight to Neverland” – Hook
  • Excerpts from Close Encounters of the Third Kind
  • Scherzo for Motorcycle and Orchestra – Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade
  • Marion’s Theme – Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • Raiders March – Raiders of the Lost Ark
  • “A New Beginning” – Minority Report
  • “Adventures on Earth” – E.T.
  • Intermission
  • “Harry’s Wondrous World” – Harry Potter
  • “A Child’s Tale” Suite from the BFG
  • “Out to Sea/Shark Cage Fugue” – Jaws
  • Theme from Schindler’s List
  • “The Rebellion is Reborn” – The Last Jedi
  • “Rey’s Theme” – The Force Awakens
  • “Throne Room and Finale” – Star Wars
  • “Han Solo and the Princess” – The Empire Strikes Back (Encore #1)
  • “The Imperial March” – Star Wars (Encore #2)

Obviously the big bombastic songs like the Raiders March were highlights for me. I was a huge Indiana Jones fan as a kid. Hearing it live was amazing. Even more amazing though might have been Marion’s Theme. It was so beautiful live. The same can be said for Rey’s Theme. At one time I had thought that John Williams may have been done with memorable scores. At his age and after 60 years of writing them it was not out of the question. When I first heard Rey’s Theme I knew that I was wrong. Hearing it live was amazing last night as well. I was a big E.T. fan as a kid as well. Hearing the last reel of the movie live was an experience that I will never forget. At times I forget about how good that score really was. When I hear it today the emotions I felt as a young kid take over again. The highlight though had to be the theme from Schindler’s List. Zachary De Pue on violin was an absolute rock star. In fact this entire symphony was something else. I don’t go to the symphony often. Whenever I do though I always say that I need to go more than I do. Work tends to get in the way of that. Maybe I need to make time to spend more of it at the ISO.

Taking It Easy

One thing about my disease of making photos is that I feel that I must make pictures at everything. The good thing about this concert is that you were not allowed to make photos. I made some going in and of the general view, but that is it. It was very freeing to just sit back and enjoy the concert without worrying about photography. Don’t get me wrong I still wish that I was able to make a few photos from a good vantage point, but it was nice to just sit and listen to the music. Now that I have said all of that here is a photo that I made of John Williams at the helm of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra.

The Third And Final Day of the First Weekend of the Austin City Limits Music Festival

All good things must come to an end, and on Sunday that was the case for our ACL adventure. We had one last day to pack in some great music before heading back to Indiana. It was a hot day, but well worth it for the music that we were able to see. As the day was winding down I was coming back from a beverage stand with a couple of tasty beverages in my hands when I saw this scene in front of me. I shuffled some stuff around so that I could get my phone out to make a photo. More than likely this will be the last ACL Festival that we will attend for a while. I thought that this was the perfect riding off into the sunset picture with that in mind.

The Middle Kids

The only real up close experience that I had at the festival was watching The Middle Kids with my wife. She is far cooler than me, and she seems to know what bands to go and see at these festivals. The Middle Kids were an energetic young band that I would love to see again. They really were into their music, and that means something to me. Every year I find a band or two that I like because of what they are doing on stage as much as the music that they are making.

ACL Eats

One thing that I did not do much of at ACL this year was eat. It seems like we did a good job of eating before and after the festival. Austin has such good food that I was often too full to even think of eating inside of ACL. On Sunday I did eat there twice as was our plan. I chose The Salt Lick both times. It is the touristy BBQ of Austin, but it tastes great to me. It is amazing though how much you have to choose from as far as food and drinks go at ACL. The festival has been around a while, and they know how to have everything that they need in place.

Portugal. The Man

For a while now I have had a dirty little secret. I really like the song Feel It Still by Portugal. The Man. It is the kind of poppy song that I shouldn’t like, but something about it is fantastic to me. Of course I was in front of the Homeaway stage when they took the stage. When the show started up with a cover of For Whom The Bells Tolls I was freaking out. What kind of band was this? They put on a great show that was full of heavy guitars and riffs that I really liked. Feel It Still is still a poppy song, but there are some other good songs by Portugal. Then Man as well.

The Killers Close It Out

If this was indeed the last ACL Festival that we will attend for a while The Killers were a pretty good way to close it out. They started their set off with a great Tom Petty cover. We heard quite a few over the course of the weekend, and this was one just as good. They then went off on a ride that was both energetic and fun. If the weekend was to end with a sunset as I posted above maybe this last photo that I made was a kind of fake sunset that we could ride off into. The concert season is far from done for me. I have a few coming up with a couple during the same week in November. By the time that month is over I might be ready for some sleep.

The Week In Photos

Last week was a fun week using some different tools than I normally do. My weekly look back at my favorite photos of the week is filled with some fun photos made with my iPhone as well as the Sony rX1 II that I rented for the trip. You can take a look at those photos here.

An Unexpected Contest

I really never expected to be a part of the 2017 MiLBY’s. I only shot two minor league games this year, and they were in the same ballpark on back to back days. With that in mind I wasn’t even looking for the contest. It took a reader pointing it out to me to see that I was a part of it. My photo of White Sox prospect Yoan Moncada signing autographs before his game against the Indianapolis Indians was selected as one of the photos of the year. If you look at the other photos nominated it is just an honor to be there. If you want to help me win you can click here and vote for my photo in the Photo of the Year section. Two years ago I won with a photo that I made in a similar situation. I only shot a couple of games, but circumstances worked out well for me.

The Hatch Shell in Boston

I have always wanted to go to Boston to see the Boston Pops play. The timing has never been right, but it is much like seeing the Red Sox game there. I want to do it, and it will happen sooner rather than later. While walking around the Back Bay I stumbled upon the Hatch Shell where the Boston Pops plays their annual Fourth of July concert. It is a beautiful shell where some beautiful music is played. I had to stop and make some photos of it.

The Arthur Fiedler Memorial

When I think of the Boston Pops I think of a couple of people. As a kid John Williams was the face of the Pops. Before Williams took over conducting though it was Arthur Fiedler’s group for 50 years. It was under the direction of Fiedler that the Boston Pops became what they are today. He helped make them a household name, and in the process he became a household name as well. The fantastic bust of him faces the Hatch Shell, and is a reminder of what he has done for Boston and the Boston Pops.

Seeing Jimmy Buffett For the Fifth Straight Year

Every year since I met my wife I have gone to see Jimmy Buffett in concert. For the last couple of years life has gotten in the way of seeing Jimmy in Indy so we have had to travel a bit to see him in concert. Last year that meant a trip to Chicago. This year it meant a Labor Day weekend trip to Alpine Valley in Wisconsin to see him perform. Normally Jimmy is a summer treat, and with football season starting up this seemed more like fall to me. It was hard not being at the first Purdue football game of the year, but it was a great weekend with family and Jimmy. The show was as it normally is. Jimmy is amazingly spry for his age, and he does not disappoint. He even sang a song to my Delaney. Maybe it was his daughter named Delaney, but we won’t bother to figure out which one the song was made for.

My Obligatory Canon G16 Concert Post

Once again I attended a concert with my Canon G16 point and shoot camera. I love how this little camera that they allow me to take into the concert can give me the images that I want. I really only bring this camera out when I cannot use my dSLR, but when I do I am always happy with the images. I could use a little less noise at 400 ISO. I don’t know that I will get that upgrade though as this line of Canon cameras appeared to have ended with the G16. I used the Canon G16 for all of my photos on the day including the candids in the parking lot. Knowing that it probably does not have a successor means that I will really have to take care of this one.

Jimmy Buffett at Alpine Valley Photo Gallery

Below are a few images that I liked from the tailgate and the concert. It was a fun day that allowed me to make some interesting photos. I really did not have my camera out much, but when I did it was usually because something interesting was going on.

Continue reading “Spending Labor Day Weekend With Jimmy Buffett”

The Dead and Company Summer Tour

I never have really listened to the Grateful Dead. When I met my wife I knew that I would probably hear much more than I ever had before. Last year at about this time we watched the Fare Thee Well shows in Chicago together, and I found that I enjoyed a lot of their music. When I knew that we were going to this show part of my excitement was to see the people. As a photographer I really enjoy finding interesting people to photograph. This show was bound to deliver some of those to me. I think that time has mellowed some people out, and the fans have become much more diverse over time. I really only found a couple of really interesting subjects during the day. Maybe I was just not looking in the right places. The former members of the Dead along with some special guests really put on a good show. This is a summer tour that will be one to keep an eye on. It will be interesting to see just what becomes of the music of the Grateful Dead over time. Will new artists pick it up and keep it alive? From what I saw last night that is very possible.

Using the Canon Powershot G16 at a Concert

As I have said many times on this blog I cannot always take the equipment that I want into a show. I used to always envy those in the pit, but they only get about three songs a show to photograph. The interesting light usually comes near the end of the show. My go to camera for shows is the Canon Powershot G16. This is a little point and shoot camera that really gets the job done. I have full manual control over my settings which is important with the light at a rock show. This thing just keeps delivering for me time and time again. This month I had a photo published in a magazine that I made with the G16. It is the little camera that can.

Dead and Company at Klipsch Photo Gallery

Here are some photos that I liked from before the concert straight through to the encore. It was a fun day that made for some interesting photos.

Continue reading “Dead and Company Perform at Klipsch Music Center”

Photo of the Day

Fifty years ago today the Beatles stepped onto the stage at the Ed Sullivan Theater and changed music history. Their place in music history is set in stone. They have spawned many bands that tour the country playing their music. One of those bands is above. The band 1964 played here a couple of summers ago, and I attended with my wife. I was in the middle of my photo 365 project so the camera went with me. This is the third such tribute band that I have seen in person. They all sound good, but I would recommend squinting when looking towards the stage.

Technical Data

I ran this photo through Lightroom to clean it up a bit with the sliders. I wanted to eliminate the top of the photo to get rid of the dead space. In the end a couple of tweaks later, and the Fab Four lives again.

the stroll

Photo of the Day

Here is another picture from the trip to California. One night we decided to go for dessert. We went to a place called Rick’s Dessert Diner in Sacramento. I did not know what I was getting into when I walked into the diner. There was a huge line, but the reward at the end was a great dessert. I had one for myself, and I got to sample another dessert. Both were delicious. This place definitely has to be on the list to visit every year. While waiting in line you walk right past an old jukebox. I loved looking at the names of the songs on old tabs, and it brought back memories. I had an idea for a shallow depth of field picture, and I think that this is very much what I was going for. A little piece of history to go along with a great dessert.

Technical Data

This was an easy edit. I just adjusted the highlights, clarity, and white balance. We were in line so I really had the time to get it right in camera. I love it when a picture is so easy. Another technical note is that this is yet another picture taken with my ‘new’ 24-70mm lens that I bought just before the trip. Yet again I go somewhere with a new piece of glass that I use way too much. I think that it worked beautifully here.

Photo of the Day

A couple of weeks ago I saw a recording of ‘A Prairie Home Companion’ live here at Purdue. This was my second time seeing the show live, and I really enjoyed it. It is basically an old time radio show that host Garrison Keillor puts on every week. Before going to the show I had heard that Old Crow Medicine Show would be performing on the show along with the Purdue Glee Club. I had never heard of the band before the show. I really thought that their first set was similar music to other bluegrass bands. When they came back out thought they performed a song entitled “Ways of Man” that I really liked. I snapped this shot shortly after that as Keillor sang a song with the band. They really did a fine job on the night, and by that night I had some of their music downloaded from iTunes.

I thought that this shot was a good one to post from the show as it had a few of the elements that I enjoyed. Of course you have the ringleader Garrison Keillor singing on the left. His backing band can be seen behind him as well. Old Crow Medicine Show is also featured here although the bass player is hiding from me. I also like how the house that sets the stage gives everything a good background. I was not sure how this shot would turn out. I didn’t know if I could use my camera or not so I shot very quickly when I thought that it would not be noticed. I am sure the people around me had to wonder what was going on.

Technical Data

This shot was giving me some trouble. I was walking the line between getting the light to look right in the photo and getting the people in it to look real. I tried many combinations of the sliders in Lightroom to mixed results. The picture looked alright to me, but it was just missing that punch that I was looking for. I decided to try something that I thought might work. I applied one of Matt Kloskowski’s presets to the shot to see what it looked like. I have many presets some from very well known photographers including Matt in Lightroom, but I keep going back to these six presets most of the time. I really like the look that they produce. They were well worth the price of free. If you want you own you can click here.