I photographed Fleet Foxes from the floor at the Santa Barbara Bowl on September 13, 2011. The lighting was pretty dark, but there were sporadic moments of dramatic color. The crowd seemed to know every word to every song, and the show was tight.

See the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog

Last night was interesting. The place from where the photographers were designated to shoot changed a few times. After shooting Vusi Mahlasela for a single song, I booked all the way back to my studio to grab a 300mm lens, which I was going to need for Ray LaMontagne.

By the time I got back to the staging area, I was sweaty and stressed out, and the second act, Brandi Carlile was already on stage at the Santa Barbara Bowl. The show was on September 11, 2011. The perky, petite powerhouse, Brandi really brought the house down with her fast-paced, country music. She was quite the charming crowd-pleaser. I photographed her also from the floor.

I had to shoot the headliner, Ray LaMontange and the Pariah Dogs, from up at the sound board. The lens I used wasn't the greatest, but I got a decent shot. My favorite images from the show were definitely of Brandi.

See them all at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog
20-Aug-2011

311 @ SBB

Big time party show at the Santa Barbara Bowl on August 21st, 2011. Surfer punk band Del Mar opened the show. I got to shoot their full set from the pit. Their drummer is part of Sublime, and his wife is the lead guitarist wearing the nice Fedora hat.

Next on was Sublime with Rome. I was not willing to sign their release, so I got a drink and watch their act, snapping off a few shots with my camera phone. Rome really controlled the stage as a seasoned musician.

By the time 311 came on, it was nice and dark, and as usual, their lighting was spectacular.

See the gallery (sans Sublime) at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog
12-Aug-2011

Katy Perry @ SBB

Locally raised, Katy Perry, came back to the Santa Barbara Bowl on August 12, 2011. The show was a major production that made Gwen Sefani rethink her last solo tour. Oh Land opened the show.

Shooting was from the sound board. I had a 400/2.8 lens for reach. I wanted to include her entire costume and body. The 600 would have been too powerful.

Even for just three songs, there was so much to shoot, from all the different dancers, to the stage extension, to the crowd. I got lots of good shots out of well over a thousand that I managed to shoot.

See the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog

Peter Frampton, better than ever! No, he hasn't lost it, he's gotten better.

First set, Frampton Comes Alive, the entire live album, played to perfection. The second set included covers, other favorites, including those off his new Grammy winning album. Santa Barbara Bowl, July 31st, 2011.

Shooting conditions were good, from the photo pit, but without great lighting. Peter was very photogenic and considerate to the photographers. There was an irritating computer display blocking many of the best shooting moments, however. You can see the darn thing blocking his guitar in the image to the left.

See the entire gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog
14-Jul-2011

Incubus @ SBB

Somebody was using their head. Was it the publicist? The tour manager?

Normally, around this time of year, the sun sets very late. This is great for enjoying warm weather during an evening show; however, it doesn't make for very dramatic lighting, which is normally a mainstay for concert photography.

Since there was no opening act for Incubus at the Santa Barbara Bowl on July 15th, 2011, the performers came on while it was still light out. This means no spotlights, or stage lights, and no contrast with a dark sky: read Flat Light. Blah.

But someone was thinking ahead. Instead of the typical "first three songs, no flash" rules, they told the photographers to shoot songs four, five and six. Brilliant. By the sixth song, it was plenty dark to create great lighting for a great show. As always, Inclubus was fantastic.

Check out the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog

Tough shooting conditions last night. Mr. Vedder required me to shoot from the far left side for only two songs, then I was allowed one song from the sound board. This meant trucking up two full seating sections with all my gear and a 600mm lens, right when the thrid song started, with half a song remaining to setup and grab a quick shot from above.

Whew. I was seating hard.

Anyway, I managed to eek out a couple decent shots. The title of the show was Ukelele Songs, so it's not surprise that in all my photos, that's what Eddie's playing. I bought tickets for the show, so I was able to see a bit more of his diversity as he popped out other guitars and instruments and even allowed opening act, Glen Hansard to squeeze in for a couple duos.

The show was fantastic. Vedder made it clear that he loves the special place that is the Santa Barbara Bowl. The show was on July 9th, 2011.

See the photos at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog
05-Jul-2011

Steely Dan @ SBB

Donald Fagen and company jazzed up the place!

Wow. Thank you Steely Dan for playing my favorite venue, the Santa Barbara Bowl, on my birthday (July 6th, 2011). Though they weren't jumping all over the strange like My Morning Jacket was a few days ago, Steely Dan was spot on.

Their clean jazz-rock fusion style has sustained this band's prominence in a new world of rap and electronica. The bottom line is these guys are as tight and polished as they get.

The Sam Yahel Organ Trio opened up the show.

Check out the photos at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog

Jim James rocks! This is bound to be the best show of the year.

On July 2nd, 2011, I had the privilege of shooting My Morning Jacket at the Santa Barbara Bowl. This show was not close to selling out, which was a bit embarrassing, considering how amazing it was. These guys put on such an amazing performance, full of stage antics, long jams, smoke, lights and good old fun.

Everyone I spoke with was floored by this performance.

Shooting conditions were great, from the pit. Jim was all over the stage, making for great opportunities. But you had to be quick because he didn't stay in any one place for more than a few seconds.

Check out the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog

Mellow show and tricky shooting.

Last night I brought a 600mm lens to shoot from the sound board. This was a tricky show. The lighting was totally flat, and there were two microphone stands directly in front of Ms. Krauss, effectively blocking the shot throughout the duration of my brief, two song window. It's mid summer now, and the lighting on stage is totally flat during the first half of each show. It's too light to use a dramatic spotlight, and the pavilion roof keeps the performers in the shade.

As you can see, my best image was when she stepped away from the mic, basically waiting for someone else to finish their jam. I even had to apply some Photoshop filter effects to add some punch to this photo.

Opening the show was Good Old War, a trio with a lot of punch.

Check out the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com

Published in Photo Blog
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