For the first time ever, the New York Philharmonic Orchestra came to the Santa Barbara Bowl. This performance was directed by Alan Gilbert and brought here by the Music Academy of the West. There were two locations I was permitted to shoot from: the soundboard and house-left, behind the ADA section (handicap). I was allowed to shoot the entire show, but I needed to keep my camera silent, which meant using a blimp (which I don't own) or using silent mode and a thick sweatshirt wrapped around my quiet camera body (5D mk III) and bottom of the lens. This also meant no bursts and keeping still during quiet moments.
We happened to have a nice sunset that night, so that added some brilliance to the house photos. See the entire gallery at sbbowl.com/photos.
Indie jam rockers, My Morning Jacket, put on a phenomenal show at the Santa Barbara Bowl this year. After having seen them for the first time only a couple years ago, I knew to prepare for a mind-blowing performance. Hair-flipping guitarists, Jim James and Carl Broemel put on a photograph spectacle that didn't let me down.
Fruit Bats opened the show, also jamming away to a small, but captive audience. I had a chance to shoot them at Soho during the New Noise Festival a couple years back, and they sounded even better with a big sound system.
See the whole gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
Indie rockers, Belle and Sebastian played a cool night at the Bowl, offering excellent shooting conditions. From the photo pit, we got three songs, and the lighting was sufficient to get some great material.
Lead singer, Stuart Murdoch, came up to the edge of the stage to give us all some great photo opportunities.
See the full gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com
It's always challenging to get a good shot when performances start early in June and July. The days are very long, and for this show, I was only able to shoot the first two songs from the back of the floor. I came prepared with a 400/2.8 lens, but it was old, heavy and difficult to wield. I had to use a tripod.
The shots are very bland as I was also restricted to shoot from a single location, and Sting also stayed in a single place. There's not much variety, and the images are flat, but this was the best anyone could do. Unlike the photos, the show, itself, was fantastic!
The images are restricted, so there's none attached to this blog. See the gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com
I really like shows with lots of separate acts. Kings of the Mic 2013 Tour brought four different bands, beginning with De La Soul. When they were on stage, it was still pretty sunny. Next came Public Enemy, featuring Chuck D and Flavor Flav. I used one of my three songs during this act to shoot some multi-shot, panoramic-type images.
By the time Ice Cube came on stage, it was dark enough for stage and spot lights. It's actually easier to photograph dark skinned people when they're also wearing black clothing. The exposure is easier to capture. By the time LL Cool J came out, the crowd was really fired-up. That man moves around a lot, but the spot lights were so bright, there was enough to make it all work.
See the full gallery at gallery.sbbowl.com
This was quite an unusual show. These fair-skinned, Skandinavians put on something of an orchestral, alternative rock show. The stage was littered with mic stands and other obstructions, and the photographers were required to stay far against the sides, hugging the stage. We did get the switch sides one time (by going all the way around the back of the floor), a maneuver that took a half song and cutting in to our three song limit.
The crazy shooting conditions are reflected in the resulting images. See the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com.
New Order opened the concert season this year with their before-their-time version of early 80's dance techno. The lighting was really tough: only very dim, blue stage lights. It was fun to watch, but I really pushed the limits of my cameras.
Johnny Marr (former co-songwriter with Morrissey and guitarist of The Smiths) opened the show while there was more ambient light. This guy has style, any way you slice it.
Check out the full gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com.
Crazy, amazing lighting donned the stage at the Santa Barbara Bowl for the Postal Service. Keyboardist and techno noisemaker, Jimmy Tamborello, grew up in locally, and he joined Death Cab for Cutie front man Ben Gibbard on stage. There was a whole lot of energy on stage, and Ben was jumping all over the place from one instrument to another, making the shooting conditions often challenging and other times simply overwhelming.
Opening the show was Big Freedia, a male-bodied person who refers to himself as, "she." When his dancers started up their moves, it literally made me blush. I simply couldn't take very many photos because the subject matter was so wild.
Photographers got to shoot from the pit (against the stage). Some of the photos are restricted, so at left is a photo of the stage, not the musicians. Please check out the full gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com.
The 2012 New Noise Festival and Conference in Santa Barbara ran from its kick-off night at Soho Music Club on November 7th, through the big finale on November 10th, which started at noon at the Block Party (six performances) just off lower State Street, and ran late into the night with a dozen more performances at participating bars and music clubs.
Below is a list of events I shot with the corresponding performances. I covered a whooping 26 bands and have posted approximately 340 photos. I hope you enjoy!
Nov 07 - all at Soho Music Club
Nov 09 - all at Soho Music Club
Nov 10 - New Noise Block Party
On July 21st, I photographed Yanni at the Santa Barbara Bowl. This long-time, New Age style jazz pianist has been a world-wide phenomenon for two decades. Many people who are unfamiliar with his work might not be willing to give him the credit he deserves. To see him perform is a different story.
No, he's not a rock star. He is, however, an orchestral maestro, a master of keyboards and piano, who can lead a stage full of performers to create real, positive emotion through his music.
Check out the gallery on gallery.sbbowl.com.