Jimmy Buffett and the Coral Reefer Band returned to the Santa Barbara Bowl again this year, and just like last year, I had to leave early to shoot the first night of the New Noise Festival. This year, the shooting conditions were much more restrictive and challenging that last. I got to shoot the first three songs from the soundboard, which was busy with lots of people and equipment. The duration was acceptable, but Mr. Buffett was mostly blocked by his mic stand, or he was turned without facing me. The lighting wasn't terribly dull but it was oddly difficult to shoot under.
Anyway, you can see the images on sbbowl.com/photos.
Double-header singer-songwriters, David Gray and Amos Lee performed at the Santa Barbara Bowl. During their tour, they took turns headlining, and at the Bowl, Amos went first. An early starting July show, Mr. Lee was in direct sunlight, which worked well against the charcoal black background of the stage. I got to shoot the first three songs of each from an uncrowded photo pit, but right after Lee's performance, I snuck in a backstage shot of him hanging out with some of the users. Mr. Gray began on the piano, then grabbed the mic stand walked out to the edge of the stage with it, right in the middle of the second song.
Opening the show were three talented sisters called, Joseph (from Joseph, OR).
See the gallery at sbbowl.com/photos.
Local artist, Jackson Browne returned to the Santa Barbara Bowl a couple days ago with his full band. Jackson regularly plays around Santa Barbara, always to benefit a local charity. Tonight's show benefitted Sanctuary Centers of Santa Barbara, to help people with mental health conditions.
The show was classic Jackson, but the shooting conditions were about as bad as they get. I was restricted to only two short songs from the left floor wing (far left, stage right); from that vantage point, most of the band was obscured by one thing or another, and I had to wait for Jackson to turn his head pretty far to the right, in order to get a decent shot. To make matter worse, this was an August, 7pm show with no opening act. Translation: still too much daylight for concert lighting, but otherwise, flat, dim, shadow light on stage. The photos aren't very interesting from an artistic point of view.
Anyway, you can see the small gallery on sbbowl.com/photos.
James Taylor is one of the most successful singer/songwriters who still tours. I've seen him now a couple times, and for both, I've been able to shoot. Both times have been at the Santa Barbara Bowl, and both have been from the soundboard. Shooting from up there obviously creates other limitations. This time, I brought a newer 400/2.8 lens (L IS II) and coupled it with a 2X teleconverter (II). This creates a pretty darn clean 800mm f/5.6 reach, so I was able to get right up to him. For being constrained to right behind the soundboard, shooting with that lens combo isn't so bad. Of course, there was the problem of not being able to move to minimize the presence of the mic stand or water bottle.
These photos are restricted by the artist management, so I can't place one on this website, but you can see what I got by visiting the Bowl's website here at gallery.sbbowl.com.