2013 is just about over. It’s time to back up the images and look back at who and what I photographed this year. This year I photographed a wide variety of bands including some of the biggest names in music and one of my favorite bands of all time (The Who). I also covered indoor soccer, World Wrestling, the Harlem Globetrotters, and a bunch of raves. I broke the year down into quarters so here is January through March.
The year started with Gregg Allman at the Balboa Theatre, a tough shoot to start the year with no photo pit and pretty low lighting, but a great show musically and I loved the way the fans over in front of Gregg reacted.
On Sunday, January 20, I got to see a dream come true. The Valley View Casino Center started to install the wall wraps of my images in the venue. There are a total of 16 walls that by the end of 2013 would be covered in my photographs. Seeing the first images being installed was really something special. Hearing Muse rehearse was just a bonus.
Muse kicked off their tour in San Diego the following night. I was not only allowed to shoot the first three from the pit, I was given permission to shoot the rest of the show which allowed me to get some great full stage shots from the back of the venue and from behind the stage.
Next up it was time to shoot a little World Wrestling. It’s a great show but tough to shoot. I usually end up positioned close to one of the main TV camera positions. the action is great and the fans really get into the whole spectacle.
In February I got to photograph one of my favorite bands of all time, The Who. This was one of those special nights that as a concert photographer I live for. Now this show was not without its problems, and for the Who it was something that seemed familiar. They needed to bring in a drummer to replace Zack Starkey who was sick. The show was postponed by 1/2 hour and the new drummer did fantastically. As a bonus, TheWho.com used my images of the night on their site in both the gallery and news section.
Next up was the Harlem Globetrotters. I love these guys and every year I get just a little better at capturing their antics. This time around I got to put the Nikon D4 to the test in a very fast paced sporting event at ISO 3200 – 6400. It performed flawlessly.
Every year the Valley View Casino Center hosts a couple of shows hosted by radio DJ Art Leboe. The first of these was on February 15 where The Delfonics, Bloodstone, GQ, Blue Magic, Tierra, Eddie Holman, Sly Slick and Wicked, The Floaters, and The Notations all performed. These are some of the most difficult shows to shoot due to the limited shooting time and stage lighting.
Following the Art Leboe show was the first LED rave of the year. These are some of the most interesting shoots of the year. The kids actually track me down to photograph them and the lighting is usually really cool. I spend a lot of time trying to capture the energy of the room.
If there is a venue in San Diego that I would rather not shoot in, it would be SOMA. The lighting is really tough and the crowd is usually ramped up to a frenzy so just getting into the photo pit is tough. But when the The Devil Wears Prada and As I Lay Dying perform in town, I try to cover it no matter where. These two bands have great energy and are just a blast to photograph, even under the SOMA lights.
Mickey Hart brought his band to the Belly Up Tavern in March. A solid show and not a bad shoot. I could have done without the Belly Up staff telling me that I had to stop shooting after the third song. Especailly when they kept telling me this during the first and second songs of the night. I know the rules, I follow the rules. Just let me do my job and you do yours.
March found me photographing at The San Diego House of Blues for the first time in 2013. It would be one of the few times I would shoot at the HOB in 2013, this time it would be Flogging Molly.
March brought Andre Rieu and Alicia Keys to the Valley View Casino Center. The Andre Rieu show started out as a snowboard shoot from the back of the room, but after talking with his tour folk, I was allowed to shoot much closer up during the last numbers. Turned into one of my favorite shoots. Loved the crowd and the energy.
Then there was the Alicia Keys shoot. We were told the morning of the show that we would be shooting from the back of the sound board… a very long way away. There was also no time to get the 400mm f/2.8 lens that would have made the shoot better. Still pretty happy with the results but due to the distance, none of these images would make the cut to be used as a wall wrap in the building.
The best shot of the day was the trade shot which ran in Billboard magazine.
Whew… so that brings me to April… Thats for the next blog post which will cover April – June and include Rihanna, the Channel 933 Summer Kick off concert, The Suicidal Tendencies, Bill Payne and Billy Idol..
All images were captured with Nikon cameras and lenses using Hoodman CompactFlash and SD memory cards and Sony XQD cards.