The San Diego County Fair kicked off this last Saturday at the Del Mar Fair. The fair has a range of free concerts over the summer and the first headliner this year was Steel Pulse.

Steel Pulse have been a favorite band of mine for many years, and seeing them brought back many great memories from my college days. I was lucky enough to be a allowed to photograph the show from not only the photo pit but also the stage.

The show was a logistical nightmare for photographers. The stage was over 10′ tall and the photo area in front of the stage was only about 5 ‘ deep, this made it very difficult to actually see the band, never mind actually photographing the performance.

The second problem was the lighting, as the show was at 4pm in the afternoon, and the stage was facing North East, the sun was at a severe angle to the stage. This made metering between the very bright sky and the darker skin tones very difficult and I had to rely on manual settings to get the exposures I wanted.

On the plus side, the stage access let me get some great shots of the band doing what they do best, rocking in front of a great crowd.

On another note, this was the fourth show that I shot using the Sony A200 DSLR and the camera worked great. The spot metering mode was great and the images it produced were crisp and sharp even with the 18-200mm consumer level lens.