Sunday, September 26, 2010

Greg Laurie - Chicago Harvest 2010 Concert

My wife and I attended the Greg Laurie Chicago Harvest 2010 Concert on Sunday evening which featured recording artists The Katinas, Steven Curtis Chapman, and Jeremy Camp.  The event was held at The Allstate Arena in Rosemont, IL.

The arena was packed with people.  We arrived at 4:30 PM and already people were streaming in for the 6:00 PM concert.  Originally, we were going to sit closer to the stage, but to do that, we would have to sit to the sides of the stage which would force us to look at an angle the entire time.  We didn't want to do that, so we moved to the balcony area all the way on the opposite side of the stage.  The problem with that was it meant that I would be photographing the event at the absolute farthest distance from the stage!

Armed with my Nikon D3 and Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens, I settled in on what I knew would be a difficult photoshoot.  The distance was greater than I really should have been which meant that any closeup shots of the performers would mean having to crop the images in Photoshop.  If you look at the wide shots of the concert, you can see how small the performers looked.  Actually many of these "wide" shots are actually the 200 mm shots!  So you can imagine the amount of cropping that was needed to make closeups of  the shots you see here of Steven Curtis Chapman!

Like most other concerts, the volume level was very loud, but both my wife and I wore ear plugs.  I'm always prepared with ear plugs as I wear them at every single wedding reception I attend.  I often have to stand literally in front of the DJ's speakers at the receptions just to get my shots, I learned early on that ear protection was a MUST for wedding photography!  So for this concert, we both brought along some hearing protection.  We agreed that it was the smart thing to do.

We left before the concert was over because my wife needed to get up early in the morning and we did not have the ability to stay too late.  Being way up at the top of the stadium and with a capacity crowd, we knew it would be nearly impossible to get out of the building quickly and even worse to get out of the parking lot in any timely manner.  So as the Katinas were coming back on stage to perform again, we decided to leave.  We missed the end of the event where they did their "altar call" asking for people to come down to to make their commitments to become Christians.  (edit note: Someone sent me a note to ask if I knew that the intent of this concert was to bring people to Christ and if that was important to me... and the answer is yes... I knew that, but we had to leave early, so we had to miss the end.  We have both already made our commitments many years ago.  While it would have been nice to stay to see the Altar Call, we just did not have the luxury of time that evening.)

Interestingly, as I was heading out of the arena and into the hallway, the gentleman who was sitting behind me came running out and stopped me to inquire if he could purchase some of my photos!  I handed him a business card and asked him to email me.  I had not intended on selling any of the images I captured from this event as it was only really intended for myself and for this blog, but I decided to let him order some if he wanted them.

Be sure to click on each image here to see a larger version.

Friday, September 24, 2010

Want To See More About Guitars? Use The Search Function!

Welcome to all who are visiting my blog for the first time!

If you'd like to see more posts about specific subjects like guitars, just use my search function on the upper left side of this page.  Type in Guitar.

Or if you'd like to see more photos of certain people like Doyle Dykes... just type in Doyle Dykes.

Enjoy your stay here on my blog and thanks for visiting.  Come back often.  I update my blog usually on Mondays and Thursdays (generally..)

Taylor Guitars Roadshow with Bob Taylor and Wayne Johnson

Tobias Music from Downers Grove, IL hosted an incredible Taylor Guitars Road Show at the Tivoli Theater last night.  There were nearly 600 guitar players in attendance to see and hear Bob Taylor of Taylor Guitars talk about the Taylor Guitar line.  To date, this was the largest Roadshow ever attended by Taylor Guitar enthusiasts!

We were treated to performances from Taylor factory reps Mike Ausman and Andy Lund as well as from famed guitarist Wayne Johnson.  To see past images of Wayne Johnson from other roadshows, click here

Since I was not the official photographer for the event, I took my shots while seated in one of the seats of the theater.  Lighting was strictly from stage lighting.  Images were taken with my trusty Nikon D3 and Nikon 70-200mm f2.8 VR lens.  All shots taken were done manually.

Be sure to click on each image for a closer look.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Cubs Vs. Giants At Wrigley Field

I went to my first night game at Wrigley Field this evening.  Although the Cubs have had lights installed many years ago, I had never had the opportunity to see a night game until today.

Like many Cubs fans, I had always thought of Wrigley Field as a place for day games only.  So when I was given the chance to see the Cubs in a night game against the San Francisco Giants, I didn't hesitate in going.  I wanted to see how Wrigley Field looked at night.

The first thing I noticed upon entering the stadium was how bright the field looked and how dramatic the sky was!  I also noticed how hazy the stadium looked due to all the smoke generated by the barbecues from the neighboring rooftop seating companies!  I overheard some people saying how disgusting it was to go to a game and have to try to view the plays through all the smoke.  When the smoke is backlit by the bright lights, it looks like you are viewing the game through a dense fog.

Game time was 7:05 PM and my wife and I arrived at our seats just minutes before the National Anthem was played.  Already, night was beginning to fall, adding wonderful colors to the sky.  After waiting for some of the smoke to clear,  I turned on my Nikon D3 and took several shots of the scene in front of me.  These images are "standard" photography and not HDR images.

Because we had been given the tickets very late in the day, I had to rush to gather my camera gear together and leave for the game quickly.  In my haste, I accidentally left my 70-200mm f2.8 lens behind but I had my 24-70mm f2.8 lens with me.  I was disappointed as I wanted to take some shots of players but all I could do was take photos of the overall scenery.  I did not bring any flash equipment with me.

We were situated in excellent seats out by the right field side.  I looked around and thought, "We are in a position to get hit by a foul ball."  Now I had never had a foul ball come even close to me... but today one came at the top of the 2nd Inning.  I thought I saw the ball flying straight for us, but instead it was about 10 feet away from us.  Had I not had my camera with me, perhaps I could have jumped out of my seat and moved towards the path of the ball.  Instead, another person got into position to catch the ball.

Unfortunately for him, in his effort to catch the ball, he hurt his right hand.  The ball bounced and went to someone else.  The usher came over and suggested he go with another usher to get the hand looked at.  Later, I overheard another usher stop by to tell his friend that the man had ripped the webbing of his hand!  The friend left to go see him and they never returned to the game.  I guess a baseball still has a lot of power left in it even after traveling so far.  While I felt bad for the man, it was rather exciting to have a ball come that close.  I had my Cubs baseball cap in my hand ready to catch it.

In the end, the Cubs defeated the Giants with a score of 2 to 0.

Be sure to click on each image for a closer look.