By the second day of the 2012 Treasure Island Music Festival, I was prepared to photograph fun. (Here is the gallery from Day 2 of Treasure Island Music Festival.)
I spent most of the days at the Painted Wonderland booth. I photographed a few bands and several vendors, but I mostly photographed the people of TIMF. After the first day, I was exhausted. Yet, I processed photographs until nearly 3:00. Each image energized me. Even the bad photos were alive. I woke up early last Sunday, so that I could continue uploading photos before I left for the second day.
On Day 2, there were more bubbles, brighter sunsets, bigger statues and a taller Ferris Wheel. I searched for The Samba Stilt Circus, but they were replaced by an eight piece band El Radio Fantastique. El Radio Fantastique was a hidden treasure.
I also saw the best water balloon contest ever on Day 2.… Read the rest
On Saturday October 13, I attended the first day of the Treasure Island Music Festival. For the last few years, I have photographed hundreds of musicians, at concerts and music festivals. This year I assumed I would photograph several more acts during the two day festival. Instead, I spent most of the festival with my friends at the Painted Wonderland tent.
I also remembered something about concerts. Concerts are fun. The Treasure Island Music Festival is a whole lot of fun.
The first few hours I felt out of place. Everyone was happy and I was sulking. I realized that I usually work concerts, and I had missed the point. Concerts are fun. Fortunately, some guy started blowing bubbles. Bubbles are fun. It is impossible to frown and see bubbles. There were a lot of bubbles.
At the Painted Wonderland tent, several talented artists created unique designs. The customers entered the tent happy and left happier.… Read the rest
T. Mills and The Vans Warped Parent Trap
At every Vans Warped Tour show, I see something unusual. In San Francisco this year, I saw a tent called “Reverse Daycare.” Parents gathered in the area while their children attended the concert. The tent was a great idea, but I always passed quickly, afraid that some magical force might pull me into the space reserved for old folks.
Usually, being a parent is comforting, but not at a concert.
When I photographed California rapper T. Mills, I wondered if should have been in the parent tent. T. Mills’ lyrics could be considered degrading to women, except nearly all of his fans are female. The young women cheered wildly, many singing along to all the songs. I probably enjoyed his performance more than I would have enjoyed being in the parent tent, but I was also grateful that I could only photograph three songs.… Read the rest
Two months ago I photographed a Mayday Parade protest in Oakland. I must have been influenced by the Occupy Oakland protests two months ago, because I was expecting an angry mob for the Mayday Parade concert at the 2012 San Francisco Vans Warped Tour stop on Saturday, June 23.
The crowd was colorful and loud, but even the woman with a rainbow mohawk could have been part of a South Beach (Miami) photo shoot instead of a South Beach parking lot music festival near AT&T Park.… Read the rest
Vans Warped Tour 2012 … Coming to a parking lot near you.
Some concerts are better outdoors. Some are even better just outside the stadium. The Vans Warped Tour is one of those events. It is better when it is in the parking lot.
When the 2012 Vans Warped Tour arrived in the Bay Area, the music festival stopped next to AT&T Park in downtown San Francisco. The festival sold out. When I photographed Vans Warped the last two years at Shoreline Amphitheatre near San Jose, California, the event felt cramped despite the amazing energy. There are approximately 80 bands performing on seven stages. There are vendors, non-profits and demonstration areas.
People need space.
I photographed about twenty bands. I took nearly 2,000 photos. A San Diego band, Pierce The Veil, performed on one of the main stages towards the end of the day. There are several bands that I wish I could follow during the summer, or at least shoot a few more times.… Read the rest
One month ago, I traveled to Washington DC for the National Walk for Epilepsy. The night I arrived, the Wil Gravatt Band was performing downtown at the Hill Country Boot Bar. Wil Gravatt operates Wil Gravatt Entertainment when he is not performing. Wil also helps my friend Chad Barth organize the Concert for Epilepsy.
In 2007, Chad started the benefit to honor his sister. The first event, a “Karaoke-off,” raised $2,500. By 2011, Chad had recruited experienced event organizers and he was able to organize a benefit concert with two well known country acts. Gravatt deserves some credit for sharing his expertise with Chad. I have only met Wil a few times, but each time, he feels like an old friend. I am looking forward to September when we have the 6th Annual Concert for Epilepsy.
BF… Read the rest
Melrose Leadership music and art educators are amazing. Juan Carlos Angulo, who is the leader of Cumbia Tokeson, tours internationally. He also introduced me to cumbia and the world famous Columbian quartet Bomba Estereo. Bomba Estereo won MTV Iggy’s 2010 Best New Band winner.
This week, Melrose Leadership Academy students will perform their twice annual music expo. Some of my photographs displayed at a downtown “coffee art house” document the event. Coincidentally, the coffee shop is called Farley’s East. (no relation.) The photography exhibition is also a small part of a larger fundraising effort to save MLA’s music program.
One month ago today, I photographed the wedding of my two friends Courtney Stout and Nick Maksimowicz. During the ceremony, two other friends performed the love song, “Brighter Than The Sun,” popularized by Colbie Callait. While photographing the wedding, I remembered photographing Colbie Caillat’s concert the previous year. The song, the wedding and the concert had a few things in common.
There are some basic rules that beginning photographers learn when starting. For example, photographers usually learn to shoot with the sun at their back. (In other words, do not shoot into the sun.) Photographers also learn about “the magic hour,” which usually lasts longer than an hour. Magic hour is the special time near sunset when the colors appear magical. Harsh shadows disappear. People do not squint.
There are some other basic rules a photographer learns quickly. Life rarely waits for magic hour, and if you want to learn how to photograph concerts and weddings, you better learn how to shoot during the middle of the day, and make Colbie Callait or the bubbly bride appear brighter than the sun.… Read the rest
This March, my children attended the Concert for Epilepsy with me and my wife. As the official photographer for The Concert for Epilepsy, I have remarkable access to the artists. I meet the artists and discuss epilepsy with them. This week, after my daughter and I witnessed a stranger having a seizure, I remembered the importance of the concert. Raising awareness is an important part of the fundraiser.
Chad Barth organizes the event in honor of his sister Christina. The concert is one of the events during the National Walk for Epilepsy in Washington, D.C. Chad has helped us reach a new audience with his concert. Local radio and television stations support the concert. National companies sponsor us now. Each year, the concert grows, and 2012 will be even larger than 2011 when two multiplatinum acts performed.
This week, my daughter and I witnessed a stranger having a seizure. My daughter Emily was scared.… Read the rest
The Vans Warped Tour is probably my favorite concert festival every year to photograph. In ten hours, I photographed nineteen bands, and I could have photographed more, but I was exhausted. Even with the protection of my press pass, my big toes turned purple from accidental stage dive landings and excited fans. (Even as I write this post for my new blog, the ends of my big toe nails are still purple.)
The festival is run extremely well. Bands start on time. Exactly on time. New bands play next to old bands. Headliners start the show some days. Every thing keeps changing so that each band feels part of the festival. And bands with millions of followers are accessible to high school journalists, which I also appreciate as a high school journalism educator. The last two years, I have attended with high school students. I learn as much from them as they do from me.… Read the rest