MONSTER JAM came back to Baltimore last week, and I was there, snapping away as the trucks stomped and tore through cars, mud and fire. I have “perfected” the slow shutter technique I use when shooting monster trucks flying through the air, so I was looking to try out something new. As you can see above, I have started experimenting with spin zoom. Zooming the lens while pressing the shutter button. It’s difficult to pull off, and almost unnecessary (especially when you could just do it in Photshop with the Zoom Blur filter), but there is a greater thrill when you nail the shot, and it comes straight from camera looking like this. Lots of exciting pics below, click!
My photo mentor/friend Paul had won a few nights at a beach house in North Carolina last month. His intent was to go down, relax, drink some beer, and just take pictures of everything and anything. I was happy to tag along. We packed up my car with every piece of gear we owned, loaded up Waze on the phone and drove seven hours to North Topsail Beach. It was wonderfully secluded, and full of stuff to shoot. One of the days we were driving around looking for a sandwich, we happend upon Soundside Park nature reserve. We caught this postcard-esque scene of a great heron looking for lunch of his own. We shot the Milky Way, pelicans, fishermen, even a swimsuit model in the surf. Click below for tons more.
I finally got my wish. Ever since I started shooting concerts back in 2011, my number one “get” was Third Eye Blind. They were one of my favorite bands in college, and I was itching to see them live (again) and be in the pit. I attempted four times to get press credentials and was turned down. At first I was getting turned down frequently enough it didn’t bother me, but the last time I got turned down, it was pretty aggravating. They were playing a campus show. A campus show! One would think the number of press requests would be small enough to accommodate me. But then it happened! Third Eye Blind was slated to headline a benefit concert for the Ryan Zimmerman ziMS Foundation, to benefit suffers of M.S. And wouldn’t you know it, I got credentialed.
On Saturday I shot Preakness, Tuesday I shot Korn, and tonight I’m shooting Third Eye Blind. This is a rare situation, I got to shoot this concert in the pit with my colleague Joshua. I’ve gotten to shoot a couple of concerts with Paul, but both times we were in the crowd and couldn’t move from our spots at all. This time was unique in that my blog was representing more than %20 of the shooters that were there, and we could clothesline any hipster crapheads that got in our way. Korn gave me some incredible shots to work with. The dreadlocks, the theatrics, the rocking-out, all made for some kick-ass photos. Warning: Now having read this article, I loved most of the photos I took. I don’t have any “lessons learned,” so this is more of a “Check out this cool photo!” entry.
This past weekend was the biggest annual sporting event in Baltimore, the 138th Preakness at Pimlico. My friend Paul was contracted by USA Today Sports Images to shoot the event and they needed a runner, so he got me in with a press badge to help out. My primary goal while I was there was to run memory chips full of images from the primary photographers on the dirt, through the crowd, up to the photo editor way up in the press office. The distance wasn’t the issue as much as the thousands of people standing around. In between running disks back and forth, and helping with equipment, I could walk around and shoot the concerts (Pitbull and Macklemore), the crowd, and the occasional race. Here’s what I learned and what, what? I got some pics published to boot. Oxbow may have been the big winner, but I felt like I was the lucky one.
I was the official photographer for the DC101 Chili Cook-off, an annual summer concert hosted by the legendary radio station. I had shot an all-day festival last fall, but this was my first experience shooting rock bands and then immediately providing the images to be uploaded to their website. The greatest part of the whole experience was seeing my photos dominate their website and Facebook wall, and watching all those hundreds of likes and shares come in. Oh, that and getting to have a beer backstage with Soundgarden at the end of it all. The line up was RDGLDGRN, Beware of Darkness, Capital Cities, Silversun Pickups, AWOLNATION, and Soundgarden.
Shutter: 13 seconds, Aperture: f/5.0, Lens: 15mm, ISO: 400
Hoping to get a unique shot of the new cherry blossoms, I snuck out in the middle of the night for some long exposures. I got this shot with a Yongnuo remote flash, and a thirteen second exposure. Joke’s on me, this is a Bradford Pear tree. But tis the season. Continue reading →
A few weeks ago I got to shoot They Might Be Giants in Baltimore. This was a big deal for me as they were the first concert I went to back in high school. I particularly like this shot because this is something a little different than your standard rock concert fare. There were several challenges that night. First off, there was no pit, so I had to shoot from wherever I could in the crowd. I like being able to line up shots so that I can frame the lighting better, and make sure I can avoid getting the microphone right in front of their mouth. But the bigger challenge is how do you take cool, rock n roll photos of the two biggest (self-proclaimed) geeks in the business?
Monday night was supposed to be the peak viewing time for the Perseid meteor shower, so I drove about an hour and a half away from DC to try and get good shots of some shooting stars. However the moon was an almost-full waning gibbus, lighting up the sky, and it was just around 40 degrees out, so I did not get any good meteor shots at all. As to avoid the whole trip being a bust, I decided to finally try the flaming steel wool trick with a long exposure, and it came out pretty well! Click below for some instructions and a few other examples, and some bonus video!
Two weeks ago I returned to Towson Maryland to shoot hard rock band Nightsbridge at the Recher Theatre one last time before the owners closed it down and turned it into a DJ night club for the college set. Nightsbridge was one of the bands I learned how to shoot, and Recher was the first venue I got to shoot in the pit. More kick-ass photos and reflections on two years’ progress, below.
The circus was one of the first places I really took shooting in manual mode seriously. I had to furiously change setting to keep up with the different lighting. This past week I had an opportunity to go back and shoot the circus again, but this time I felt better armed, as I was much more comfortable with my camera, and shooting on the fly. I got some stuff I’m slightly proud of, click below to check it out.
If you watch carefully you can see two of my photos in this ABCNews Audiofile interview with Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes.
Spoiler alert, they’re at the 1:30 and 4:30 mark. My name, Andy Jones, will appear on screen with each shot. You can read about shooting that concert here.
Getting in to shoot Mumford & Sons has been the most nailbiting experience I’ve had shooting a concert, and it ended up being my top overall concert as well. They had just won the Grammy for Album of the Year a few days prior, and they still managed to give DC a two hour set (on two consecutive nights). They could have quit early and no one would have minded, but you can tell they love it. Click below for more pics and this insane story of how I got into the pit.
Watch in 720 HD. Video is safe for work, but contains lots of bikinis.
Ok, I’ve officially completed my 2013 Miss America coverage. I have two blog posts; one about shooting the hallway portraits with custom bokeh, and another about shooting the preliminary & the main pageant. The video above has all kinds of cool camera techniques I tried out while in Vegas, like dash cam, time lapse, and highspeed DSLR video. For good measure, here is a link to all of the photos, organized by gallery.
I recently got back from Las Vegas covering the 2013 Miss America pageant at the Planet Hollywood. I’m a little bit proud of getting myself credentials, but mainly I’m relieved I didn’t screw it up. It was certainly the biggest photographic undertaking I had ever pursued, and I’m very pleased with what I got. Before I left, I looked all over the internet to try and find advice about shooting the event and I couldn’t find very much, so I’ll share a little bit of what I learned as well.
Tons of stories to share, and of course, lots of pics of beautiful women. Click below! Continue reading →
Last week I was in Las Vegas covering the 2013 Miss America pageant on behalf of WV Magic. On Friday I could get some one-on-one time with a handful of contestants before the big event. In lieu of interviewing them with silly questions, I used the time to try and take some studio-esque portraits. I was inspired by the amazing portraits of Olympic athletes from their media day. The Olympians are in one big room, and all of the photographers from the big publications like Time, USA Today and CNN go around and take some time to take their photos. They have props and portable lighting and get some great photos. In my scenario, I got about five minutes with four of the contestants. I didn’t know what the lighting conditions would be like before I got there, and it ended up being a busy hallway. I came prepared to try and get some unique portraits, given the conditions. Click below for more. Continue reading →
I have such huge news, but I must get this post up or else I won’t get to it after my big trip next weekend. Ok, I can tell you now. I’m heading to Las Vegas to shoot Miss America.
Instead of dragging it out into three or four entries, I’m making this one large post. I was one of the official photographers for DC101′s Downtown Countdown on New Year’s Eve. Three awesome acts helped rock in the new year. Grouplove, G. Love & Special Sauce, and Lloyd Dobler Effect. In between shooting the three bands, I also walked around shooting pics of party people having a great time. Click below for a lot more pics.
I’m really digging AWOLNATION right now. They’re relatively new to the scene, and they’re hot. The band’s first single, Sail, peaked at #10 on the U.S. Billboard Rock Songs and has gone platinum in the US. If you notice, most of the bands I get to shoot, while legends, are also about 15 years past their peak. So it was very exciting for me to shoot a new band that was this big. I cruised up to Baltimore to shoot this on a Thursday night. Here’s a blog post review of the concert itself. But click to read about photographing the show and see more pics below.