Monday, October 21, 2013

Jason Aldean Headlines Concert at Ak-Chin Pavilion

Thomas Rhett
Jason Aldean was the headliner at a sold-out concert on Thursday 17 October, 2013 at the Ak-Chin Pavilion in Phoenix.  Joining Jason was Thomas Rhett and Jake Owen

My ears are still ringing!  It was loud in there.  Before I get into the photography, I learned that for next time I will bring a set of ear plugs just in case. 
Part of the crowd

Like many venues, if you are not working as a professional photographer, security will not let you bring in a “professional” camera like my Canon 5D Mark III.  Luckily, I have a small backup camera, the Canon S100, 12 megapixels and more importantly, able to shoot in manual and in RAW format.  Even sitting further back than I’d like I was able to get some nice shots of the acts.  I love the colors and the spectacular lighting of these concerts.  It also helps I enjoy country music.  I suppose if I was getting paid I’d photograph a rock and roll concert, but I truly enjoy country music and the fans, who tend to be the most polite I’ve ever met. 
Jake Owen
Jason Aldean on stage!

My post processing tool was Adobe Lightroom 5.  I cropped, used clarity, and noise reduction on the photos and that was about it. 
Selfie!  Jim and guest Brenna.. happy birthday!

Enjoy my time at the concert!

Check out all of my concert photos below from Flickr….

Sunday, October 6, 2013

Opening Day at Turf Paradise 6 October 2013

Opening Day Turf Paradise!

There are some sports I enjoy photographing more than others.  Baseball to me is a difficult sport to photograph.  Yes, I’ll try it again in the spring, but it’s always been a struggle.  Hockey?  Yes, as long as I’m close to the action.  Horse racing I’ve done several times and enjoy it.  Turf Paradise in Phoenix is a nice venue.  Plus 6 October was opening day for the race season.  I joined 7,100 other people on this lovely Saturday to watch the ponies! 
Pretty Girl in the Stands
Getting close to the track is difficult because the rail is below the track.  I’ve tried but unless you can get on the other side of the rail, forget it.  I found the best place to photograph the race is from the upper deck.  Today I used my Canon 5D Mark III and a Canon “L” 70-200mm lens.  A few of the shots I took with the Tamron 2X extender, giving me a double reach of up to 400mm.  Yes, you lose a few stops of light, but I compensated with an ISO of 400.  Most of the shots were in the 7.1 to 8 aperture (AV on a Canon) setting.  This gave me enough of a fast shutter speed to freeze the action.  All shots were hand held.  I could have brought in a monopod for a bit more stability, but there is so little to no grain with higher ISO’s on cameras, I didn’t really need to.  Forget bringing a tripod, folks.  Security will nab you every time you try it!

I edited nearly all the shots with just Adobe Lightroom 5.  In one particular shot that looks like a painting, I used Photoshop CC with Topaz Simplify.  I typically use that plugin if a shot is a wee bit out of focus or I just want to try something different.  If your shot is blurry because of camera shake, consider using the camera shake filter within Photoshop CC.  It might just help.
Here they come!  Edited with Lightroom and Topaz Simplify.

By the way, if you want to know how I get a Flickr slideshow to appear at the bottom of this blog, here's how:  Upload your photos to Flickr.  Go to the first photo in your set.  Look for three dots in the lower right hand corner of the photo.  Click on it.  Click SHARE.  Look for share slideshow.  Then copy and past the html code you get into your blog posting!  Easy breezy, once you know how.  I had to look it up!
Out of the Gates
Happy Shooting,

Jim Patterson