Sunday, April 23, 2017

Tom Wagner at the Buffalo Chip

As a follow-up to meeting Tom at Country Thunder, he made the invitation to come to the Buffalo Chip in Cave Creek, Arizona to photograph him and his band.  

I used my Canon 5D Mark IV and chose the Canon 24-105mm f/4 II lens.  The right way to do a shoot like this is try to visit early and take some test shots, but I thought I was ok with this setup.  The only thing I would have done differently is probably also bring my Canon 50mm f/1.8 lens too.  

The indoor lighting was great for dancing and watching a band.  But it was low light for photography.  I found I was shooting wide open f/4 at over 10,000 ISO.  I also had to change my white balance in Lightroom to tungsten, but that probably took a few seconds to do. 

Tom and his band mates were personable and fun, as they were at Country Thunder. That makes photographing them fun.  The Buffalo Chip is a great venue with incredibly friendly people like Dottie, the manager, and the waitresses busy serving up burgers and beer (all was delicious.. the burger seemed to go on forever and I loved it!).

Until My Next Adventure,

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!


Monday, April 10, 2017

Country Thunder 8 April 2017

Country Artist Tom Wagner at Country Thunder Arizona, April 2017
Tom Wagner at Country Thunder Arizona
Saturday was my day to photograph as many artists as I could at Country Thunder.  In four hours, I was able to photograph Tom Wagner, Ry Bradley, Dorado, Ryan Hurd, and Austin Burke.  

Tom Wagner connects with fans at Country Thunder
Tom Wagner

I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and a Tamron 28-300mm lens.  I was a one lens pony this day.  The Tamron lens gives me all the reach, if I need it, and it is light to carry. 
Tom Wagner with an adoring fan
Tom with a Fan
 The first act I photographed might have been the most fun for me.  Tom Wagner, I found out, is a local guy.  And an opening act for Garth Brooks.  He’s animated and obviously has fun with his audience.  And his audience seems to love him.  He also performs regularly at Cave Creeks’ Buffalo Chip, so I will have some follow up shots of him in action.
Ry Bradley

Ry Bradley was the next act.  He has that certain look,doesn’t he?  I was thinking “James Dean” from Rebel Without a Cause, although I bet the young folks won’t know what I’m talking about. 
country band dorado at country thunder arizona

Dorado followed Ry (that link goes to Dorado’s Facebook site).  Now, we often were going from a smaller sound stage to the main stage, with many beer and food stops along the way!  

Ryan Hurd has been a successful songwriter in Nashville and is now trying to cross over as a singer.  From his website, I learned that Hurd has written songs that have been recorded by Blake Shelton, Dierks Bentley, Jake Owen, Maren Morris, Tim McGraw, FGL, among many others. In 2015, he celebrated his first No. 1 single as a songwriter with the GRAMMY & CMA-nominated duet “Lonely Tonight,” recorded by Blake Shelton and Ashley Monroe.  I also learned he’s from Kalamazoo, just an hour west of where I grew up in Jackson, Michigan.  
Ryan Hurd at Country Thunder Arizona
Ryan Hurd

The final act we photographed was Austin Burke.  According to his webpage, he grew up in the 1990's in Phoenix, Arizona, Austin was a huge country music fan and began singing as soon as he could walk.  At the tender age of of 3 he sang the national anthem for both the Phoenix Suns and Arizona Diamondbacks and at a chance meeting with his hero Garth Brooks at a Padre's spring training game, his destiny was set.
austin burke at country thunder arizona
Austin Burke

Until My Next Adventure,

(Tom Wagner at the Buffalo Chip?) 

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Thursday, April 6, 2017

Steve Kerr and Warriors at Phoenix Suns

Golden State Warriors versus the Phoenix Suns at Talking Stick Arena
The Golden State Warriors and Coach Steve Kerr visited the Phoenix Suns in an NBA game Wednesday 5 April 2017. 

Steve Kerr is coach of the Golden State WarriorsThis was a special University of Arizona Wildcat Club event because Steve is a big thing in Arizona Wildcat basketball history.  He was the starting point guard for the first UA final four team back in 1987.  Since then, he won five NBA championship rings as a player and one as a coach of the Warriors two years ago. 
allonzo trier plays basketball for the University of Arizona

Following the game, we were escorted to the floor of the arena to hear from Steve and special guest, former University of Arizona basketball star Andre Iguodala, who plays for the Warriors.

Steve Kerr, Coach of the Golden State Warriors and University of Arizona graduateAnd, a face in the crowd was University of Arizona basketball star Allonzo Trier, who was met by shouts of "one more year" (will he or won't he enter the NBA draft?).

Special thanks and a shout out to University of Arizona Athletics and Callista Balko Elmore, Phoebe Chalk Wadsworth, Tom Theodorakis, and Ray Wells and Phoenix Suns Chris Moran (also a University of Arizona graduate).

Callista Balko Elmore with Robert Golden and Colin Jordan

Until My Next Adventure,

(Country Thunder) 

See You On Down the Road!

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Cave Creek Rodeo 2 April 2017

cowboy grabs cow by the horns
I photographed the Cave Creek Rodeo finals on Sunday 2 April.  This made it seven years in a row I photographed this wonderful PRCA Professional Rodeo Cowboys Association sanctioned event. 
cowboy misses tackling the cow in Cave Creek

The Cervi people provided the four legged stock athletes (animals).   The two legged cowboy and cowgirl athletes were the other half of the event.
cowboy flies off bronco in cave creek

I really respect this sport and the athletes.  It’s dangerous and these folks have to do well in these events to make a living.  If a cowboy or cowgirl gets a penalty or no score, they are out and must go to the next rodeo for another try.
justin "rumpshaker" rumford entertains cave creek rodeo crowd

Country artist super star Garth Brooks put it best in his hit “Rodeo” about how really hard this sport and life are!  Part of the lyrics goes like this,

Well it’s bulls and blood
It’s dust and mud
It's the roar of a Sunday crowd
It's the white in his knuckles
The gold in the buckle
He'll win the next go 'round
barrel racer in cave creek loses five points

Take a good look at how these cowboys and cowgirls “bring it” in the finals.  By the way, rodeo clown Justin “Rumpshaker” Rumford was funny too!

Until My Next Adventure

(Country Thunder) 

See You On Down the Road!

cowboy dejected after low score in cave creek

Photos from Flickr ... and, here are all the keeper photos!