Monday, January 31, 2011

Weird sky/cloud formations

Early Sunday evening, I noticed some weird cloud formations -- or, perhaps, contrails/jet streams? -- in the west/southwestern sky while I was outdoors and happened to have my PowerShot G12 with me, so I took some pictures. Turns out ... I had a short window of opportunity to lock in on a color shade, as the setting sun and/or its reflected rays transformed the color of these formations from the usual bright white to a bronze tint in a span of 10 minutes or so during the time I was observing and photographing.

There probably is a perfectly good explanation for these helter-skelter patterns, and they probably are contrails. But of these streaks looked too wide and splayed for jet streams, and yet ... too narrow and too tubular for clouds. 

I did a quick hunt online, and not surprisingly found that weird cloud formations are not usual, but in the pictures of examples of "weird cloud formations," I didn't see any examples that resembled these helter-skelterlike skyscapes!

The image at the top is a broad overview of the spectacle; the one immediately below is a somewhat tighter look at the same composition. Both were taken before the aforementioned bronzing effect, the first of which you can see in the portrait orientation two shots below.

Above and the next two below: After the sunset/bronzing effect took hold. That tiny black figure to the right of the formation on the left is a passing aircraft. A crop of the above frame to bring out better detail of the aircraft appears below.

Above: This is not entirely a sunset bronzing effect; while I did capture this after the sunset started tinkering with the cloud colors, it's also the result of a PowerShot G12 in-camera melding of three images captured in rapid succession (also known as high-dynamic range, or HDR).

Saturday, January 22, 2011

The Bishops frolic at Clancy's Pub

Music was the source of another shoot on Jan. 14, this time at Clancy's Pub on the southside of Indianapolis. The Indy rock band The Bishops was performing. The band members are Bryan Bishop (vocals, rhythm and acoustic guitar), Georgette Fraction (vocals), Eric Boehmer (lead guitar), Eldon Hawkins (bass) and John Marque (drums). These images are from that visit.

A full gallery of images from the show can be found at The Bishops at Clancy's Pub.

Above: Georgette hitting a high note.

Above: The full band (minus drummer Marque) from left: Bishop, Fraction, Boehmer and Hawkins.

Above: Bishop and Fraction, during a high-steppin' number.

Above: The band at the start of a country-western tune. New member Hawkins (far right) had started the song without a prop, so someone from the audience volunteered their pink cowgirl hat. Good-naturedly, he accepted ... and (below) had fun with it.

 Above: Hawkins in a more serious mode, laying down the bass lines. 

Above: Bishop, Fraction and Boehmer in a frame treated with a glow-diffusion texturizing filter in post-processing.

Above and next two below: The energy-pumping Georgette Fraction, in high groove and song.

Above and next two below: Eric Boehmer, vested heavily in his musicianship and vocals.

Above: Bryan Bishop, dressed -- and posed -- to deliver the band's cover of Vanilla Ice's "Ice, Ice Baby."

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Living Proof rocks in the New Year

On New Year's Eve, with the cooperation of the Indianapolis rock 'n' rhythm band Living Proof, I photographed the group's performance at the Kincaid Ballroom of the Fishers (Ind.) Conference Center, adjacent to the Hilton Gardens and Indigo hotels in the northeastern Indianapolis suburb. Tickets to the show were sold as part of an overnight lodging package that included rooms at one of the two hotels.

I'd done a shoot of the band's taping of a video and subsequent live show on Jan. 30, 2010, so I had some familiarity with the band, liked its stage presence and enjoyed its rapport with the audience. I sensed it would make for some good images. I took pictures from the moment the band began setting up its equipment, lighting and sound system around 5:30 p.m. New Year's Even until the show ended somewhere between 1:30 and 2 a.m. on New Year's Day.

The pictures in this post -- leading off at the top with the band's horn section, trumpeter Larry Beiswenger (left) and saxophonist Teddy Patterson, are from that shoot; a full gallery of images can be found at Living Proof - New Year's Eve.

Above: Bassist Marc Latney doing his share of the stage setup.

Above: Trumpeter Larry Beiswenger tending to some of the percussion instruments. Unknown to him, the band's test of the colored light system found a coincidental target on the side of his head. I did show Larry the image after I took it; he was amused.

Above and next two below: During a test of the sound system, the band decided to also test their fogger system. Good thing they did it before the live show, too: It set off the smoke alarm, and the Fire Department showed up. The band decided to severely restrict the fogger during the actual show.

Above: The Fire Department crew, pausing to talk to hotel staff before heading back to the station after assurances the fogger system that triggered the smoke alarm was under control.

Above: Band members Gary McCreary, drummer, and Marc Latney, bassist, confer during a lull in the setup. In the background is fellow bandmate Jessica Patterson, vocalist.

Above: Some of the party-goers filing into the conference center when the doors opened. They need to check in and receive a wrist band indicating they were paid customers.

Above: Periodically during the show, vocalist Leonard Patterson -- Jessica's husband -- was asked by members of the crowd to take their pictures, and he complied when he had the chance.  

Above: Keyboardist Jeff Libby, who really doesn't have red hair. That portion of his head just happened to get a very concentrated blast of one of the colored lights.

Above: The band uses an assortment of colored lights throughout the show. The reds were on when this image was captured, showing the large screen providing the live telecast of the New Year's Eve broadcast from Times Square. The actual countdown would come later in the evening.

Above: Because there are seven members of Living Proof, and because they are spread out across the stage -- and then often fully or partially obstructed by speakers, microphones, light systems, instruments or other stage equipment depending on your vantage point -- it can be difficult getting them all into one shot. This is what I was attempting to do with this frame. From left: Teddy Pattersion (sax), Larry Beiswenger (trumpet), Gary McCreary (drums), Jessica Patterson (vocals), Jeff Libby (keyboards), Leonard Patterson (vocals) and Marc Latney (bass).


Above: Sax player Teddy Patterson -- Leonard's cousin -- during an animated interaction with dancers on the floor in front of him. 

Above: Leonard and Jessica go face to face during one of the band's songs; below, Jessica pulls away to boogie.

Above: After watching the ball drop at Times Square at midnight on the televised feed, the crowd celebrated in traditional ways -- balloon drops, toasts and kisses. 

Above: The band started the second, post-midnight set of their show in masks to perform the Michael Jackson hit "Thriller."

Above: Teddy Patterson gets up close and personal with a dancer near the stage during one of his vocal numbers. 

Above: The dance floor was packed almost from the start, but this was after midnight, and the moves were still going strong.

Teddy Patterson (above) and Jessica and Leonard Patterson (below) in shots I managed to pull off directly in front of the stage -- and with dancers no more than a half-foot away from me.


Above: A hat-donning number had Jessica in all smiles.

Above: The grinning was contagious, as evidence by drummer Gary McCreary, who I finally managed to reach by snaking behind the bongos on Stage Left. Perhaps his grin was silent applause for my perseverance!
Above and below: Still more grins and good times from the dance floor community.

Above and below: Two of the many enjoyable faces of Jessica Patterson, who always seems to be having a fun time doing what she does.

Above: Trumpeter Larry Beiswenger gets his moment to shine before ... 

... saxophonist Teddy Patterson (above) takes over, meandering off the stage and into the crowd for a little intimate performance among the dancers.

Above: A final look at the dance floor (OK, and yes, Teddy Patterson, bending backward behind the dancer right in the middle of the picture) ...

Above: Leonard Patterson looking out onto the crowd and dance floor while immersed in colors of red and indigo. 

This post's coda, notes courtesy of Jeff Libby.