Minolta 100mm f/2

Just beginning to play with my recently acquired Minolta 100mm F/2. It’s an amazingly sharp lens and the IQ is on par with anything I have ever shot with. Considering this lens was made in 1987 it holds up well when used with the modern day digital Sony Alpha 700.

Jamie Adams

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Jamie Adams

I would go so far as to say that this lens is easily as sharp wide open as my Sony Zeiss 135 f/1.8 is when stopped down to f/2.0. Similar in focal length (100mm vs 135mm) this lens is considerably smaller and more light weight. That means it’s easy to carry around in my small bag with a few other lenses where the Zeiss requires a bit more of a commitment to lugging around some heavy gear. A huge plus.

Dooley

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dooley

I can easily see this lens becoming one of my heavy rotational favorites, espeically for low light portrait work

Dwight Silverman

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Dwight Silverman

Chango Man

Chango Man

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Chango Man

Having a Friday off allowed me to stay up late on a school night and finally catch Chango Man at the Houston Continental Club on Thursday after Beetle.

I’d heard good things about Chango Man, mostly from the members of Chango Man but still, I wanted to check them out. Described as America Cumbia music it is a fantastic blend of Latin sounds that really sounds great. As front man El Fausto (Tino) Jackson likes to say: [paraphrasing] “There’s no reason Latin music can’t rock” and rock it does. It was a great show and definitely worth the time to go see.

Tino is great front man. I’ve seen him play with Beetle and Disco Expressions but when he is out front and taking charge is when he seems to be at his finest.

Chango Man

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Chango Man

Chango Man

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Chango Man

Chango Man

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Chango Man

Additional photos in the Chango Man Gallery

Zappa – Them Or Us Tour 1984

Frank Zappa 1984
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Frank Zappa 1984

Back in the 80’s, my brother John gave me a Yashica camera which was the first 35mm camera I ever used. I don’t remember the model or the specs, but it was pretty basic as I recall.

Zappa was coming through Houston in 1984 on his Them Or Us Tour and I wanted to get some pics. I knew I would have to smuggle the camera in and that meant flash photography was not an option. John told me about a technique called Push & Pull Processing where you increase the ISO setting on the camera to underexpose the film and then compensated for this in the darkroom. This would allow me to shoot without a flash and hopefully get something usable from the experience.

I had 7th row tickets to this show so a flash might have been helpful, but would certainly draw attention to what I was doing so I decided to shoot using this method.

Now back in the day security at concerts wasn’t all that secure. Still, if you had a camera bag you could get turned away at the door. And even if you did get the camera in the door, if security caught you shooting pics at a major show they wouldn’t take your camera, they would just take your film, usually pulling it from the camera or canister. I’d seen photographers lose a night’s work this way on several occasions.

With this in mind I felt confident my camera was not at risk, but I wanted to make sure I could pull off my plan and walk away at the end of the show with some photos.

I’d seen Zappa before. It was 1981 at The Fox Theater in San Diego. I noted that many of the fans came to the show dressed up in various costumes. I decided I would attend this concert dressed as a Sheik (a la Sheik Yerbouti). I could hide the camera gear in the folds of my robes and hopefully skirt security.

The plan worked better than I could have hoped. Concert security stood practically next to me during most of the show. They either thought I was supposed to be there, or decided that a guy who was dressed in such an attention grabbing manner could be ignored while they scanned the audience for real trouble. I was able to pull out the camera and shoot uninterrupted for the duration of the show.

The results were “so so” but I was happy enough with the results considering this was my first effort.

Frank Zappa 1984
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Frank Zappa 1984

1984 Them Or Us Tour
Sam Houston Coliseum

Frank Zappa: guitar, vocals
Ray White: guitar, vocals
Ike Willis: guitar, vocals
Robert Martin: keyboards, tenor saxophone, French horn, vocals
Scott Thunes: bass
Alan Zavod: keyboards
Chad Wackerman: drums

Fun Fun Fun Fest


Chris Trew –Terp 2 It

It was with great anticipation that I headed off to shoot Fun Fun Fun Fest (my first music festival) this weekend. I could only take in one day of the two day festival as I needed to get back home on Sunday.

I arrived in Austin around noon and checked into my hotel and headed off to Waterloo Park to pick up my press credentials. The weather was fantastic and the crowd was very diverse and pleasant.

Johnny

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Johnny Peebucks Bonnel of Swingin Utters

The festival organizers did a great job with the hospitality/media area. Comfy couches and chairs with workstations for getting online and chargers for personal electronics. Also food and drink. Top notch, all the way.

The various acts were available throughout the day for interviews and photos

Dan Hobson and Michael Gerald of Killdozer

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Dan Hobson and Michael Gerald of Killdozer

The park was very dry and all the pedestrian traffic was kicking up a pretty hefty cloud of dust that was growing thicker and thicker as time went on. Unfortunately, this took a hefty toll on my ability to breath and by 6:00pm I began to crater and headed back to the hotel.

This meant missing The Dead Milkmen and a few other shows I wanted to catch.
Fun Fun Fun Fest

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Fun Fun Fun Fest

What did get to see, I enjoyed.

Maybe next year I’ll take my portable respirator.

Fun Fun Fun Fest

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Fun Fun Fun Fest

The Dedringers

The Dedringers

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The Dedringers

Saw a band called The Dedringers at Shoeshine Charley’s Big Top Lounge on Friday night. These guys are quite remarkable. Reminded me of a young Rolling Stones. Definitely worth checking out if you have the chance.

This is also a personal favorite in terms of my concert photography. The lighting in The Bigtop is challenging to say the least so a little more effort, even desire is needed to squeeze something usable out of the venue.

This shot embodies everything I love about this kind of photo op. Great (if relatively unknown) band in a small venue playing to a small but appreciative audience.

Good times!

Beat Box

Percussion instrument used during a performance of Clouseaux.

I like the absurdity of a box being miked as it looks like it’s about to be interviewed…

Host: Joining us now, a wooden box touring with the musical group, Clouseaux…

Wooden Box: It’s great to be here!

Host: How’s the tour going?

Wooden Box: Aside from the constant beatings, it’s terrific!

More pics here

The Thrill That’ll Getcha When You Getch Yo Pictcha

Elmore Magazine Web Site

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Elmore Magazine Web Site

I was contacted by Elmore Magazine about purchasing the rights to one of my photos for their web site and for the cover of their monthly magazine.

With a circulation only in the tens of thousands it’s no Rolling Stone Magazine, but still pretty cool if you ask me. There’s just something about print media that makes it seems more “real” even though more people are likely to see it on the web.

Elmore Magazine

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Elmore Magazine

So shiny!

*Photo of Jay Lee courtesy of Cynthia