G Love and Special Sauce at Jonathan Edwards Winery- North Stonington

I have had the pleasure of seeing G Love and Special Sauce at least six times over the last twenty years.  G Love played at the Jonathan Edwards Winery this past Saturday night and didn't disappoint.  This venue might have been my favorite of all the shows I have seen.  Great friends, my lovely wife and a few bottles of wine.  I also was able to use my new Fuji X100T camera and grab a bunch of photos.  These are a dozen of my favorites from the night.


Yeah so this happened....... Goodspeed Opera House

I found out just before Fathers Day that The Goodspeed Opera House in East Haddam, CT is having a photo contest.  The deadline to submit is July 13th, so I figured I would head down there a few times over the next couple of weeks and try to get a few good sunset photos, maybe some long exposures with clouds or even some sunrise photos.  Who am I kidding, I'm not getting up at 4 am to get down there for sunrise photos.  So anyways, there was a narrow line of rain and possible thunderstorms rolling through our area so I decide to head down Fathers day evening to try to capture something.  Kids fed, bathed and ready for bed, hand off to my wife and I was on my way.  When I got there, I found that it had not started raining yet and the sun really wasn't doing anything, so I decided to set up on the Haddam side and take a few photos across the Connecticut River.  If I'm not doing long exposures, I typically will take seven brackets.  My Canon 5D Mark III will do this for me automatically.  After being in this spot for 10 - 15 minutes, I decided that getting down close to the water was a better idea then where I was.  It was a lower tide, which was good, but I was wearing flip flops, which was bad.  Don't know what I was thinking wearing flip flops.  Anyways, here is one of my first set of brackets on the edge of the river, processed with Photomatix for this HDR shot.

Looking across at the Haddam bridge and Goodspeed Opera House

Looking across at the Haddam bridge and Goodspeed Opera House

  So after about 20 sets of brackets the rain started to fall.  I decided to pack up and head back to the Goodspeed side until the rain let up.  Once over back on the East Haddam side, the rain was still coming down, but the sun was already starting to shine again.  I decided to start walking over to the front of the Opera House with my camera, tripod and raincoat.  Once I got near the Goodspeed and close to the edge of the bridge I turned around and found myself in the presence of a double rainbow.  I was completely freaking out, trying to figure out where I could be to get the Opera House and the rainbows in the same photo.  I set my tripod down on the edge of the bridge and started walking across the bridge.  There was almost no traffic and the cars that were going across were slowing down to check out the rainbows also.  I kept walking down the bridge, kept taking photos and kept trying not to fall on a wet metal bridge and flip flops.  I ended up at the guard house for the bridge and there is a slight platform there.  I stood on the platform and tried to keep my lens clear (rain was still coming down) and was trying to take hand held brackets, which is not real easy at slower shutter speed.  I finally broke down and decided to make a run for it back to get my tripod, Yes, in my flip flops.  Got my tripod, got back to the platform without falling and finally was able to take some proper brackets of the rainbow and the Goodspeed underneath.  I also was able to take a pano with my iPhone and send out a quick pic to some family and friends.   This is my favorite photo of the rainbow that night taken with my Canon 5D.

Goodspeed with the Double!

Goodspeed with the Double!

At this point some clouds started to roll in and the rainbow started fading.  I would guess it was out for a good solid 20 to 30 minutes though.  I think I took a total of 100 plus photos to this point.  Once the clouds started coming in, I walked back to the front of the Goodspeed and wanted to take a few front facing photos of the building.  The road was wet, making for some good reflections and the moon was also out.  You can see it in the very top right of this photo, I just wish that Ryder truck wasn't there, but I am fairly certain they were removing the set of Guys and Dolls.

You can see from this photo that the sun is setting nicely, as they always say, if your looking at a great sunset, turn around an it actually might be better.  Well they (whomever they are) were right once again.  I turned around and the same sky that had a double rainbow 15 minutes earlier, was now turning pink.  The only thing I could think of was to get back to the other side of the river and take some more photos.  This is another bracket HDR shot.

Pinky Sky - Goodspeed Opera House

Pinky Sky - Goodspeed Opera House

This last photo, as great as the double rainbow is, might just be my favorite from the night.  It pretty much has all the colors of the rainbow in it, just not lined up in a nice arch.  I don't think I need to make any additional trips down to East Haddam for more photos.  I got everything I needed in this one unbelievable evening.

In case your wondering, I have submitted three of the four photos for the Goodspeed Opera House Picture-It photo contest. 



Dance Photos

My three daughters have been taking dance class for the last 9 months and they recently had their recital.  Typical during recitals, they don't allow video taping or camera flash photography.  If I wanted to take any photos of them dancing, I pretty much had to take the photos during the recital rehearsal.  This actually worked out well, because I wasn't so concerned about getting in the audiences way during the dances.  The issue is that I needed to use on camera flash, which I try to stay away from as much as possible.

I used my Canon 70-200 F4 IS lens and the new Yongnuo YN600EX-RT flash.   I had the flash mounted on camera and the head pointed almost vertically.  So I was getting some bounce from the flash, but the ceiling of the venue was pretty high, so I'm not sure how much was actually bouncing.  

Evangeline Ballet

There was a black backdrop up for the rehearsal, which ended up being great, but it wasn't completely down to the stage, rather almost all the way down on the left side, but about 18 inches shy of the stage on the right......... ugh.  I found that if I positioned myself just right, I could still get my daughters feet in the photo, but not so much of the open space between the stage and the backdrop. 

I ended up shooting almost entirely at iso 800, F4 and around 1/160 shutter speed.  With the flash, I guess I could have slowed the shutter speed a little and still froze the movement.

Fiona - Some day my prince will come - Ballet

I find that whenever I have to take photos of my children, I really like to experiment, especially when it comes to using flash.  I guess its because there is no one to get upset at me if I screw it up............ except for maybe my wife.

All three of Charlees dances had her positioned on the right side of the stage, with the backdrop not completely reaching the ground.  It was tough to get her feet in without showing the open space.  I did manage to get several that I ended up adjusting that backdrop gap in LR, but this is probably my favorite.

Charlee - Ballet

Overall I think the photos came out great with the added bonus of it being another learning experience for me.  

Thanks for reading!

- Chris