live music

La Noche Encantada Calavera Gala 2019 AHCC ABQ Event Photography

La Noche Encantada Calavera Gala 2019 AHCC ABQ Event Photography

A Gala with the Governor, Mayor, and Chevel Shepherd!

What is the La Noche Encantada - Calavera? It is a gala and the biggest event of the year for the Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce. 2019 featured no less than Chevel Shepherd winner of The Voice in December 2018. Newly elected governor of New Mexico, Michelle Lujan Grisham spoke, as did Albuquerque Mayor Tim Keller. I am a chamber member, but was at the event in an official capacity as a photographer, along with Jessica assisting. My job was to first make 200+ red carpet photos of people arriving! Then on to the dinner banquet, and finally to the Kiva Auditorium for the musical performances. Not many nights have I had such a diverse range of photography assignments! It was a very exciting event to photograph and experience through the lens.

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SOMOS ABQ 2018 in Photos

SOMOS ABQ 2018 in Photos

I heard about SOMOS ABQ directly from the head organizer of the event himself at a board meeting I was invited to.  His passion for bringing affordable entertainment on a large scale to all of Albuquerque was inspiring.  At the time I noted this is an event I should attend, and last Saturday I did!  The variety on display ranged from flamenco dancers to lace acrobatics to environmental art to music concerts across genres.  Right on the streets of downtown ABQ were erected stages and the acts playing really brought it.  The EDM stage in particular had the energy of a full on music festival finale!  In the photo gallery below you can see a cross section of what was on display at SOMOS ABQ 2018.

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Brett Eldredge St. Petersburg Florida Concert Ivy Ridge Living June 2012

Country music singer Brett Eldredge performing in St. Petersburg Florida June 01 2012I cannot say I had heard of Brett Eldredge before since I am not a country music fan, but I had the opportunity to photography a live performance of his as part of a larger event.  Even though he was playing for what must have been a very modest crowd for him, he gave a rousing and lively performance and I was impressed by his singing and the emotion he could conjure up on a hot, non-descript Florida afternoon.

Brett Eldredge giving it his all during his St. Petersburg performance playing original songs and a few crowd pleasing covers.The stage was setup in a parking lot which was essentially in a neighborhood.  No stage lighting was used and the ambient light itself came from what was pretty flat late afternoon cloud cover, so no dynamic backlit concert performance shots were possible.  I mostly used my Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens to eliminate the undesired background and fill the frame as much as possible with Brett.

Brett Eldredge performing live for Ivy Ridge Living guests in St. Petersburg, FL on June 01 2012During and after the concert Brett was pretty popular with the ladies in attendance.  He graciously stopped to take photos with each of them after the nearly hour-long set.  

Brett Eldredge Official Website

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  • John Kelly Band performing at Treasure Island Yacht & Tennis Club

    Nikon D300 Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens @ f/4 ISO 400 1/1250thAfter the training portion of the MIC event at the Treasure Island Yacht & Tennis Club came the social and relaxing portion.  Besides a large buffet spread there was a roving magician and a live 7-piece band performing.  During a break, I had a chance to meet some of the members of the John Kelly Band.  They were all very friendly.

    Nikon D300 Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens @ f/4 ISO 200 1/1250thThere was a bit of a challenge in photographing the band in the form of a very large pool being right in front of the stage (lengthwise).  Now when I photographed a band on the very same stage for New Year's Eve 2009, the pool was covered with a very expensive plexiglass cover.  At first I almost walked into the pool just trying to get a more natural shooting angle.

    Tim Poole - Nikon D300 Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens @ f/2.8 ISO 200 1/1000thShooting from extreme angles I tried to get as clean of backgrounds as I could.  I used my Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens wide open at f/2.8 and sometimes a bit stopped down at f/4 (for improved sharpness).  

    Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 @ f/8 ISO 320 1/160th with Nikon SB-800 Speedlight hotshoe mounted in TTL mode with diffuser capI switched lenses to my wide angle for the one vantage point I could get close to the stage from the, right rear side.  The band was being mostly front lit by the late afternoon sun so I used my SB-800 to add some needed fill light while still being able to keep the blue of the sky.  Manual exposure mode was necessary for the above shot to produce the results I wanted.  

    John Kelly - Nikon D300 Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens @ f/4 ISO 400 1/1000thTo be honest, when I am concentrating on shooting as much as I was to figure out how to best photograph the band, I am not too aware of much else.  So I heard the songs the John Kelly Band were playing, but only in the background of my senses.  Thus I cannot really comment too much on what type of music they play.

    Geni Poole - Nikon D300 Nikkor AF ED 80-200mm f/2.8D lens @ f/2.8 ISO 400 1/1000thMore information about the John Kelly Band: 

    Jason Collin Photography:

    The Commodores Performing on New Year's Eve 2009

    The Commodores really brought it for what to them must have been an extremely small show.


    I never imagined I would ever hear "Brick House" performed live on New Year's Eve, or any other eve for that matter, but I was lucky enough not only to see The Commodores in concert on New Year's Eve, but to be paid to photograph them as well.  I was really, really impressed by the energy that Walter "Clyde" Orange, William "Wak" King and James Dean "J.D." Nicholas brought.  I mean they really brought it and rocked and funked up the whole Treasure Island Yacht Club.  

    I got to shake hands with James Dean "J.D." Nicholas at the end of The Commodore's performance.

    The stage was small so there was no space for me to shoot from there, and there was no barrier between the stage and the crowd either.  So I had to basically carve my own space in the front of the crowd to shoot from.  Besides the usual lighting challenges there was a video team with a huge light coming off their video camera making my job all that much harder as this huge video light really made hot spots in my still images.

    William "Wak" King blowing on his trumpet at the Treasure Island Yacht & Tennis Club New Year's 2009 celebration.

    The aforementioned crowd was totally into what The Commodores were jamming out.  It is a testament to The Commodores' broad appeal that a crowd of older skewing yacht club members could feel the music the way they did.  

    Walter "Clyde" Orange pointing at someone in the Yacht & Tennis Club crowd no doubt to their great delight.

    People were constantly reaching up to try and high five and shake hands with Clyde and Wak and J.D. while they were performing.  I could not imagine being that hands on with the crowd, but The Commodores were very accommodating shaking hands and pointing to people in the audience, even continuing to play on when one woman forced her way on stage and started shaking her booty!  

    A fan getting the hands on treatment from The Commodores

    If The Commodores ever asked me to go out on tour with them as their photographer, I certainly would not say no!

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