Sunday, May 17, 2015

San Francisco Night Shoot

A few weeks ago, my friend Tom and his two sisters and I took a group of student photographers to San Francisco for a workshop and barbeque to teach them techniques for shooting at night on a tripod and using long exposures. Our first stop was Baker Beach where we took the obligatory shots of the Golden Gate Bridge, had a windy and chilly cookout, and then moved on to The Palace of Fine Arts in the Marina. We were lucky enough to be there for sunset, so we took a one block detour to see the bridge at sunset. The Palace of Fine Arts is always lit up beautifully and rarely crowded at night, making it the perfect stop with plenty of room for each of the 28 young photographers to set up their cameras. Last stop was across town to the Embarcadero for views of the Bay Bridge with the old pier in the foreground, now just stumps of wood. Great trip except for the drive up and back in a yellow school bus.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Elvis Costello in San Francisco, San Jose, and Berkeley

In the late 1970's, the most consistently satisfying concerts for me were the yearly appearances of Elvis Costello. His three-piece band with Steve Neive on keyboards, Bruce Thomas on bass, and Pete Thomas on drums was about as good as it got in rock and roll in those days. From the top, Elvis' first US appearance at the Old Waldorf in San Francisco on November 15th, 1977, also broadcast on KSAN radio. His appearance caused a great buzz among the hipster taste-makers at the time, and all the hype turned out to be true. He swept through the Bay Area with regularity, appearing at the San Jose Center For The Performing Arts on June 6, 1978, and then at the Berkeley Community Theater on February 9, 1979. Even though he is a musical force today, I still like those three years the best.

Monday, May 11, 2015

Bob Marley and the Wailers Paramount Theater, Oakland 5-30-76

Bob Marley and his band the Wailers came to Oakland's Paramount Theater on May 30, 1976. Personally, I was not a huge fan of reggae music, finding it too repetitive for my tastes, but I was curious about what made him so popular. One whiff as I entered the beautiful venue told me all I needed to know. In fact, I didn't need to go inside to smell the familiar scent. People were openly smoking on the street out side the Paramount. At any rate, he put on a great show just from a visual sense, and I was able to walk up next to the stage without any hassle. I just tried to keep a low profile and stay out of people's way.