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Nate.

Nate.

 

 

6:45pm.
Sun setting on the Downtown Mall, Charlottesville.

“We are your new favorite band.”

Nate says into the microphone before banging away at his keyboard.
Nate is the lead singer for Astronomers (http://www.myspace.com/weareastronomers). Not ‘The’ Astronomers, as their Myspace page points out. Alexandra plays the bass and sings back up. Jamie jams the drum set.

The opening act was Megafauna (http://www.myspace.com/mymegafauna), an Austin act on their first tour.

I had negotiated with Gwendelin, the manager of the Tea Bazaar (http://www.teabazaar.com/) in Charlottesville, to shoot photographs of the bands and release all the photographs to them, in exchange for them paying my 5$ cover. 

So I sat up front and took a lot of photos.

dani. will.

dani. will.

 

 

Dani Neff, the lead singer of Megafauna, rocked the guitar like a pro. She sweated. Her brunette hair was thrashing around in time with the music. She is the woman, Jimi Hendrix. Will Krause, wore a white-ish tank top and rocked the bass. He was tall and skinny. He had a long, somewhat pointy goatee. Cameron (last name unsure) had a shaved head and rocked the drums. 

I found out later that night that Megafauna had formed in December. They had been traveling for 8 days and were headed to Chapel Hill, NC next.

“We are Astronomers!” (No, ‘the.’)

They rocked. Nate Boiling was the lead vocals. Load and proud. He played the keyboard and guitar too. In the middde, was Alexandra Angelich, Nate’s girlfriend and an Austin, Texas native. Nate and Alexandra had moved to Charlottesville in search of a new music scene. Austin is “supersaturated” in music according to Alexandra. Jamie, has a pony tail and a black t-shirt and he plays the drums. 

I shot more photographs and tried not to blind them with the flashes from my Nikon.

The Tea Bazaar is a cozy nook on the second floor of the Downtown Mall and as the show wound up. I was not to excited about sleeping in some woods near town. Rain all day. And more rain when the show was wrapping up.

LAAA…

Bless the hearts of Megafauna, they invited me to hang out after the show and were interested in my story. They were crashing at Astronomers house in town so I tagged along.

Their house was on the outskirts of Charlottesville, 5 big jumps from the railroad tracks. A rusty watertower overhead and lots of tall weeds and abandoned cars in between the weeds. Shiny, wooden floorboards inside. They creaked. 
The walls were hung with colorful Alexandra paintings. Music instruments and lots of cords were everywhere in the living room. It reminded me of a house the Beatles would live in. Party, Music, and People were the message of this house.

Armani came too. He was a friend, of Nate and Alexandra. A fellow musician, whom said he was related to a member of N.E.R.D. (http://www.n-e-r-d.com/), the hip hop group. He is a member of Burnt Brush Productions (http://www.myspace.com/burntbushproductions). “The hottest hip hop group in Charlottesville.” He kinda did look like the guy from N.E.R.D. or maybe Chris Tucker.

Alexandra wants to take over the world, but not be the leader, just pull the strings from behind the scenes. Nate lives and breathes music. Jamie and his girlfriend, Amy moved into the house about a year ago and aren’t planning to leave anytime soon. 

Dani is going to Law School in Austin. “That is my day job.” While Will has enjoyed the Summer of Will ’09. He lost his job in February and has just been living off the dough from his gigs. Cameron is going to school for music. 
He likes kids and wants to teach music.

I am just feeling blessed at this point.
Alexis Ziegler (http://www.realitysandwich.com/user/alexis_zeigler).
Jack, the roommate of the house and I would describe him as a “vagabonding mystic,” mentioned Alexis as a local “energy radical.” He has a place in Belmont (a part of Charlottesville) where lots of “nature kids” go. He know alot about “Peak Oil.” He is my man, I am going to try to find this man and interview him.

Pork Chops were for breakfast the next morning. Breakfast at 2pm, thanks to Alexandra’s cooking. The Pork Chops were well-seasoned and the coffee was black and hot.

I get dropped off back in Downtown Charlottesville as Dani, Will, and Cameron head to North Carolina and I am feeling sad to say goodbye to these folks, yet also awesome.

I am going to see another show at the Tea Bazaar tonight. Zee Avi. She is big I guess.
“It will be packed.” according to Gwendila.

Create our world,
ben.

“Give love and unconditional acceptance to those you encounter and notice what happens.”
-Wayne Dyer

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World Changers,

I started taking photographs right out of college after taking a trip to the Netherlands. I took my Dad’s 35mm camera and tried to take amazing photographs to WOW! my family and friends. Well, needless to say, the cook at the restaurant I worked at thought they were boring! So, I have been taking photos for the past 6 years and after learning these easy 3 steps my photos drastically improved. 

While taking the photo:

1. Get close to the subjects! 

While taking a photos of family and friends, a lot of people will stand far away. I recommend you get as close as you can without losing subject matter: meaning not cutting off half of someone’s face or granny in back. But don’t leave a bunch of sky, if you don’t need to.

2. The Rule of Third’s

Basically, think of dividing the photograph into 9 equal parts in your mind (some viewfinders or LCD screens do this for you). It should look a little like a Tic-Tac-Toe board.

the rule of thirds

 

Position the main points of interest in the 4 red areas.

Position the main points of interest in the 4 red areas.

 Now, if you are still with me, the 4 points where the lines meet around the middle box are where you should put the main subjects of the photo. (definitely check the photos or http://digital-photography-school.com/rule-of-thirds)

***Okay, so you just took a bunch of photos using the rule of thirds and you got close to Granny in all her glory. Now, make sure you have a basic photo editing software. I use iPhoto that came with my Mac but if you don’t have that, I have used Google’s Picasa (a free download at http://picasa.google.com/) as well which works well. For 98% of my photos I will use basic photo-editing software.

3. Crank up the Contrast!!!

Make the dark colors darker and the light colors lighter. This will make the photo look more dramatic. With Picasa, you have 2 ways of doing this. 

A. Let Picasa do it by choosing “AUTO CONTRAST” (I never do this). 

B. Select the “TUNING” tab, and you will see 4 bars. FILL LIGHT, HIGHLIGHTS, and SHADOWS. Don’t worry about COLOR TEMPERATURE. By moving the indicator on each bar to the right, it makes the highlights lighter or the shadow’s darker or let’s in more fill light (lighten’s the whole photograph). I usually make the shadow’s as dark as possible and the highlights as light as possible, without the photograph becoming “fake” looking.

Tell me how it goes and good luck shooting in all your world changing adventures!

Change your world,
ben.

“The photograph itself doesn’t interest me. I want only to capture a minute part of reality.”
-Henri Cartier-Bresson

Create your world photos.

Create your world.

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