Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Canon 5D Mark II : Yes, you ARE seeing double!

My new baby twins have arrived...

Will's twin Canon 5D Mark II bodies
Canon 5D Mark II x 2

Will's twin Canon 5D Mark II bodies

Will's twin Canon 5D Mark II bodies
The straps are even embroidered with "EOS 5D Mark II" !!

Will's twin Canon 5D Mark II bodies

Forgive the amateur style photos! I was too excited to set up a proper shoot!

I look forward to putting these babies through some grueling shoots! Sample photos & high definition video are forthcoming.

Cheers,
Will

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

PASIC 2008 - Austin, TX

Percussive Arts Society just held their International Conference " PASIC 2008 " on November 6th - 8th, 2008 in Austin, Texas. This impressive event ties the best components of NAMM, DCI, Modern Drummer Fest, and education all together. PASIC has multiple components: a tradeshow that features manufacturers of everything drum & drum related, storefronts for popular drum outlets, magazines, and schools; halls in which famous & accomplished drummers & percussionists give clinics and performances; rooms in which lectures are given; and meetings w/commthread groups & think tanks.

I was lucky enough to attend PASIC 2006, also in Austin, and to again be able to attend PASIC 2008. Promark Drumsticks and Modern Drummer Magazine had issued me assignments to cover various artist performances. Jon Feustel, Director of Marketing and Communications for Percussive Arts Society, was kind enough to send a couple more clients my way: DCI Magazine (published by In Tune Magazine) and Dynasty Drums.

Here are a handful of photos from the event!


Marko Djordjevic at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Above and Below: Marko Djordjevic at PASIC 2008. Marko performed on the first day, with a bass player.

Marko Djordjevic at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins


Derek Roddy at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Above: Derek Roddy at PASIC 2008 . Derek performed at Modern Drummer Fest less than 2 months ago, soon took the stage over in Exhibit Hall A. He informed the audience that anyone in need of caffeine was about to get a shot of it... and he made good on that promise! Blast beats tore through the hall, followed by rhythmic drumming.

Derico Watson at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Above and Below: Derico Watson at PASIC 2008. I had the opportunity to see Derek at Sabian Live @ NAMM 2008, put on a wonderful performance.

Derico Watson at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins



Below: After Derico's performance, two musicians whom I had never seen perform took the stage. Percussionist Fausto Cuevas and drummer Stanley Randolph . Little did I know, these are two of the 3 rhythm section members of Stevie Wonder's band! They put on a spectacular performance! An original song was covered as well as some Stevie Wonder hits. The whole crowd really had a great time.

Fausto Cuevas - (Stevie Wonder) - at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Stanley Randolph and Fausto Cuevas - Stevie Wonder - at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Fausto Cuevas - Stevie Wonder - at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Stanley Randolph - Stevie Wonder - at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Above: Stanley Randolph tearing it up with a new prototype for the yet-to-be-released Vic Firth LED color changing, USB chargeable drumstick.


Below: Over in monstrous hall 5, percussionist Taku Hirano and drummer Gorden Campbell began a clinic & performance. These guys are young yet have resumes and credits that most musicians dream they could have! The clinic was education, the performance was great... what else can I say?!

Taku Hirano at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Gorden Campbell at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Wow... I'm not even a quarter of the way through the amazing performances at this year's PASIC! I will be showing only a handful more in this blog, though.


Below: Late in the afternoon, superstar drummer Steve Ferrone (Tom Petty, Eric Clapton) performed a solo, hosted Q&A, told stories, and brought a band onstage to play some rock'n'blues with. This was yet another fun & entertaining performance!

Steve Ferrone - Tom Petty - PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Steve Ferrone - Tom Petty - PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins



Terence Higgins of Dirty Dozen Brass Band - PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Above and Below: The next day, one of the performers was Terence Higgins , of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band. Terence's clinic & performance were a great kick-start after my early lunch! With the fun still in mind... I amp'd up these two shots in post-processing.


Terence Higgins of Dirty Dozen Brass Band - PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins


Below: Now this one had an interesting start. I walk onto the stage where Johnny Rabb and Marco Minnemann are supposed to be setting up their gear for a performance in 25 minutes. Marco is hard at work, but Johnny is playing around on Youtube! (Story continues after the photo)

Johnny Rabb at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins

Above & Below (Continued): I ask Johnny why he is watching the hilarious "Buck Nelson: Lifting the Cloak of Mystery off Rock Drumming" instead of setting his gear up. Johnny, with a serious look of concern on his face, says "I left my samples for the show at home... in Nashville." His performance was to include audio clips from the Buck Nelson video, and he had to rebuild it for scratch. It's a good thing Roland has Johnny program Roland V-Drums about 5 times a day, as his fast programming was vital in getting this done. Johnny finished up just about 1 minute before performance time. Thank God for Macbooks, WiFi, and Youtube.

Johnny & Marco put on am impressive series of solos and duos, ending with an absolutely hilarious duo that featured the Buck Nelson audio clips. I hope someone caught this on video to share with the world!

Johnny Rabb - PASIC - by Will Hawkins



Johnny Rabb and Marco Minnemann - PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins


Marco Minnemann at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins


Johnny Rabb and Marco Minnemann at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins


Two more amazing performances...

Dafnis Prieto - PASIC - by Will Hawkins

Above: Dafnis Prieto at PASIC 2008. Dafnis is yet another unique drummer who performed at this year's Modern Drummer Fest.

Below: Modern Drummer Magazine's "Progressive Drummer of the Year" Gavin Harrison of Porcupine Tree. Gavin did a great job, really entertaining and educating the crowd... and even taunting the photographer ;) Gavin was also featured at this year's Modern Drummer Fest.

Gavin Harrison at PASIC 2008 - by Will Hawkins



Below: The last performance/clinic at PASIC featured a couple of monsters at the kit - Ray Luzier of Korn (formerly David Lee Roth's drummer) and Seven Antonopoulos of the late Opiate for the Masses.

Man, these guys really go nuts on the kit. Not only did they amaze everyone with their engaging solos, but they performed as a duo... while tossing sticks at each other and having a great time!

Seven Antonopoulos - PASIC - by Will Hawkins

Ray Luzier of Korn - PASIC - by Will Hawkins

Ray Luzier and Seven Antonopoulos - PASIC - by Will Hawkins


As a bonus to this post... I'm including a photo that was taken of me behind the kit on a point & shoot camera... Thursday night, Todd Sucherman of Styx and his wife Taylor Mills (singer w/Brian Wilson) threw a get-together at their place. The attendees were all wonderful folks and great musicians - much of the Promark family, the Ludwig crew, Gavin Harrison, Johnny Rabb, Derek Roddy, Corey Miller (of LA Ink), and other great drummers & people were there.

After a relaxing period of everyone just hanging out, there was a massive migration to Todd's drum room (which is more of a drum house, out behind his house). Todd has 4 full kits set up in this one room, ready to play, including a massive kit all mic'd up for recording. I would've loved to have had my camera gear there to capture what happened! A drum jam broke out... All of the pros and many of the other drummers all sat in! It was a blast! After some of the pros circled through what must have been 60 solos, I had a chance to sit in and jam with them. I'm a super-basic novice rock drummer, but it was still great to play with the greats!


The shot of me is followed by a few other small point & shoot cam shots that captured part of the scene.










I had a great time taking photos & spending time with all of my wonderful clients, acquaintances, and friends at the event. In the drum community, everyone is family... and it felt great to be entertained & educated by this family.

Thursday, June 5, 2008

Dream shoot: Dream Theater's Mike Portnoy

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater


Each year, I make a list of musicians & bands I want to work with. The list has included The Black Eyed Peas, Slayer, John Blackwell, Ringo Starr, Neal Peart, John Legend, and a handful of others. Each year I have been able to line up work with most of the list! So far, out of the folks listed above, only Neal & Ringo remain.

One such member of the list (for about 3 years now) has been Mike Portnoy.

This past Sunday, June 1st, I was able to cross him off of my list!

Dream Theater rolled into Clearwater around 3:30pm on Sunday, but Mike was immediately carted off for an autograph session, with the plan to return between 6pm and 6:10pm.

The plan called for us arriving at 6pm, shooting Mike at his monster drumkit before doors or between bands (with the curtain down), and shooting live.

At 6pm, we pulled in right behind Mike's driver. We walked in, linked up with his management, and were escorted to the stage. It was now about 6:20pm and doors were opening in 10 minutes. As we had to be completely clear of the stage by about 6:29, the shoot itself had about a 4 1/2 min limit.

Mike was great to work with! He's a pro at being in front of the lens! Just like working with an experience model (I know I know... sorry about comparing world famous hard rockin' drummer Mike Portnoy to a model), Mike set into action when the camera was lifted. Click, new position (I'd say pose, but that's too model-y), click, new position, repeat, repeat, repeat, done.

I even snuck in a shot of myself with Mike at his kit taken by my assistant.
(Mike's kit is huge and he frequently brings guest drummers to sit alongside him. There are always two thrones at the kit, which he alternates between.)

We shook hands, cleared set, and waited for the show! During the live show, I spent some time up at the drum riser taking some live shots. Mike is amazing at the kit!

Here are some shots!




Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater

Mike Portnoy of Dream Theater


Tuesday, May 20, 2008

Tony Thaxton of Motion City Soundtrack

Tony Thaxton of Motion City Soundtrack:

Pink Converse! How can it get any better? Motion City Soundtrack's rockin' drummer Tony Thaxton braved the Florida sun and crowds of onlookers, many of which began taking photos of our Disney area shoot. Tony's focus was not broken at any point!   Thanks for being a good subject!



Strobist info: Canon 580EXII Photog/Camera left & eye level @ 1/16 power with 1/4 CTO gel, Canon 580EX Far Camera Right @ 1/8 power with 1/4 CTO gel. Triggered with Pocket Wizard II's.

Tony:

Tony Thaxton of Motion City Soundtrack

Tony Thaxton of Motion City Soundtrack

Tony Thaxton of Motion City Soundtrack

Monday, May 19, 2008

Phantom Photoshoot: Jeff Conrad

Jeff Conrad of Phantom Planet:

Shooting Jeff was a real pleasure. Besides playing for the band that has one of the most recognizable theme songs on TV right now ("California" on the O.C.), Jeff is an amateur documentary filmmaker, which gives him a fair amount of understanding of image & photography.

For the shoot with Jeff, we went Strobist key shift style!

Here's a video of the shoot:

Will Hawkins Photography: Jeff Conrad (Phantom Planet) shoot from Will Hawkins on Vimeo.



Strobist info (for the outdoor shots): Canon 580EXII Photog/Camera left & eye level @ 1/16 power with 1/4 CTO gel, Canon 580EX Far Camera Right @ 1/8 power with 1/4 CTO gel. Triggered with Pocket Wizard II's.

Jeff Conrad of Phantom Planet


Jeff Conrad of Phantom Planet

Jeff Conrad of Phantom Planet

Jeff Conrad of Phantom Planet

Jeff Conrad of Phantom Planet