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Erin's Pavilion Grand Opening

by Brandon May 25, 2010 01:41 AM

Erin's Pavilion My girlfriend and I attended the grand opening event of Erin's Pavilion at the Edwin Watts Southwind Park here in Springfield on May 19. Southwind Park, unlike most parks, was designed from the beginning to be accessible to all people with special needs. Erin's Pavilion, the park's welcome and visitor center, is the park's main attraction. The event we attended served as a public open house for the pavilion, with guided tours, tram rides around the trails, speeches and refreshments. A privately funded fireworks show concluded the evening's events.

Springfield had been doused with rain for several days prior to that Wednesday's grand opening event. Luckily, the weather that evening was clear, perfect for a fireworks show. We took our cameras and got several shots of the pavilion and some nice shots of the fireworks show.

To shoot the fireworks, I mounted my Canon 50D camera on my tripod, changed to my EF-S 10-22mm wide-angle lens, set the shutter speed to bulb mode and attached my RS-80N3 cable release to the camera body. Since I've only ever briefly photographed fireworks before that evening, I quickly searched for photographing fireworks via my iPhone and found a nice, concise article on photographing fireworks via

You can find out more about Southwind Park and the Erin's Pavilion grand opening event in these articles at the SJ-R:
Erin's Pavilion opens today at Southwind Park
Erin's Pavilion opens at Southwind Park

Check out our photos at the SmugMug gallery. The photos were shot by both my girlfriend and I.

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Photography | Springfield

Silly Joel Silly Billy Birthday Bash

by Brandon May 7, 2010 02:00 AM

Happy birthday, Billy Joel! To celebrate Mr. Joel's 60th anniversary of breathing and doing other things, Illinois' #1 Billy Joel cover band, Silly Joel, assembled once again, this time at the Hoogland Center for the Arts in downtown Springfield on May 1.

For this performance, many friends of the band dotted the packed hall at the HCFTA. The band members, who like their shows to be light-hearted and fun, celebrated keyboardist Virginia's real-life pregnancy by also being pregnant (even the men). Check out my photos and video from the performance below.

Silly Joel's talents are not consumed entirely by the works of Mr. Joel. Silly is also known to dabble into the works of artists such as Prince (or the artist formerly known as Prince) and more.

Click below to view the performance photos at my SmugMug gallery:

About the photos:

These were mostly photographed on a Canon EOS 50D with the Canon 100mm f/2.8 IS macro lens. The hybrid IS in the lens helped a lot when snapping these shots from my table with no flash.


About the video:

The video above was shot with a Canon EOS Digital Rebel T1i with a Canon 50mm f1/4 prime lens. Audio was recorded with the built-in microphone. Before leaving home, I grabbed that camera and lens as an afterthought, thinking it would be fun to experiment with concert recording. When I arrived, I was lucky enough to get a table at the front. The camera was sitting on top of my camera bag, so I didn't have a good way to pan to all the band members while recording. I could only move it between songs.

I was pleasantly surprised at how well the videos turned out. I took clips of many songs at a variety of settings. Some were shot at 1080 and 20 frames per second while most were 720 at 30 fps. The final version above was scaled to 720 at 23.95 fps.

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Entertainment | Photography | Springfield | My Videos