Best of 2019: Photos by Photographer Claude Sawyer

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First I would like to start by saying thank you to Laura and Jim for giving me the opportunity to get started shooting concerts.  I am an admitted concert junkie.  I have been wanting to photograph shows for years, but never knew how to get started.  Jim Gilbert went out of his way to point me in the right direction.

Picking twelve pictures from the thousands of frames I shot was difficult.  I second guessed most of them and the ones that JUST missed the cut are some of my best work to date.  I hope you all enjoy these.  See you out there.

Sheryl Crow

Sheryl Crow, SPAC, July 21, 2019
I took this from my seat in the front row with a Canon G5X point and shoot set to manual mode. I like this one because of the way her hair was blowing and I happened to catch her looking right at me.

Big and Rich

Big and Rich, SPAC, July 6, 2019
Taken fron the general admission pit. G5X in manual mode. Just a great shot of a Big Kenny. The emotion in his face and the message on the guitar make this my favorite photo I took this year.

Barenaked Ladies

Barenaked Ladies, SPAC, August 4, 2019
The last image I made of BNL’s set ended up being a winner for me. Taken with the G5X from the fourth row in the pit.

Chris Lane

Chris Lane, SPAC, July 25, 2019
Taken with the G5X from the general admission pit. The colors of the flag and the crowd are what pushed this one into my favorite photos of 2019.

Cody Johnson

Cody Johnson, Upstate Concert Hall, November 7, 2019
This was taken from the elevated viewing area behind the main bar. I used the new Canon EOS-R Mirrorless paired with the Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8. I think this photo captured the entire mood of this show. “CoJo” and company put on their shitkickers and kicked the crowd in the teeth with two hours of real, red-dirt country.

Alice Cooper

Alice Cooper, Cool Insuring Arena, November 21, 2019
The EOS-R and 70-200mm has become my go-to combo for almost everything I shoot. This was taken from about four rows back. Old black eyes was looking and pointing right at me here, kind of a no brainer to be one of my favorites.

Hootie & the Blowfish

Hootie & the Blowfish, SPAC, August 4, 2019
This one just looked better in black and white. Taken from the fourth row with the Canon G5X, I like this picture because I was able to get three of the four original members in one shot, sharing a moment and a microphone.

Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real

Lukas Nelson & the Promise of the Real, SPAC, August 30, 2019
ZBB has been one of my favorite artists for the past decade. This year they brought along Lukas Nelson. Musical DNA must be a thing because Willie Nelson’s son is the real deal. An intense and expressive performer, he is great to shoot. This shot just captured his raw energy. Again, taken with the point and shoot G5X in manual, from the front row of the pit. GREAT little camera.

Luke Bryan

Luke Bryan, SPAC, July 11, 2019
My girlfriend dragged me to see Luke Bryan. I was not a fan prior to the show. After the show? I have a new respect for him as a performer. This is one of those shots that just works better in black and white. Front row of pit, G5X in manual.

Luke Combs

Luke Combs, Mohegan Sun Arena, November 22, 2019
OK, so this one wasn’t taken in Nippertown proper, but it is in my top five of the year. Taken on stage behind the drum riser with the EOS-R and 70-200mm, I caught Luke smiling after finishing his song. I just love everything about this picture, from the crowd to the spotlight.

Old Dominion

Old Dominion, SPAC, July 6, 2019
Front row, general admission pit. I just liked how the two main members of the band came together on stage and on the big screen behind them.

Zac Brown Band

Zac Brown Band, SPAC, August 30, 2019
Each night on “The Owl” tour, ZBB would grab stools and do a four or five song acoustic set. On this night, he set up directly in front of me and I was able to capture a few really nice images. Canon G5X, manual mode.

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