Jake Egbert Photography Blog

Sailfest Fireworks - 2012

This was my third time watching the Sailfest fireworks in four years. The previous times I've watched from the waterfront district of New London and I was so close to the action that I struggled to keep the larger bursts in the frame. This year we found an ideal position from which to watch down at Fort Trumbull. There was much more space, fewer people, and two tall ships in the foreground, including the USCGC Eagle, which all added up to a great experience for me and the family. I'm pretty happy with how these shots turned out. Do you have a favorite picture from this gallery?
Posted by Picasa

SayWHAT? - In Concert - Sailfest 2011

After the Irish bands and bagpipes finished up their Friday night concerts at Salifest, a younger band with a much edgier look and sound took the stage on the Custom House Pier. SayWHAT? is a rock band from Chester, CT.

I saw these guys setting up after the Clan O'Cleary concert and was thinking of calling it a night due to the intermittent rain that was giving no sign of clearing up. I wandered up to the train station wondering what was happening on the other stage. What was happening? Nothing. I mean, there was a bevy of young Ford reps showing off the new line of Focus, but there were no bands on stage. It seemed most people were in hiding. So, I took a few Ford trinkets (free backpack for the kids!) and headed back down Bank Street past all the dark vendor tents, deciding to call it a night before it really started pouring.

By the time I got back to the train tracks near the waterfront, however, I could hear SayWHAT? really rocking the end of the pier. So, instead of heading back to my car to get out of the rain I found myself drawn back out to hear the last 20 minutes of the show. In the end I really didn't regret the extra walk or the extra rain because it turned out to be one heck of a good show!

There was intermittent rain falling through most of their set but that didn't keep the die-hard fans from enjoying the show with or without umbrellas. There were even a few that were throwing their hands up and dancing like they were at a club. By the end of the concert there was a break in the rain. Then the wind picked up and started dumping water off of the stage awning with every gust. This kept everyone on their toes, especially a certain guy with a camera that was skulking around under the edges of the awning hiding from the wet...

So, what to say about the band... The first thing you notice about SayWHAT? has to be the huge Afro that their guitar player, Ryan Newman, lugs around atop his sizable frame. Lead vocalist, Grace Carver, more than holds her own on some power rock anthems. The rest of the band is right there, as well, pumping out a serious wall of sound. Then Ryan channels the power of the 'fro' or Jimi or something because he lays down a blistering guitar solo that makes your ears start to bleed just a little and you start to wonder if these guys can possibly be as young as they look!

Catch one of their shows if you get a chance! And, check out the pics of the band, below.

SayWHAT? did not go unnoticed by anyone in the vicinity of the waterfront. Even the deaf *felt* their music!

Sometimes a mosh pit of one is all you need...

Note the water blowing off the awning...

L to R: Alex Socci - Rhythm Guitar, Grace Carver - Lead Vocalist, Justus Doane - Bass Guitar

Alex Stocci

The Afro and his Ryan Newman

Ryan and Justus

Grace Carver

Carlin Morris - Drummer, Animal, Comic Relief, Not a fan of cameras...

Celticity - In Concert - Sailfest 2011

Celticity is another great Irish band that performed on Friday, July 8 2011 at Sailfest. I arrived a bit later than I wanted so I only caught the last couple of songs they played but they sounded great. Celticity warmed up the stage for the New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums and they were, in turn, followed by Clan O'Cleary.

Phred Mileski - Voice, Psaltery, Accordion, Bodhran Drum, Percussion

Phred Mileski, Sylvie Harris (guitar), and Megan Sweeney (flute)

A very young fan of Celticity

New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums warming up with a few pints

Phred stuck around for the Clan O'Cleary concert and practiced some ballroom dancing with a pro dance instructor that just happened to be in the crowd, as well.

Posted by Picasa

Clan O'Cleary - In Concert - Sailfest 2011

Each year Sailfest boasts some fantastic entertainment in various locations around New London. Custom House Pier has been the home to several different Irish bands on Friday night over the past few years. This year Clan O'Cleary took the stage in front of a bit smaller crowd than usual, probably due to the impending rain storm. Those that braved the weather (it did end up raining quite a bit) were treated to a fine performance! Since the only escape from the rain was right up next to the stage I got lots of close-ups of this great band.

This was also the first big batch of photos that I every processed in Adobe LightRoom (along with the Tall Ship Gazela photos from the same evening). As you can see from the gallery I made liberal use of one of the black and white treatments and a split tone treatment that yields a high-contrast sepia tone image. So far I'm very happy with the results I've been able to get with this new tool.

Clan O'Cleary plays a variety of instruments

Hands of Richard Hawkes - Drums

Steve Cleary - Guitar, Mandola, banjo, voice

Mike Corman - Celtic harp, recorders, guitar, voice

The steady drizzle didn't slow down the band or the stalwart crowd of fans. It did send me to the cover of the stage awning with my camera, though.

Albert Yost - flute, irish whistle, fife's, concertina (squeeze box)

Denise Yost - Violin

Clan O'Cleary with the Gazela in the Background

Denise loses the hat for better lighting

I presume that's the "squeeze box" Albert's playing

Cleaning up to make room for the next band

Posted by Picasa

Tall Ship Gazela - Sailfest 2011

The wooden barkentine Gazela, currently sailing out of Philadelphia, graced the Custom House Pier in New London for Sailfest 2011. Visitors were invited to climb aboard, look around, and talk with the crew.

I enjoyed visiting with several crew members while listening to the New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums performing at the bottom of the gangway. Each of the volunteers aboard the Gazela has an appreciation for their ship and for sailing that was evident in the way they spoke of their different responsibilities and experiences aboard and abroad. They spoke of the different harbors they've visited and described the complexities of running a sailing vessel with a volunteer crew. The art of sailing one of these tall ships is nearly lost, but there are a dedicated few that still find satisfaction in keeping the traditions alive.

I've been playing around more with Lightroom to do my post-processing. What do you think of the results?

Securing the Ship

Fog rolled in over the New London skyline ahead of the rain

The Wheel and Compass

Wooden Dories

New London Firefighters Pipes and Drums

Lines in Order

Ship's Bell


Forward Mast with Square Sails
(the rear two masts don't have square sails)

Lines on Deck

From the Custom House Pier

Posted by Picasa