Serving up a hot night at the Pageant with partner-in-crime Trey Songz, J. Holiday threw down the smooth jams that had the ladies screaming. And what can I say, I love anytime I can shoot at ISO 1600 and 1/500.
Touring in support of his album Back of My Lac' and the success of his single “Bed,” which rose to the top of Billboard's Hot 100 and R&B charts, the Capitol-signed singer laid it down thick at the packed-out venue.
Just like Trey Songz before him, J. Holiday took the stage fully clothed and, by the end of the hour-long set, managed to lose all of his shirts to the eager ladies of the audience, much to their delight.
This set was very straight forward, just like the previous performance of the night by Trey Songz. No shooting limit, bright light, and a very active performer who worked the length of the stage.
The most challenging aspect of this shoot was having to deal with Holiday's various hats throughout the set, which blocked light to the singer's face and made getting clean shots all the more difficult.
Just as with Trey Songz, this performance was lit by two spotlights in the balcony, though the set did see a little more atmospheric accents.
Specifically, there was a bit more smoke and backlighting during a few of the slow jams, and a decrease in the intensity of the spots for these songs as well.
Other than that, the environmental lighting was very basic: primary accent lighting, but nothing that overpowered or took away from the lighting on J. Holiday.
Again, the spotlights did pose some challenges with white balancing, as they seemed to “flicker,” jumping in color temperature between 3000K and 6000K.
Lenses & Gear:
I used the Nikon D3 and alternated between the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. For this set, I was switching often and would have loved something like a 35-150mm lens; I found that the telephoto lens was too tight when J. Holiday moved in closer, while the midrange zoom didn't have enough reach at times.
Still, between these two lenses I had everything covered and didn't feel the need for any additional range.
Exposure & Camera Settings:
Due to the more varied lighting changes, this set did see more of a variety of exposures than I used for Trey Songz, even though on first glance the conditions were very similar.
I still had the luxury to shoot at at a very comfortable 1/320, f/2.8, and ISO 1600 for a good portion of the set, going up to ISO 6400 at the dimmest portion of the set (albeit at a blazing 1/500).
While some concerts rely on big lighting, stage props, or sheer star power, for me, this shoot was all about gesture. With the generally stark lighting, this shoot was a nice change because I could concentrate on pose and expression for the most compelling images, all without worrying about light levels.
For more images from the night, check out my write-up of Trey Songz's set from earlier in the evening:
Here's the full set from J. Holiday's performance: