Picture 2

Photos: Julian Casablancas

As a concert photographer, I really have to smile at the fact that Julian Casablancas covered Bruce Springsteen’s “Dancing in the Dark” at the Pageant, as that song’s title is a haiku-worthy description for the singer’s performance.

Photographer’s Notes:

Photographing Julian Casablancas was rough. In doing research for this show, I saw that the sets seemed hit or miss, which generally indicates that house lights are used. And, as such, it’s all up to the venue and their setup.

At the Pageant, which has a fantastic lighting setup, the one huge challenge is that the lighting rig is super high up in the ceiling – probably a good 30-feet above the stage. Following the inverse square law and lightfall off, light levels drop off very fast this far out. Hence, Julian Casablancas dancing in the dark.

I shot this set exclusively with f/1.4 primes, relying heavily on the Nikon 85mm f/1.4 for many of the tighter shots. Meanwhile, the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 was nice as a more midrange lens for full-length and waist-up shots (when in closer).

People often ask me which lens they should when starting out in concert photography, and I often say it’s hard to go with a fast prime like the Nikon 50mm f/1.4. For all the arena tours and national club tours with their own lights, primes are rarely needed. But for shows like this with a very bare and decidedly dim aesthetic, nothing beats a fast prime.

Help Support www.ishootshows.com

If this article or any other content on www.ishootshows.com was helpful to you, please consider supporting this site and grabbing your next photo gear purchase through one of my affiliate links:

Simply clicking through any product links on this site helps me bring you free content like the photography tips and gear reviews regularly posted on www.ishootshows.com, and naturally it doesn't cost you a cent more. 


If you want to donate directly to pay for the hosting of this site (and if there's any leftover, keep me stocked in high mountain oolong tea), you can contribute money to www.ishootshows.com via PayPal.

There are 13 comments

Add yours
    • Todd

      Hi Eric, thanks for the comment. Both the Strokes and Julian Casablancas seem to like the dim lighting, that’s for sure.

      Looks like you faced the exact same kind of lighting.

  1. Diana

    Looks like a tough shoot, not only because of the lighting but because Julian has serious mikeface. I’ve seen him before, and he rarely leaves the mike stand. Oh well…

Join in the Discussion