Photos: Chuck Berry @ The Duck Room

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

After the recent scare in Chicago where Chuck Berry collapsed from exhaustion, I was thrilled at the chance to cover the music icon at an intimate performance last week. While he may have missed a few notes, slowed down a few of his blazing classics and passed the mic to his daughter on occasion, this show was still nothing but fun. It's not every day as a music photographer when you get to photograph a living legend.

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Rock 'n roll pioneer Chuck Berry performing in St. Louis, Missouri at The Duck Room on January 19, 2011. (© Todd Owyoung)

Photographer's Notes:

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

I shot this set seated, just feed from Chuck Berry's mic stand, stage right. The Duck room is a small, ~300-capacity basement club, and for this show it was seating up at the front of the stage, with standing-room toward the back.

While I would have loved the chance to move around to shoot, the spot I had provided some great angles – and when it didn't, it gave me a chance to just enjoy the music.

I shot with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 for the majority of the show, switching to the 70-200mm f/2.8 for a few tighter frames. These two zooms at ISO 3200 on the Nikon D3 worked out very well.

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My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D850:
I use two Nikon D850 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all DSLR with amazing AF, fast response, and no shortage of resolution.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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