Photos: The Avett Brothers & BR-549

 (Todd Owyoung)

Last night marked the 5-year anniversary of shooting my first concert. I wrote a bit about the show in my post titled “Becoming A Concert Photographer,” but I thought I'd take some time to do a proper post about this show, as well as post images from the gig – The Avett Brothers supporting BR-549 with Chris Scruggs.

 (Todd Owyoung)

 (Todd Owyoung)

 (Todd Owyoung)

 (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer's Notes:

Cameras Used:

  • Nikon D70

Lenses Used:

The Backstory:

My friend Brad was heading out to a show and asked if I wanted to come along. I wasn't familiar with the bands – BR-549 and The Avett Brothers – but it seemed like fun. On a whim, I decided to bring a long a camera just in case I wasn't feeling the music – I figured I could entertain myself snapping a few photos during the show if I was bored.

The club the bands were playing – Off Broadway – holds maybe 200-300 people. For this show, there were tables and chairs on the floor, right up to the foot-and-a-half high stage. The place was filling up when we arrived, but Brad and I managed to grab a spot at the front.

While I had a Nikon D2x at the time, I just brought my Nikon D70 – my first DSLR and my then backup camera – instead. Naively, I was worried about having my D2x reek of cigarette smoke from the tiny venue. Little did I know that my D2x would constantly smell like cigarettes from photographing in smokey dives over the next couple years.

Instead of the big, heavy Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8, I decided to go light and just brought my Nikon 50mm f/1.4, which I'd picked up just a few months before.

As it turned out, I loved the bands and had a blast snapping with the little D70 and 50mm. I shot the entire show from my seat at the front of the stage, occasionally crouching down to get a little distance between myself and the performers. Overall, I shot around 150 images for all the acts.

The next day, looking at the images, I thought to myself, “Maybe there's something I can do with this.” That was five years ago to this day.

Technical Details:

For the record, most of these images were shot at ISO 1250 with the 7-year old Nikon D70 and pushed 1-2 stops in Lightroom 3 with the default color noise reduction of 25 and zero luminance NR. Next time you hesitate to pump up the ISO on your modern DSLR – don't.

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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