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Photos: Interpol @ The Pageant

Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Three words come to mind for Interpol’s stage treatment at their Pageant show: Moody. Dark. Perfect.

Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (TODD OWYOUNG) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (Todd Owyoung) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (TODD OWYOUNG) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (TODD OWYOUNG) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (Todd Owyoung) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (Todd Owyoung) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (TODD OWYOUNG) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (TODD OWYOUNG) Photos of the band Interpol performing on February 11, 2011 at the Pageant in St. Louis. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer’s Notes:

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

It might sound like an oxymoron, but Interpol like their lights dark. I’m almost surprised they didn’t use blacklights.

Lots of deep blue washes for this set. When one color dominates a treatment, exposure can be a huge challenge, and for more reasons than just the technical.

For me, exposure with live music photography isn’t necessarily about capturing the  ambient conditions as they were observed. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be all that much to look at in these photos.

What I find most important, more than strict adherence, is producing an exposure that best portrays the band. This means straying from a technically accurate exposure of the light and tweaking the color balance as needed.

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There are 28 comments

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  1. Lauren

    Hey Todd,
    Great shots as usual! I am shooting them tonight and I have to admit that what you were saying is pretty scary…
    Would you have any particular advice for someone like me who does not own a super-fabulous camera? I am actually working with Canon T1i, which isnt a great camera at all…

  2. Debi

    Totally agree. Having seen them probably 30+ times and shot them 4, you need to embrace the darkness. I got lucky on my last shoot. Their music fits the lighting and you just have to work with it. There is color. If they played in brighter lights, it wouldn’t fit their style at all. At least Paul doesn’t wear shades ;o)

    • Todd

      Hey Debi,

      Thanks for the comment. 30+ times, I think that must put you in an elite bracket of Interpol fans.

      Embracing the darkness is definitely must for interpol and similar bands who prefer moody lighting. The Strokes & Julian Casablancas come to mind as another set that are notorious for their dim stage treatments.

    • Todd

      I think B&W is all up to personal taste. If that’s your style and vision, go for it.

      Personally, I prefer color most of the time for my own live music photography work.

      • Palmer

        I’m torn. I like color best, but it seems like b & W can help improve the shot when the lighting is poor. I feel like I am cheating when I convert to B & W

    • Todd

      Hey Christine,

      Generally, no – I don’t do a lot of post processing. Most of the time when I’m using Lightroom 3, I’ll adjust exposure and white balance if necessary, and that’s it. Tweaks take a matter of seconds.

  3. Rebecca

    “For me, exposure with live music photography isn’t necessarily about capturing the ambient conditions as they were observed. If that were the case, there wouldn’t be all that much to look at in these photos.

    What I find most important, more than strict adherence, is producing an exposure that best portrays the band. This means straying from a technically accurate exposure of the light and tweaking the color balance as needed.”

    I would absolutely love to see a whole post on this topic. I personally strive to capture the atmosphere in the shots and therefore typically do not lighten exposure much except to create publishable photos when necessary. I’d like to hear more about your philosophy and how you’ve come to cultivate it since I enjoy your pictures.

  4. Jay

    Todd,

    As always, another great set of pics. I particularly dig everything about the first guitarist shot: great back light, nice catch light in both eyes, slight hand blur. Epic.

    • Todd

      Hey Jay, thanks very much. That first shot is my favorite, too – something that just worked out for an unusual shot of Dan. Thanks again for the comment.


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