I hadn't photographed many DJs or electronica musicians until this year, but I've more recently had the opportunity to catch a few, including Paul Oakenfold, Tiësto, and Bassnectar. The latest to this list is rising star Sonny Moore, AKA Skrillex, who shook the foundations of the Pageant and a sold-out crowd with all the wobble bass their eardrums could take.
- Nikon D3
- Nikon D700
This was a show of extremes in terms of gear, which had me reaching for the ultra-wide angle of the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 as well as the distance-closing power of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. Strangely, I didn't even use the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, which is almost always a staple of live music photography for me.
Additional gear that was used included a carbon fiber monopod and a set of the Phottix Strato wireless triggers, which I used as a wireless remote shutter release. Between the monopod and the Stratos, I could hoist a camera into the air and trip the shutter. Using the D700's live view mode, this was essential for helping conquer the Pageant's tall stage, table and laptop that would have otherwise prevented any clear shots of Skrillex.
To this end, my main goal when shooting performances like this are to capture the energy over anything else – out of necessity as well as vision, considering how little light actually lit Skrillex on stage. One reason I've enjoyed shooting DJs recently is because of the infectious energy of these shows. Despite not being an avid listener to dubstep, I had a blast shooting this show, even at the detriment to my eardrums.