Photos: Machine Head @ Mayhem Fest 2011

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

For me, Machine Head was one of the highlights of Mayhem Fest 2011 as they opened the main stage and got the crowd rocking before Megadeth.

Machine Head's set was lit with the perfect combination of daylight and stage lighting, and a nice bit of haze to help kick up the effects. After being jealous of this kind of combination from images I've seen from so many European festivals, it was nice to finally get a bit of this seemingly elusive lighting in the US.

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Machine Head performing on the Mayhem Festival at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer's Notes:

Cameras Used:

  • Nikon D3
  • Nikon D700

Lenses Used:

This performance was great to shoot. Machine Head received what I'd consider close to a perfect combination of stage lighting, natural light and haze. After all, it's not every day a music photographer gets to shoot at ISO 400 or 800 and still get a gorgeous, colorful background.

Most of the time, festivals are either plainly lit in full sun or open shade with no appreciably background effects, or the kind more lush treatment that we've come to expect from concert photography, but which generally requires high ISO shooting.

For me, the kind of treatment Machine Head received combines the best of both worlds: effective atmosphere without huge technical limitations.

I shot this set with my go-to lenses, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. While I brought the Nikon 14-24mm, height of the stage and the monitors lining the front kept it in my bag and not on my cameras.

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My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D750:
I use two Nikon D750 for my live music photography. Amazing high ISO performance in a compact body with tons of pro features.
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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