Splitting time between a headlining North American Tour and book tour for his first novel, it might seem like there isn't a lot that renaissance man Josh Ritter can't do. This includes enrapturing a sold-out crowd despite stifling heat and standing-room only on the floor at Off Broadway.
Despite the brick venue baking in 100º F heat for a week, making this show as close to shooting a concert in a pizza oven as I can imagine, I loved this show. After all, if Josh Ritter and his band could
perform rock out in suits under stage lighting, surely me pressing a small round button wasn't that trying by comparison.
- Nikon D3
While I often have some hesitation about shooting smaller shows with no barricade these days, I always end up enjoying them. It's far too easy to get spoiled by shooting gigs with a dedicated photo pit and slipping in and out. And the fact that these venues generally have working air conditioning is a plus, too.
Off Broadway is a venue that has neither a photo pit nor what I'd consider 21st century air condition (nor 20th century air conditioning, for that matter), but what it does have is great music. And, a lovely red curtain, which does more than you'd think for its small, intimate shows when it comes to photography.
Add in some lovely yellow accent lighting, white light from the front, and the beautiful music of Josh Ritter and the Royal City Band, and this is one shoot that was a lot of fun, despite heat-wave temperatures, a sold out house, and no room to move at the front of the stage.
In terms of gear, I used just a single body for this show, though I did end up changing lenses a fair amount before settling into a groove. Thankfully the white lights were bright enough that using the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 was a viable option at ISO 3200, so I ended up shooting with the zoom quite a bit. Still, I did use the Nikon 50mm f/1.4 a good deal at the beginning of the show, as well as the 85mm f/1.4 for that extra bit of reach.
Personally, I would have loved the Nikon 35mm f/1.4G AF-S to use for this show. Speaking of that beautiful prime, stay tuned for my review of that new Nikkor coming up next week.
Big thanks to my buddy Brian Stowell for setting up access to this show. Brian is out with Ritter handling merchandise, so if you're seeing this tour, say hi to my buddy. Also, check out Brian's website – he has some amazing photos of Josh from this tour.