LouFest Music Festival Wrap-up

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

All in all- this year's LouFest Music Festival was a lot of fun to shoot and it was exciting to see the event grow from the inaugural event last year. Here's a quick wrap-up of what worked and what didn't in terms of photo gear and approach, as well as a recap of some of my favorite images.

The Approach

Normally, I shoot a lot. My general philosophy on shooting volume is that you're only going to regret the images you didn't make. Besides, you don't have to show anyone the bad images, right? However, for LouFest, I reigned back my shooting and went in with a slightly different approach – Just nail 2-5 images per band.

For me, this was a big change and one that I think was hugely beneficial for a festival of this scale. Overall, this approach made for a hugely relaxing shoot and allowed me to shoot more atmosphere and generally just enjoy the festival as a whole.

The Gear

For this festival, I took a slightly different attitude toward gear. While I used to go to almost all shows armed with my Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, this year I attacked LouFest with a minimum of camera gear (or at least for me).

Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8This lens was great for capturing festival atmosphere and the obligatory wide, full-stage shots. 24mm was just about perfect at the wide end for crowd scenes and stages, and there were few times when I wanted for something wider – the exception being when !!!'s Nick Offer took to the front of the stage.

Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8This telephoto was the true king of this festival. While the stage wasn't tremendously high, it was still certainly telephoto territory without a doubt. Factor in potentially crowded photo pits for headliners and the reach was a lifesaver for this festival.

Nikon D3: This was the body I used with my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8.

Nikon D700: I used the D700 with the 70-200mm f/2.8.

Transcend 600x Extreme Plus CF Cards: I used a pair of these 16GB Transcend 600x CF cards in my Nikon D3 and Nikon D700, and they worked flawlessly. Though I did download throughout the day, combined, they had more than enough capacity to shoot all day for a festival of this size.

Apple MacBook Air 11″: I first used this ultralight laptop at the Escape 2 New York festival and it was such a boon that I brought it along to LouFest to download and edit throughout the two days of the event. It made my assignment so much easier, as I was constantly up to date on bands, so there was almost no editing to do after the festival. Add in complimentary 4G MiFi courtesy of AT&T on-site, and it was a match made in heaven.

Delkin Universal USB 3.0 Card Reader: While I normally use a Firewire 800 CF reader by SanDisk, this card USB card reader worked perfectly with the MacBook Air. While the MacBook Air only has USB 2.0, the downloads were still extremely fast and downloads all seemed to take only a minute or two, if that, thanks to the UDMA-enabled reader.

Black Rapid Double Strap: I always use the Black Rapid Double Strap when shooting with two bodies, and this festival was no exception. In my opinion it's the best way to carry two bodies.

Favorite Images From LouFest

Here are some of my favorite images from the festival.

The Hold Steady performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 27, 2011 (Todd Owyoung)

!!! performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

TV On The Radio performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

The Hold Steady performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 27, 2011 (Todd Owyoung)

Surfer Blood performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 27, 2011 (Todd Owyoung)

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

TV On The Radio performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

Troubadour Dali performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 27, 2011 (Todd Owyoung)

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

Ume performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

Atmosphere at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis, Missouri on August 27 & 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

TV On The Radio performing at the LouFest Music Festival in St. Louis on August 28, 2011. (Todd Owyoung)

End Notes:

Until next year, LouFest!

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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