Photos: Radiohead @ Scottrade Center

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

I had the pleasure of shooting Radiohead twice back in 2008 on their touring for In Rainbows, and it was once again a thrill to photograph the band on their world tour for King of Limbs. In standard fashion, the band's tour production was on an immense scale, with a huge array of moving video screens and LED wall.

Of course, this was one instance of what looks fantastic for arena audiences being incredibly challenging to photograph and capture as still images. This was the same case as in 2008, when Radiohead's set was almost entirely single colors for each of the first three songs press were allowed to photograph.

So, how does 2012's tour translate into concert shooting with lighting that's primarily comprised of blue, green, and magenta washes? Hit the jump for the answer.

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Fans during Radiohead's performance at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Fans during Radiohead's performance at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Radiohead performing at the Scottrade Center in St. Louis on March 9, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer's Notes:

Cameras Used:

  • Nikon D3
  • Nikon D700

Lenses Used:

Radiohead has been known for their tricky lighting in past years, and I don't think that their 2012 is really any exception. That said, it's really not all that bad, either.

The benefit of this kind of lighting is that you can almost set your exposure and then forget about it for a whole song, which is a rarity in the world of live music photography.

For this set, I chose the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 as my main lens. Thom Yorke and company are just far enough away that the reach of the telephoto felt much more useful than my wider lenses. This is especially true if you prefer shooting from a little farther back to get flatter perspectives. And of course, Radiohead's camp is very generous about credentials, so the photo pits for this tour will be packed.

Aside from the 70-200mm range, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and 14-24mm f/2.8 were crucial for capturing some of the grandeur of this tour's stage setup.

Overall, a great, if challenging, shoot.

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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