Photos: KISS, The Tour 2012
So, KISS is pretty much on the bucket list of every single music photographer I know. Or if they aren’t, they should be. Because let’s face it. They rock.
Photographing KISS is like shooting fish in a barrel, except instead of bullets, you’re using dynamite. And the barrel is filled with nitroglycerine. Hit the jump for my full set of KISS on The Tour with Mötley Crüe.
Normally, I use two cameras for every shot I shoot. My Nikon D3 and my D700. For this show, I just used a single body: the Nikon D800. I was being greedy – I wanted all the pixels for this show.
Now you’re probably thinking, why you use a camera that is obviously too high resolution and far too slow for events? Just call me crazy.
Honestly, even coming from shooting basically every live show for the last four years with two cameras, rocking the single Nikon D800 worked out well for this gig. This was in part due to the stage performance of KISS, in which the band members frequently come to the front of the stage and generally make it a cake walk for photographers.
For this show, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 really did the lion’s share of the optical work, particularly on the wide angle end. Even with just two songs to work, I was actually amazed at how well switching lenses worked out.
In terms of speed, the Nikon D800’s modest (read: weak) 4 FPS did alright with these veteran rockers. While the frame rate of the D800 feels pretty sluggish coming from the Nikon D3, in practice didn’t really seem like a huge issue. If anything, the slower frame rate of the D800 means that one may miss fleeting facial expressions. Overall, while faster responsiveness would be better, the D800’s frame rate is reasonable enough that as long as you don’t need to machine gun the shutter release. The interesting result to this slower frame rate is that while the files of the 36mp D800 are massive, since you’re shooting slower than with say, a Nikon D4 or Nikon D3, the gigs don’t add up as much as they could.
But back to KISS. Honestly, you could really use a P&S with these guys, because they make it easy on you. The lights are ridiculously bright, it’s all white light, and the band themselves literally come to you. It’s amazing.
So really, one D800 or five Nikon D4s, it doesn’t really matter. KISS just makes for great images any way you slice it.
My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography
I use two of the Nikon D800 for the majority of my work. High resolution, excellent high ISO in a robust but still compact body.
Nikon 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 70-200mm 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 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.