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Photos: KISS, The Tour 2012

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

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.

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photos of KISS performing on The Tour at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis on August 27, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer’s Notes:

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

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.

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There are 7 comments

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  1. Greg Fahey

    Yeah, you touched on it here but, the lighting just pops out at you. In fact, it looks like studio lighting. Just delicious. But give yourself credit Todd, while they may make it a cakewalk, you have to do your part as well.

    Must have been a blast!

  2. shootemallphotography

    Hey Todd, do you test the nikon d600? if you have to compare nikon d600-d800 for concerts, events,or sports, which one do you choose? is the d800 the new d700 with more GB, or at the contrary is the d600, the new d700 with video?

    Thanks, and keep on with your great work ;)

  3. Jock

    Todd, great images. I cut my teeth shooting Jimi and Janice on trix pushed to da max. Lately, living in Hawaii, we don’t get the big acts,,,or we get the tired old timers, but I still get some great images. Poor old Johnny Winter could hardly move, but could still turn out a great performance while sitting in a chair. Thanks for all the tips. I’[ll read more later, gotta go. Jock


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