Screen Shot 2013-01-21 at 4.25.36 PM

Photos: IO Echo @ The Pageant

British indie rock band Bloc Party performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on January 19, 2013. (Todd Owyoung)

This is why you shoot f/1.4 primes. IO Echo opening for Bloc Party at the Pageant on their 2013 tour.

British indie rock band Bloc Party performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on January 19, 2013. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer’s Notes:

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

It’s for images like this where primes reign supreme. During IO Echo’s opening set in support of Bloc Party, the stage lighting was extremely dim. Both of these images were shot at 1/80 second at f/1.4 and ISO 5000 with the Nikon D800. I’d originally started out with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 screwed on, but the frame was almost literally black using that 2-stops slower lens and any reasonable shutter speed.

Bloc Party Live in Concert 2013

Sure, you could make an equivalent exposure by dropping the shutter speed to 1/20 second at f/2.8 or quadrupling the camera sensitivity. But when you have a couple of f/1.4 primes on hand, that’s the obvious choice.

Now, these sample images probably raise the questions “Why are you shooting in horrible lighting?” and “Just because you can make a proper exposure out of a dark scene, should you?” But I’ll leave those for another post.

Help Support www.ishootshows.com

If this article or any other content on www.ishootshows.com was helpful to you, please consider supporting this site and grabbing your next photo gear purchase through one of my affiliate links:

Simply clicking through any product links on this site helps me bring you free content like the photography tips and gear reviews regularly posted on www.ishootshows.com, and naturally it doesn't cost you a cent more. 

Tea Me

If you want to donate directly to help support and host www.ishootshows.com (and if there's any leftover, keep me stocked in tea), you can contribute money to www.ishootshows.com via PayPal.

Sign Up For The ishootshows.com Newsletter

Sign up for our newsletter for exclusive content, tips, technique, and music photography advice from Todd Owyoung. Don't worry, your email is protected by an army of bouncers cloned from Henry Rollins's neck.




There are 2 comments

Add yours
  1. Markus WET-photo

    That might be true for your 85mm (t.b.h. I don’t own/know that lens) but the 50mm just falls apart @ 1.4 (f/2 is already fine though …)

    PS: “1/80 second at f/1.4 and ISO 5000″ damn that’s just sick ^^

  2. Dylan Johnson

    I know I might get hated on a little for this but I actually only shoot primes. I have 5 lenses from 15mm to 100mm – all prime. I have to switch lenses or move around a lot but being limited by light is not in my vocabulary.


Join in the Discussion