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Portraits: Liam Wilson, Dillinger Escape Plan – New York City

The Dillinger Escape Plan performing at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois on November 13, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

At the end of 2011, I caught up with super bassist Liam Wilson of the band the Dillinger Escape Plan to do a portrait shoot for his endorsement by Zon Guitars. The Dillinger Escape Plan is a band that I’ve been photographing since my start as a music photographer, and it’s been a pleasure and honor building a relationship with them with more and more access over the years.

I’d just shot DEP’s show a month earlier and was extremely excited when Liam asked me to shoot a set of portraits for his endorsement with Zon Guitars. We met up at Terminal 5 in New York City, where Dillinger Escape Plan was performing along with Mastodon.

For this set, we shot in the street just behind the venue, picking up the city lights and mixing that ambient lighting with a touch of off-camera flash. Hit the jump for the images and photographer’s notes.

The Dillinger Escape Plan performing at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois on November 13, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

The Dillinger Escape Plan performing at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois on November 13, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Oh, and in case you were wondering about the live shots from Liam’s performance immediately following the portrait shoot, here’s a couple images of the man in action.

Dillinger Escape Plan at Terminal 5 in New York City

The Dillinger Escape Plan performing at Terminal 5 in New York City on November 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

The Dillinger Escape Plan performing at Terminal 5 in New York City on November 19, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

And one from Pop’s in Sauget, IL from the same tour, just because I love the intensity on Liam’s face.

The Dillinger Escape Plan performing at Pop's in Sauget, Illinois on November 13, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer’s Notes:

Cameras Used:

  • Nikon D3

Lenses Used:

Lighting:

The goal of this portrait shoot was basically to show Liam with his new Zon bass guitar. Super simple. Going into this shoot, I knew that it would be largely run ‘n gun, so I made the executive decision to go light. As such, I went with a single Nikon SB-900 speedlight, triggered by the reliable Phottix Strato triggers.

As the modifier, I opted for the Honl Traveller 8 Softbox, an extremely small and packable speedlight accessory that throws some surprisingly nice light. Honestly, the light this petite modifier throws is a little shocking given the small size, and I was very happy to have this modifier to balance with the ambient lighting.

Speaking of ambient lighting, I shot these with the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 and Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 with shutter speeds as low as 1/8 at ISO 400 to get the right amount of atmosphere.

Big thanks to Liam for being a great subject on this one, looking forward to the next time.

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D750:
I use two Nikon D750 for my live music photography. Amazing high ISO performance in a compact body with tons of pro features.
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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There are 6 comments

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    • Todd

      Hey Curtis, thanks for the comment, I appreciate it. I didn’t gel the speedlight for this shot, but I did balance to the flash, so this warmed up the street lights a little more than they were. However, since the street lights were those very orange/yellow sodium vapor bulbs already, the scene was pretty warm even as-is.

    • Todd

      Hey Giles, thanks for the comment. For a static subject like this, there isn’t a big difference between standard or rear curtain sync. If this were more of an action shot, I’d use rear curtain sync so that the flash froze/lit the end of the moment for most images.

  1. Candy S

    Great shots, as always! I love that you gave specifics about what gear you used and even included details about your settings. Always interesting to see how togs pull off their shots!

    Keep up the amazing work so that I may sit behind my screen, drooling over your images while hoping “One day, I’ll be THAT good.” ;)


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