Operator @ the Pageant — 2007.11.06


California-based group Operator brought a dose of hard rock to the Pageant in support of Avenged Sevenfold. Led by singer and sometimes actor Johnny Strong with guitarwork by former Puddle of Mudd member Paul Phillips, Operator was a tough shoot, the lighting of which foreshadowed the setup to come.

Just like Avenged Sevenfold, underlighting dominated the stage effects as cyan, magenta, and white light mixed in dramatic fashion.







As always, you can peep the full set over at my Flickr.

Shooting Notes:

Overall, this was a tough shoot mostly due to the fact that frontman Johnny Strong was a moving target. Combined with the fact that he was also the most well-lit, a catch 22 situation arose.

Add to these factors a level of braggadocio and physical performance usually reserved MCs without a backing band and Johnny Strong made for an interesting, very shirtless subject during Operator's first three songs.

Much like the lighting for Avenged Sevenfold, though not as richly executed, lighting was a mix of strong underlighting mixed with more ambient effects, which created a two-tone look for many of the images.

While most of the light was placed on singer Strong, guitarist Paul Phillips also received a little more generous treatment from the lighting department toward the end of the alloted time.

The Nikon 17-55mm f/2.8 ruled this set, especially the wide end. 17mm came into play heavily for the sweeping gestures of Johnny Strong, though the longer focal lengths also helped secure tighter shots of the performers. I'm continually impressed by how nicely this lens fits with concert photography.

When I move to the Nikon D3, I'm interested in how the newly announced Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 will replaced the 3.2x DX zoom.

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon Z 7:
I use two Nikon Z 7 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all mirrorless camera with amazing AF, great speed and fantastic resolution.


Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8S:
The 24-70mm is my go-to lens. The range is ideal for stage front photography and the image quality is superb.


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.

See My Full Kit for Concert Photography

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