Ours opened for Marilyn Manson in a solid, 45-minute performance that laid down straight ahead rock in contrast to Manson's particular brand of circus that followed.
Frontman Jimmy Gnecco hit all the rockstar moves leading the five-piece band through their set, whose first two songs seemed to use up all the white light in the venue to leave nothing left by the time Marilyn Manson took the stage an hour and a half later.
Ours' set was pretty much as straight ahead as it goes for a rock band, and the group received tight technical support for a relatively easy shoot.
I had two songs in the spacious pit, and other than contending with the lighting gear and multiple speaker monitors lining the front of the stage, this set was pretty painless.
The first song started out with a swampy, deep red wash that had me questioning the ROI of the shoot, but this atmospheric scheme gave way to slow-decay bursts of bright white front-lighting that alternated with equally bright light from the back.
While the sweet light raining down from the ceiling wasn't constant, it was easy enough to time my shots to make the most of the regular flare-ups. Lenses & Gear:
Due to the high speaker monitors at the front of the stage, which created obstacles in clear lines of sight and also pushed the band back, I used the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 on the Nikon D3 for the entire shoot.
The reach was perfect for Gnecco on vox and perfectly nice for picking up his brother “Pit” on drums.
During the red wash of the first song, I shot at f/3.2 and 1/250 at ISO 5000.
With the introduction of the white light, I quickly locked down to f/2.8 and 1/250 at ISO 3200. Due to the inconstant output of the lights, this resulted in range of exposures that could potentially have posed a challenge, but bursting and exposure compensation in post went a long way toward making any variances moot.
The ease of this shoot couldn't have contrasted more starkly with that of the act that followed, and it was a pleasure to shoot in such easy light as Ours provided.
During the alloted two songs, I couldn't help but think how I'd love to shoot an arena rock band like U2 under such agreeable, publication-friendly lighting.
In addition, what I liked about this shoot, with particular regard to frontman Jimmy Gnecco, was that while the lighting on him was plentiful, there was still just enough atmosphere in the backgrounds to add a little interest, in contrast to more stark lighting like that for tours by Morrissey and Common.
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.
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