Photos: David Cook @ The Pageant

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

For me, this show was all about trying to capture David Cook's energy. After shooting him back in 2009, I wanted nail shots of him rocking out. With his intense style of delivery and playing, this sounds easy, but there's always a catch. Full set of images and the shooting notes after the break.

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer's Notes:

Cameras Used:

  • Nikon D3
  • Nikon D700

Lenses Used:

With intense performers like David Cook, there's something of a “gotcha” that comes with that intensity. While the energy Cook puts out there is plain to see and shoot, there are little details that make capturing it just a little bit of a challenge.

One issue with shooting David Cook is the very close position to the mic he takes, and due to his vocal duties, he's pretty locked in, making clean separation from the mic and his face a little tricky.

The other issue with this show is one more particular to the venue, which is the 5′ stage of the Pageant. The stage high and the monitors on either side of Cook limited sight lines.

In the second and third songs, I took to shooting almost dead on to David Cook and waiting for him to come out from behind his mic stand, which allowed for some wider shots without having big portions of the frame blocked by monitors.

Challenges aside, this show was great to shoot. The first three songs, which are all press are allowed to shoot, seemed to fly by, which always seems to be the mark of a good show!

David Cook performing at the Pageant in St. Louis on October 11, 2011. © Todd Owyoung. (Todd Owyoung)

While there were spotlights in the balcony, we didn't seem them in the first three songs. Not a wink. Still, lighting was overall pretty bright, with hot white light coming down from high in the front rigging of the stage, as well as very bright lights from the back of the stage that flared up in the second song.

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I love how enthusiastic all the David Cook fans are about his shows and photos.

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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.

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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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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.

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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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