Photos: Iron & Wine @ The Pageant

Photographing Iron & Wine strikes me as a little zen. With a minimal lighting treatment, very little movement overall, and the lulling sounds of Sam Beam on an acoustic guitar, I think that the music photographer has to work a little harder to make the most of a stark canvas.

Photographer's Notes:

It's kind of like photographing a majestic, snow-capped mountain miles away from you. Making one compelling shot of that mountain is probably pretty easy. It's where you go after the first frame where things get interesting.

With a show like this, I feel as though you have to stretch yourself just a little. No offense to Sam Beam, but acoustic folk isn't the most varied of genres in terms of photogenic appeal.

My approach is to cover all the basic angles – say, shooting from stage right, stage left, medium shots, close-up shots, etc. But to be honest, this doesn't take too much time, even if you re-shoot these for ever song/lighting treatment.

Thankfully, there's plenty of time to try and experiment. For me, this will generally mean loosening up with composition just a little to explore more negative space, and looking at the relation of the lights and the performer.

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

While I initially started shooting with primes like the beautiful 85mm f/1.4, the lighting was pleasantly bright enough to switch to f/2.8 zooms without much compromise. The reach of the Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR was fantastic for close-ups, while the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 was great for wider shots.

I have to say that I ran into the lighting tech for this show in between sets, and put in a special request – crank those lights as much as you can for the first three!

Questions or comments? Leave a comment below, and let me know what you th

ought of this post.

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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.


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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