Portraits: Owen Pallett

Before photographing The National at The Pageant, I had the pleasure of meeting up with musician Owen Pallett for a photo shoot. One light, a beauty dish, and a little ambient light later, here are the results.

Photographer's Notes:

Normally, I'm quite used to quick, gorilla-style shooting, but this experience was a little different. A little more than an hour before Owen was scheduled to start the show, I was introduced to him by our mutual friend Heather, who was on the tour. As a surprise to both Owen and myself, Heather informed us that we were going to be shooting a couple portraits.

There are times when living five minutes from the Pageant come in handy, and I booked it back to grab a little lighting gear while Owen changed into his stage attire.

I went into this shoot with the intent of using the Nikon 85mm f/1.4G AF-S, and the lens performed beautifully. You can read more about this lens in my extensive review.

Cameras Used:

  • Nikon D3

Lenses Used:

Lighting Gear Used:

For this shoot, I used a Nikon SB-900 as the key light on Owen, triggered via CLS by another Nikon SB-900 on-camera. For this sort of quick shoot, the speed and flexibility of CLS is beautiful.

Since we were shooting well after the sun went down and past the blue hour, the only ambient light used for these exposures were streetlights. I shot between f/1.4 and f/1.8 at around 1/40 on the Nikon D3 for this set.

End Notes:

Special thanks to Heather for setting this up and being all around awesome. Thanks to Owen for being a great subject, and thanks to Jason for assisting.

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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