March 27, 2009 – Led by the charismatic John Dauer on vox, LA rockers The Ruse brought out a high energy set at the Blender Theater for a big show of the Friday-night lights.
I'll be honest – I didn't really have any strong expectations for the Ruse, being unfamiliar with their music, but they put on such a strong and energetic show, it was impossible not to have fun shooting. Lots of big rockstar moves under big lights, all without pretense, translated into a flat out good time behind the lens.
That this gig was at the lovely Blender Theater certainly didn't hurt, either. While shooting from the crowd is a seeming rarity for me these days, I have no hesitation about claiming my spot at the front of the stage from the time doors open at this venue for a chance to work with the superlative lighting.
All this isn't to say that the lighting of the Blender is impeccable. On the contrary, the frontlighting of the venue is as lacking as the backlighting is phenomenal. For this shoot, I went in with the intent of shooting with wireless flash as a compliment to the lush background treatment. Due to the much weaker and less interesting array of lights at the front of the stage, the flashes served to create a little drama and pop to match the big lights behind the band.
Three SB-600s came into play as the remotes for this set, triggered via IR by a Nikon SB-900 on-camera. A two-remote setup could have worked quite well for the band as well. A single off-camera flash could have worked, albeit without the same flexibility.
I shoot this set exclusively with the Nikon D3 and Nikon 24-70mm. The midrange zoom provided a nice and neat range of focal lengths for the medium-sized stage.
Since the spot I choose was exactly center-stage, I had some concerns about the positioning, but the band's dynamic setup made the spot a good choice all in all, and I felt that I had good opportunity to pick up shots of all the members of the band.