We Are Scientists

We Are Scientists @ the Pageant -- 2008.11.03

November 3, 2008 – Opening of for Kings of Leon, California's We Are Scientists ripped through a tight set amid lowered lights, splashing out their buzzy, post-punk riffs and dance-inducing energy.

We Are Scientists @ the Pageant -- 2008.11.03

We Are Scientists @ the Pageant -- 2008.11.03

We Are Scientists @ the Pageant -- 2008.11.03

We Are Scientists @ the Pageant -- 2008.11.03

We Are Scientists @ the Pageant -- 2008.11.03

We Are Scientists @ the Pageant -- 2008.11.03

Shooting Notes:

The lighting for this set was minimal. House lights were dialed way down, while uplights were positioned in front of Chris Cain and Keith Murray at the front of the stage. Max Hart and Adam Aaronson fared less well, mostly playing under much dimmer washes. During the first three songs, red and green lights dominated much of the backlighting.

While the set was very dark overall, there was an interesting dynamic between the moody lighting and the band's often brooding basslines that certainly fit in parts. Of course, I wouldn't have minded some big, bright white light thrown down from time to time – but that holds true for  just about any show.

I shot the entire set with the Nikon D3 and Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8. The range was particularly well-suited to Keith Murray, who was kind enough to stay relatively close to the front of the stage – and, more importantly, close to his uplight – during the set. The beam for these lights at the front of the stage were relatively broad, but the singer easily moved in and out of its beam as he rocked back and forth, so timing was important in capturing the frontman while he was lit.

Large speaker monitors were a present concern for this show and had to be shot around, but nothing out of the ordinary. As a result of the extra height added to the stage from the wedges, shooting angles were a consideration for getting the cleanest compositions.

Exposures were pushed a little more to the extreme than usual during this set, given the very low intensity lighting used at the front of the stage. I shoot primarily at ISO 6400, pushing to ISO 12800 in post as necessary. 1/160 and f/2.8 did the trick to round out the exposure.

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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