This past weekend Brantley Gilbert brought his Let it Ride tour to the Valley View Casino Center and I was on hand to record the details. This was a different concert shoot from the normal for two reasons; the first was that I was using my Nikon D750 as a second body and for the first time in a real concert environment, and the second was that the venue was using the new drape system to black out certain seats.
The shooting restrictions were … well, restrictive. First three songs, no flash, from the either the left or the right side of the photo pit, but once in place, I could not cross the center of the stage. That meant that I was pretty much stuck in a single spot for the show. What this meant was that due to the angle across the stage the background would usually be the empty seats behind the stage. Due to the drapes blocking the empty seats, I was able to get shots with great backgrounds for the first time shooting at this angle.
Now as for the Nikon D750, the camera rocks. Just to be clear, it isn’t a replacement for the Nikon D4 (or D4s) but it worked great as a replacement for the D700. The focus is really fast and while the focus points are clustered in the center the frame, they seem to lock on instantly. Now, being used to the D4 and the insane speed of the XQD card, the D750 seemed to fill the buffer really fast and the frames per second dropped at that point. I am using pretty fast 600x Speed 64 GB SD Lexar Professional cards. The camera holds two cards and even shooting all night, I didn’t fill the first card.
The low light capability of the D750 is really good, but I already knew that from the previous shoots.
Here are a couple of shots from he opening acts for the night. First up is Brian Davis, who came out and put on a great set. It’s always difficult to shoot a single guy with a guitar at the microphone especially when you can’t change position. Luckily Brian did move around and stepped back from the microphone.
Next up was Chase Bryant. I kept to my stage left (house right ) positioning, and again luck paid off.
The last of the opening acts was Tyler Farr. Now I had photographed Tyler earlier this year when he opened for Jason Aldean and I was looking forward to his set. The problem was that I had to take the trade shot with the building GM and Brantley Gilbert at the end of the meet and greet which started at the same time as Tylers set. I managed to get a quick couple of shots in the few seconds I had before having to be at the meet and greet.
All in all, it was a good night of concert photography and the Nikon D750 has started to feel pretty good in my hands.