I have had the privilege of photographing Lukas Nelson three times now. Each time was decidedly different from the previous. The first time was with his dad back in 2007, the second was with his band at Stagecoach in 2011 and the third was on Wednesday night where he performed solo and acoustic. Three very different performances and I have to say that while the high energy stage presence Lukas has when playing with his band is great to photograph, the solo performance was really cool. The intimate nature of the show made it very enjoyable to watch, listen to and photograph.
As a photographer, the solo performance can be a real challenge since there is not a whole lot going on. The performer doesn’t change sides of the stage or interact with any other band members. The look of the show is pretty much the same from beginning to end. When you combine that with a venue that has no photo pit there is a chance that all the images will look the exact same.
To counteract that, I try different rings and pay very close attention to any movement that the musician makes that will give me a unique frame. I will also use a variety of focal lengths to get a different perspective on the show. For the Lukas shoot I went with the bar gear since the show was in a bar. One body, the Nikon D3 and three lenses, a 35mm f/2, a 85mm f/1.4 and a 70-200mm f/2.8. I used all three lenses.
All photos taken with a Nikon D3 and Hoodman Raw CompactFlash cards at ISO 3200. Post processing done with the public Beta of Adobe Lightroom 4.
The full gallery of shots: