The stage is covered with mountains of stuffed animals and floor at Webster Hall is packed to the gills. Sia is in town and her fans have turned out in droves.

Taking the stage to raucous applause, Sia and her band played a 15 song set that drew mainly from her new album Some People Have Real Problems.

Though her music is well known in the U.K., Sia has only recently made waves across the pond. Stateside, her soulful voice and quirky stage presence have quickly gained her a loyal fan-base. Eight weeks after its release, Some People Have Real Problems is still listed on Billboard’s Top 200, where it peaked at #26.


This was a fun show. Sia, her band and her fans have a wonderful energy. I first saw Sia when she made a guest appearance with her friends The Bird and The Bee at The Blender Theater at Gramercy. Her performance there was fun enough to add her to my list of people to see in 2008.

Photographically speaking, this was a turkey shoot. I arrived to find that I was the only photographer covering the show. With no competition for space, I was able to careful choose my angles and framing resulting in a ridiculous hit rate. Since the lighting was all but constant and Sia remained center stage, I shot sparingly and enjoyed the show.


Though the show began in total darkness, the rest of the set was very straight forward. Sia was lit with a warm spotlight from high in the venue rafters. Blue, pink and green backlighting came into play on occasion. It’s important to note that for the purposes of exposure, I normally ignore backlighting entirely.

There were also large neon light stage decorations. For all but a few shots of Sia’s band, the decorations were ignored while judging exposure.


The entire set was shot on the Canon EOS-1D Mark III. The Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS saw the lion’s share of the work with the Canon 24-70mm f/2.8L filling in for the 3/4 length and wide shots. I normally don’t use the telephoto much, but the mid range of the 70-200mm was perfect for Sia’s varied facial expressions and close hold on the mic.


This shoot was virtually “set it and forget it.” My exposure was all but locked in at ISO 3200 at 1/200 and f/3.5.