Tom Jones

02.24.09 – The Terminal 5 marquee read “move over Justin, Tom Jones is bringing sexy back to NYC.” Of course, it didn’t actually say that, but given the screaming horde of panty-tossing women, it might as well have.

Dressed in a black tuxedo jacket with his trademark combination of chest chair and gold jewelry, Jones’ soulful 1.5 hour set confirmed that at age 68, he’s still a sexual behemoth with the pipes to back up every iota of his swagger.

Tom Jones is currently touring the US in support of his new album 24 Hours. The album, on which he has song writing credits, is his first US release in 15 years.

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Photographer’s Notes

When I heard that Tom Jones would be performing at Terminal 5, I had to go. The man is a legend and Terminal 5 is about the best venue in NYC to photograph his type of show.

We shot from the pit for first two songs of the set. Tom was lit by a warm spot for most of the allotted shooting time. His 12 piece backing band remained in shadow at the back end of the stage.

The Nikon 24-70 and 70-200 got equal time on my D3 for this one. The 24mm end of the standard lens came in handy for the half and full-length shots while the 135mm point of the telephoto was necessary for the downstage and head shots.

As you can see from the full-lengths, Tom Jones is a pretty big guy. The angles from the pit were a little severe for my tastes.

My exposure fell in the range of ISO 3200 at 1/250 and f/4 for the majority of the set.

The main issue with this shoot was the spot light on the man himself. Whatever light they used was inconsistent enough to create as much as a 2 stop difference between frames. The “flicker” of the light was fast enough not to be noticed by the naked eye but slow enough to cause a big difference in exposure from shot to shot.

The spots also seemed to have a negative effect on AF performance. Even though there were plenty of keeps, I noticed a much higher rate of out of focus frames. Two other photographers at the gig (one canon, one nikon) confirmed this.

End Notes

I’d like to give a big thanks to Miya and Nick for coordinating a great shoot.

  1. looks good chris! Looks good! I guess the focus issue wasn’t such a problem after all.

  2. Hey Chris, these shots look great. The lights in particular look good – gotta love spotlights.

    The flicker of older spotlights is my bane during the big summer shows at the amphitheater. I haven’t noticed AF problems specifically tied to shooting with this condition, but I could see how the change in color temperature might fool the AF system.

  3. another fantastic set Chris

  4. Ingrid

    Dude amazing pix of an amazing talent, Tom Jones is allsome.

  5. Kathy

    Chris, you did a fabulous job on these pics! The true Tom Jones is captured in this set. Keep up the great work!

  6. Thanks Ryan. The focus issue would definitely been a problem if I had shot any less than I did. Since I didn't check focus while I was shooting it could have been a lot worse.

  7. I really can’t believe it. I pray Wayne is healed for the world cup!

  8. Thanks Ryan. The focus issue would definitely been a problem if I had shot any less than I did. Since I didn’t check focus while I was shooting it could have been a lot worse.

  9. Thanks Todd. The lighting was pretty ample.

    I had never considered that spotlight flicker could fool the AF system until I looked at my shots and heard that both Ryan and Chris had similar problems to varying degrees.

  10. Thanks Paul. I knew this show would be fun but I was impressed by how good Tom still is and how dedicated his fans are.

    You can tell a lot about an artist by how nice his/her fans are.

  11. Thanks Ingrid!

    I was seriously impressed by his performance here in NYC.

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