The Ruse

March 27, 2009 – For Immediate Release – “LA’s, The Ruse, rock Blender Theater, make people smile and are terribly nice guys.” Fronted by John “Mr. Nice Guy” Dauer, The Ruse gave a dynamic performance worthy of the epic rock stylings of their new release Midnight In The City.

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Photographer’s Notes

I met members of The Ruse a few hours before their set just as the band arrived for load-in. Mark Stolze (bass) and John Dauer (vocals) immediately struck me as too nice to rock hard if such an assumption exists. Guess what? I was wrong. Dead wrong. in fact, The Ruse are performing proof that nice guys can bring the rock to the hole.

I shot this set from the crowd at my favorite venue in the city, the Blender Theater. While the amazing lighting design at Blender is usually more than enough to produce beautiful images, I augmented the house lights with a set of three off-camera SB-600 speedlights triggered wirelessly by an on-camera SB-900 in commander mode. Both flash power and camera exposure were set manually and adjusted as needed.

I shot extensively with the 24-70mm on the Nikon D3. The 70-200mm saw sporadic use for downstage shots of Jim Bilus (guitar). Despite my stage left position, drummer Jason Young was largely obscured by either his cymbals or John’s off-center singing position.

End Notes

A big shout out goes to John, Mark and the rest of The Ruse. As the photos show, you guys played a killer set.

  1. I really like the last two large images, great set. I look forward to your posts each week.

  2. johnny wonder

    Amazing shots..can’t stop viewing much to enjoy in each one.

  3. – New Blog Post – The Ruse at Blender Theater. See the Nikon CLS system in action. 4 flash guns (3 on stage)

  4. Hi Johnny, I’m really glad you like the shots! Thanks for stopping by.

  5. Great images!
    What did you do to them in post?

  6. Jeremy Gordon

    Yeah I’d have to agree that the Gramercy Theatre has the best lights in the city and when it has a photo pit, its even better.
    (sorta the reverse of The Music Hall at Williamsburg)

  7. Great work Chris. Some really cool angles to these shots.

  8. Chris, these shots are awesome!!

    My band (Honor By August) is good friends with the Ruse and actually opened the show that night. So as you might imagine I was just curious if you might have shot anything from the set prior!

    Either way, these are great shots and you are right — the Ruse did put on a hell of a show!

  9. Thanks Dave!

    The answer is almost nothing. Most images did not even receive white balance correction. All of them were shot on Auto White Balance on the Nikon D3 using the default “Standard” color setting.

    The images were processed in Capture NX version 2.1 and exported to JPEG.

    Images that were shot at an ISO effectively exceeding 3200 were had the chroma noise removed via Noise Ninja.

    Images that were slightly too cool received my custom warming filter in Photoshop CS3.

    All images were downsized for the web, sharpened and watermarked via custom actions in Photoshop.

    Let me know if you have any specific questions.