Frontman John Kevill throws me the horns after Warbringer's epic performance at Gramercy Theater, NYC. November 7, 2009. (photo by Chris Owyoung)

To say that Warbringer brings the pain is an understatement of epic proportion. The band’s performance is more accurately compared to the end result of a brick of C4 strapped to a bunny rabbit – bye bye bunny, bye bye.

That isn’t to imply that the guys in the band aren’t amazingly nice. As the lead shot is evidence of, charismatic frontman John Kevill is all about the fans. Warbringer’s set was incredibly fun to shoot.

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Photographer’s Notes

Shooting with a single SB-900 on-camera, I had a lot of fun playing with the ratio of flash power to ambient light. As usual, my strategy was first to set a pleasing manual exposure for the ambient light and let the flash do the heavy lifting when it came to lighting the subject. I had my work cut out for me in frontman Jon Kevill whose on-stage energy seems boundless. Keeping up with him was hard enough without adjusting the exposure on the fly.

I ended up with a background exposure of 1/60 – 1/30 at ISO 2000 shooting at an f-stop of either f/3.5 or f/4.5. The flash was set mostly to TTL minus 1 EV in matrix metering mode. This worked well for the most part except when the ambient light went to black and the flash tended to overexpose slightly.

Shooting all six metal bands on the ticket with flash confirmed three things for me. 1) Shooting with flash is light shooting fish in a barrel. 2) You don’t need to shoot in bursts to get awesome stuff. 3) As long as you’re obeying rule #2, the performers don’t notice the flash at all.

  1. Photos from Warbringer's kick ass set at Gramercy — http://bit.ly/3kvfam (@warbringerband)

  2. Chris Owyoung

    Photos from Warbringer's kick ass set at Gramercy — http://bit.ly/3kvfam (@warbringerband)

  3. My hand makes a cameo in #3! sorry chris. RT @chrisowyoung: Photos from Warbringer's kick ass set at Gramercy — http://bit.ly/3kvfam

  4. Thanks for posting this. You just destroy when it comes to capturing those “metal moments.” I do have a technical question. I was curious about how you are able to shoot at such a high ISO and not get all the crazy noise that usually comes with it. Do you rely heavily on NoiseNinja and a bit of post-editing? Or is your Nikon just that badass?

    One more: Do you use an Omni-bounce on your speedlight when you shoot indoor shows using flash?

    Thanks again for the inspiration. Keep killin it!

  5. Hi Raul,

    For the most part, the Nikon D3 is just that badass. I also try to nail my exposures at the time of capture which definitely helps control any noise that would result from exposure compensation in post-editing. I very rarely use noise ninja and even then I only use it to remove color (chroma) noise.

    I sometimes use the flash bare and sometimes use the included plastic diffuser (like the omni-bounce) that comes with the SB-900. These photos were taken using the diffuser.

    Thanks for the comment!

  6. Thanks for the reply. It really helped put my brain at ease when dealing with high ISO settings.

    Warbringer’s playin tomorrow at an itty bitty club here in Oahu. I’m so stoked you’ve given me a nice idea as to what to expect. Now the question, Mosh pit or attempt to take photos. It is a bit hard to do both.