Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung)

While I usually avoid shooting in tiny, dimly lit clubs, I do like seeing shows in them and sometimes I bring my camera. It’s been almost a year since I went into a show intending to shoot all B+W but Amour Obsur’s special brand of weimar punkaret was worth cranking the ISO and dropping the shutter speed. Here are a few of my favorites from their set at National Underground.

Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung) Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung) Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung) Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung) Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung) Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung) Amour Obscur performs at The National Underground, July 9, 2010. New York City (Chris Owyoung)

Photographer’s Notes

All of these photos were taken with the Nikon D3 and 50mm f/1.8 lens. The ISO was high, the shutter speed low and the the aperture wide open. The camera was set to record RAW in black and white mode. The images were processed using Nikon Capture NX2

  1. Did a very good job regarding. They’d be good to choose a few for printing. How long before we see your actual film stills you took at Deluka?

    Stay cool Chris.

    Jim

    • Hey Jim,

      Thanks for your comment. I’m actually waiting on my brother Todd to finish up his images of Deluka before I post mine. I understand that you’ve been waiting for a while. It shouldn’t be long now!

      Good to see you’re making use of the blog link. I’m going to check out your Imogen Heap photos now – I love her, she’s nuts!

  2. Jay

    Nice-reminiscent of the great Herman Leonard!

    • Hey Jay,

      I’m definitely not worthy of the comparison to the great Herman Leonard, but I do appreciate your kind words. Thanks!

  3. Ouch, you can just see how nasty that light was :/

    Good job!

    • Hey Jamie,

      Yeah, I think I should probably update this post with an example of what the images looked like before the b+w conversion. Straight nasty.

      I’ll check out your post on Blood, Sweat and Beers today!

      • This ‘latest blog post’ feature is really cool! It’s the first time I’ve seen it :)

  4. Would love to see the before and after. Also, what do you mean by shooting RAW in black and white? Just the JPG previews?

    • Hey Paige,

      I’ll definitely upload the “before and after.” By shooting RAW in black and white, I really mean that I had the color mode of the camera set to monochrome while still capturing RAW – this renders the JPEG previews in B+W and if you’re using Capture NX2 to process them, it also means that they show up as B+W in the software too.

      The camera is *still* recording all of the color data, but with the specific workflow I used, I never saw the color versions. If I were to have loaded the photos into Lightroom 3 instead of Capture NX2, they would have shown up as color first requiring me to switch to black and white later.

      One method isn’t better than the other, I simply happen to really like the way Nikon’s own software renders skin tones in black and white.

      I hope that makes sense!

  5. Belly dancing, theremin and the Nikon D3 set to monochrome mode. Photos of Amour Obscur – http://bit.ly/cvUXyK

  6. Hey Chris,

    You start your post by saying, and I quote “While I usually avoid shooting in tiny, dimly lit clubs …”. Well, I’m glad you did decide to shoot this show because this is one amazing set.

    I love your choice to use B&W. I feel it helps build up and increase the vibe and the ambient the photos give to the viewers.

    Absolutely stunning set.

    Cheers,
    Daniel

    • Thanks Daniel,

      To be honest I’ve largely avoided converting my digital color images to black and white because when I first started in photography, I felt that digital black and white conversions were one of the two things many people would do to improve what were essentially mediocre images to begin with – the #2 thing being cropping.

      I promised myself that I would avoid those two things at all cost until I felt I was capable of exposing and composing my photos in a way that was as close to finished as possible. I’m getting there, so don’t be surprised if you see a little b+w or cropping on the site from time to time.

  7. Hi again Chris,

    you’re (partially) right about B&W. If I can’t deny that a lot of people use it to surpass deficiencies in colored photos, I can’t also say that I don’t like to see a great, powerful, black and white photo.

    B&W is a powerful tool, to me. When used properly it can add a lot of drama and intensity to a photograph and that’s exactly what I feel happened here.

    In terms of technique, even though no one’s perfect, I doubt that you used B&W because of poorly exposed or badly color balanced shots, so I can only agree with your creative choice. Even without seeing the colored version, I can say that these are perfect examples of great B&W shots.

    Absolutely love this set, from beginning to end ;)

    Cheers,
    Daniel

    • And … I forgot to say, but I’m looking forward to be seeing some more of your B&W work. I’ll be following (as usual) the blog.

      Cheers,
      Daniel

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