I have seen Company of Thieves many times, and have even blogged about them several times. It is no secret that I am a fan. However, this time they really impressed me.
Their show was their standard high-energy, fun show… but extra props to them for making it so. The band was sick, with singer Genevieve barely having a speaking voice when she came onstage. But a little cold didn’t stop them from rocking out like there was no tomorrow, or stop Genevieve hitting notes with a freight-train like force. I really respect them for being true professionals that gave it 110% even when I am sure they were feeling horrible.
This show was not only the first time they had stopped through Chicago on their Wind-Up Records national tour (with label mates Thriving Ivory), but it was also one of the first shows where the hard copy of their re-released CD, Ordinary Riches, was being sold. And, it features pictures from the fabulous photographer (and my friend) Wallo Villacorta, so it was very exciting!
There is no pit at Double Door, so you are always at the mercy of the place you stake out at the beginning of the show. For the majority of the show, I used my 24-70mm since it gave me a good range for both close shots for those band members I was near, and a little extra reach to capture the band members on the other side of the stage (even though it was practically impossible to get a picture of drummer Mike Ortiz). I also pulled out the 16-35mm and the 70-200mm to get some variety in the shots.
The light was bright enough for the 5D2 to easily handle (and occasionally the 5D), but it was boring. I tried to integrate the lighting rigs into the shot when I could to break up the abyss of black stage behind the performers. I generally shot at around f/2.8, 1/80-1/125, and 3200ISO-5000ISO.
This set requires a few editing notes too:
As evident by my shooting notes, I rarely get pictures that I’m thrilled with at Double Door. Despite Double Door having more light than some other local venues, the quality of light is never spectacular. The shots always look flat and plain. Company of Thieves is not your typical band – they’re fun, vintage, and energetic – so the flat lighting and dark background of Double Door did not suit the photos at all.
Generally, I have a very basic editing process that includes color correction, sharpening, and contrast; rarely do I overly edit my concert photos. Except with this set. I like my photos to reflect the band, and this set didn’t, so I created an action to add a little more “vintage-umph” into the photos. At first I was wary of digressing from my typical style, especially away from my typical strong contrast (including black blacks) and bright colors, but I thought it wouldn’t hurt to change it up for just this one time.
(Note: If you like the processing, e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I will email you when I release a new action set with these actions included).