Photographing Marty Stuart

Marty Stuart backstage

Marty Stuart backstage

As a music fan, I enjoy taking pictures of musicians.  Thankfully, Batavia has a fairly vibrant music scene and there are plenty of local bands I can go out and see and shoot.  But ever since taking up a camera in a serious way two years ago, I’ve wanted to go to a big show — a show with lights and featuring an act that I’ve long enjoyed, whose music I own and I admire enough I would like to meet.

Last night, I finally got that chance — Marty Stuart played a campground in Le Roy known as Frost Ridge.  Ironically, the owners, Dave and Greg, are fellow San Diego expatriates.

Normally I’m not an autograph hound.  In fact, I’ve long lived by a philosophy of thanking and praising celebrities I meet, not bugging them to sign their name on some piece of paper or article of clothing.  If it’s somebody I admire, I figure they’ve given me enough just with whatever they’ve done. I don’t need an autograph. I enjoy the memory of meeting cool people.

Friday was a little different, though.  Dave and Greg made up a cool press pass – specific to the event with a picture of Marty and his band on it, plus my mug shot and name in the lower right.  This, I thought, I have to get Marty to sign, and he did. That’s a keeper.

I shot the show with my D90 and D7000, using just the 35mm and 55mm prime lenses — and I shot them wide open, f1.8.  That made focus critically important and in low light I couldn’t see all that well.  I was just shooting and praying that everything would turn out.  The D90s ISO was 1600 and the D7000 was 1000.  When I processed the pictures, I was pleased both with how many were in focus and how little noise I had to deal with.

I did try some flash shots, but wasn’t pleased with the results, so went back to shooting natural light.

It was a great show, too. Marty and his bandmates are fabulous musicians and Marty is the consummate showman.  And as Greg and Dave told me, the acoustics at Frost Ridge are perfect.

Marty Stuart Backstage

Marty Stuart Backstage

Marty Stuart on stage

Marty Stuart on stage

The boots of Paul Martin

The boots of Paul Martin

Paul Martin

Paul Martin

Kenny Vaughn

Kenny Vaughn

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

Marty Stuart and His Fabulous Superlatives

Marty Stuart

Marty Stuart

Marty Stuart on stage.

Marty Stuart on stage.

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  • Anonymous

    These are great Howard (big Stuart fan). I particularly like the b&w backstage.

  • http://twitter.com/howardowens Howard Owens

    Thanks, Mike.

  • Deepak Kumar

    Very Nice now I am convinced to buy a good prime lens. Mr Owens i have one doubt though, I would really appreciate if you can answer that.
    Is it better to buy one 50mm 1.4G or
    is it wise to buy one 50mm 1.8g and 35mm 1.8g.
    I a using Nikon D3100
    Regards
    Deeps

    • http://howardowens.com Howard Owens

      Sorry for the slow reply. I hope you see this.

      I really like my 35mm lens. On a DX camera, such as your D3100, it’s like using a 50 or 55 mm on a full frame camera.

      I also really like my 50mm lens, which on a DX camera, such as my D90 and D7000, it’s like using an 85mm lens, which is good for tight shots and portraits.

      Having fast lens is a huge plus and these are the most affordable fast lenses you can get.

      • http://www.facebook.com/people/Deepak-Kumar/100001856750254 Deepak Kumar

        Thanks for the reply Mr. Owens. I recently purchased a 35mm 1.8g, and I am very happy with the results, also I have a 50mm1.8D and of course my Kit lens 18-55..