You should have been at the Grand Dell watching and listening to Andy Just and John Garcia knock out the blues. You could also be there helping me light the place to get these shots. Shooting there is a bit tricky. The number one problem, it is dark so auto focus does not work well. You have to auto focus lock on something in the same plane as your intended subject or try to manually focus. For me the latter is a bigger problem, I don't see as well in the dark as the camera. The second issue, getting the right amount of light so you don't expose like a wedding, but create the mood the place deserves.
I used two SB900's, clipped to the ceiling with pocket wizards. The stronger of the two, faced the band with a grid, the second had a small diffuser(tiny lightbox) attached to the front to give some light to the side. They were far enough away, so the light fall off created a stage scene but the flash units were powerful enough to control the color, for the most part. Once set in place, I was off and running with little regard for the light except recycling. With studio strobes, recyling is generally not an issue, but off or on camera flash is a problem. They just don't recycle fast enough for "run and gun" photography. Also if you are powering with a Quantum battery, you can burn up Nikon flash units. The SB900 will shut off if it overloads, which saves the unit, doesn't do much for the shoot. The rest of them will fire until they fry.
My next gig at the Saloon, I'm going to try bouncing the flash which I couldn't get right on Saturday afternoon before the show.
And the reason for the title of this blog?