I had been asked to shoot a metal gig in The Unicorn in Camden. I personally have little knowledge of 'metal' but as with other events I have covered this would be the same as, follow the action and look for facial expressions.
I had to look up Heavy Metal... ok so this was going to be loud. As per usual I looked at Google Images for interior shots of The Unicorn. This showed there was a bar at the front and the stage area was at the back. The area in front of the stage is where the audience would be
I met my contact at Kings Cross and we traveled to the venue together. On arrival I checked out the area and spoke to the AV guy and asked if there was anywhere he didn't want me to stand. It is always good to check in with others that are working on the show in case there are established house rules you need to be aware of. I was told I could go anywhere so I decided to see how the audience would be arranged then work my way around them.
I checked out the lights and it was a mix of reds a purples. This can be corrected in post so for the first performace from Forged In Black, I waited till the lead singer was central to the stage for the optimum lighting. It was loud but not as loud as I thought it was going to be. So
no need for my ear plugs.
My kit for the evening were the 24-105mm f4 and the 10-20mm f3.5. I bought the wide angle after looking at the interior photos, I thought I would be able to capture the full stage from wherever I would be standing at 10mm and also short zoom to 20mm if I found myself close to the stage. I was there to shoot photos for Neverworld, a British metal band, but I used the time before they started to check out how the shots and stage positions would work.
I was fortunate to see that the light set up changed for Neverworlds performance, it was brighter for a start so shutter speeds would be faster. For the first song I used the 10-20mm lens to capture the full stage set up the the 24-105mm for close ups and performer profiles.
There seemed to be a pattern emerging during the set. It was something I noticed during the previous set with Forged In Black. There seems to be three stances that performers use:
So once I knew this I could anticipate where the performers would be. The one problem I had was the drummer. At any eye level, either standing or crouching there would either be a cymbal, a fret board or lots of hair in the way. I had to wait and again anticipate when he would hit the cymbal so it would move out the way. He did seem to be enjoying himself immensely up there so I did get some great shots.
The editing consisted of reducing the harsh colour cast from the red and green spotlights, then cropping to bring either the performers or action more central to the shot. I was asked to provide black and white shots too, which in Lightroom is easy by creating virtual copies of all
the shots and changing the initial treatment to Black and White.
All shots were then exported and delivered by Dropbox.
You can find Neverworlds website here at www.neverworldmetal.co.uk.