Cellos, drums, and hairwhips: Apocalyptica are, as Tenacious D put it, “classically trained to rock your f***ing socks off.”
I’d last photographed Apocalyptica back in 2008, and ever since I’ve wanted a chance to shoot the band again. When I heard that they were performing on a co-headlining tour with Japanese rockers Dir en grey, I was sold.
Needless to say, the Finns did not disappoint. And, despite a lot of challenging treatment, neither did their lighting, which came blasting in full technicolor glory.
As always, Apocalyptica was a blast to photograph. After Dir en grey’s performance, all of the monitors were cleared from the stage, leaving the space clear and wide open for the for Eicca, Paavo, and Perttu to shred. Of these three, Perttu seemed to come to the front of the stage just a little more than the other gys, which made for great shooting up close and personal.
Meanwhile at the back of the stage, I have to love Mikko’s drum kit, because it was wide open and made for some great shooting. In fact, his own thrashing aside, Mikkko was one of the easier subjects of Apocalyptica because he actually received a good deal of white lighting.
Lighting for this concert, as you can see, relied heavily on backlighting and wild color casts, with most of the light from the front coming from orange-gelled cans from high up in the rigging.
I shot this set mostly at ISO 3200, and with somewhat slower shutter speeds than I would for a rock group. The main reason for this was the low lighting, but also due to the fact that I don’t mind a little motion blur in the bows (the most quickly moving element, hairwhips aside) when shooting Apocalyptica.
For photographing this set, the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 was indispensable, providing the most overall useful range. However, the true king was the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 for those big, epic angles– even though it was a little too wide for most shots, when it worked, it worked beautifully.
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