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Photos: Murderdolls @ The Halloween Hootenanny

Opening up the The Halloween Hootenanny with Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie, Murderdolls put on a fantastic show that proved that showmanship trumps spastic lighting design.

Photographer's Notes:

High energy and fast movements are never really a fun combination when the lighting is feast or famine, but that was exactly the case with Murderdolls. As such, the main challenge for this show was a little bit of timing to catch those flashes of white light, and making sure locked focus all the while.

For me, the trick is to not trying to focus, compose, and make the image in one burst of lighting, because the white light rarely flares up for long enough to do both well. Instead, break up the tasks into different bursts of lighting, and you now have much more manageable tasks for each burst.

Regardless, for all the challenges, the band put on such a fun show that it's hard not to enjoy photographing these guys – especially frontman Wednesday 13.

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

End Notes:

Stay tuned for the full sets from Alice Cooper and Rob Zombie! Here's a shot from Rob Zombie's performance at Mayhem Fest earlier this year if you can't wait:

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon D750:
I use two Nikon D750 for my live music photography. Amazing high ISO performance in a compact body with tons of pro features.
nikon-24-70mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon-70-200-squareNikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
nikon-14-24mm-f28-lens-squareNikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.
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There are 37 comments

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  1. dokool


    Great stuff under duress, as expected!

    This is more of an aesthetics question so I suppose the answer will end up being “to each his own”, but would you care to share your thought process in including the second to last photo (w/ the frontman holding the mic)?

    It’s a great pose and it’s exactly the kind of shot I’d expect you to nail with better lighting, but aside from his chin (or maybe nose?) it looks nearly completely out of focus. I was just wondering if you think the photo stands up on its own merits or if you’re using it to demonstrate the trouble you were having with the lighting.

    • Todd

      Hi Dan,

      Thanks for the comment. As for your question, I never really use photos to demonstrate difficulties (unless I post them in the photo notes as an example of something particular). I think that each photo should stand on its own, regardless of the situation.

      I wouldn’t worry too much about the focus – for this sort of action shot, I don’t. The chin is in focus, and that’s pretty much it, as you mention. That, and I always find that images with a single-color wash always take a hit with sharpening at small res for the screen. There’s already a loss in resolution due to the lack of other colors in the light, and then you’re looking at PhotoShelter’s automatic sharpening as well.

  2. Nikki Qureshi

    I love the Murderdolls and got the opportunity to shoot them in London last month… it was certainly a challenge! Here’s what I managed to capture… – I was just glad to come out with something vaguely usable!!!

    Some great tips here which I will certainly bare in mind next time I find myself in a similar situation.

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