I'm just going to come out and say it. Avenged Sevenfold's lighting is horrible to photograph. Sure, there's pyro, but the stage lighting itself seems to be either a dominating blue or red wash, with magenta sometimes splitting the difference.
All that said, the band is still great to shoot. I mean, come on – right-handed guitarist back to back with left-handed guitarist? It's a little silly, but it's so fun I can't help but love photographing this band.
- Nikon D3
- Nikon D700
I've shot Avenged Sevenfold what seems like half a dozen times now, and their lighting has almost always been difficult. They seem to repeatedly enjoy dark, moody lighting and very rarely employ “clean” frontlighting. Even severe white balance adjustments aren't enough to pull many of the treatments back. In addition, what white light is used almost always comes from the back of the stage, sometimes blindingly so.
But for all the points about how the lighting for Avenged Sevenfold is weird and arguably unphotogenic, the band is still a blast to shoot.
Frontman M. Shadows is the most dynamic figure on stage and makes it easy. Next is Synyster Gates, who spends plenty of time at the front of the stage, followed by Zacky Vengeance and Johnny Christ. As per usual, Avenged Sevenfold's drummer, currently Arin Ilejay, was pretty much completely obscured behind a massive kit.
Most of this set was shot at ISO 1600, though it could have easily been bumped to ISO 3200 for the dimmest portions. During the brightest parts of the first three songs, when the two guitarists came together to play center stage, the light was bright enough to shoot at ISO 400 with ease. Nice luxury for a concert, even an amphitheater show!