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Photos: Slayer @ Mayhem Fest 2012

performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer are just one of those legendary metal bands. They’re one of those bands that don’t really “do” all that much on stage in terms of over-the-top showmanship, but who don’t really need to, either. Just give me Kerry King rocking a power stance and a little haze on the stage, I’m happy.

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

Photographer’s Notes:

Cameras Used:

Lenses Used:

Slayer always have pretty moody lighting, with lots of colored accents. While the band themselves don’t move around a tremendous amount, one of the challenges I enjoy with photographing Slayer is that the lighting shifts enough to make things interesting.

Case in point was one moment in the first three songs when Kerry King came to the front of the stage (or as close as he ever did, anyway) and was blasated from above with intensely bright white light.

Slayer performing at Mayhem Fest 2012 at Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in St. Louis, Missouri on July 20, 2012. (Todd Owyoung)

For me, this was a moment that could have been a nightmare. Normally with live music photography, a huge dynamic range isn’t all that much of a problem, at least not on the performers themselves. This scene was a little different.

While traditional wisdom in photography with negative film has been to expose for the shadows and to print for the highlights, digital is always a little different. And scenes like this are different still.

Personally, for a scene like this, all I really care about is the face of the subject, and in this case, Kerry King’s handsome mug. All the highlights can be massively blown as long as the exposure on the face holds detail for me.

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There are 3 comments

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  1. Clay

    Killer shots Todd. I so desperately wanted to shoot Mayhem in Chicago but couldn’t get credentialed. I’ll just live vicariously through you for the time being.

    Looking forward to seeing your shots of Anthrax.


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