I was at Download rock festival on Saturday, working with one of the bands playing there (I’m the official photographer for blues rock band The Union and try to cover most of their major shows). My pass allowed me access all areas to Stage 3, where they were playing, but not to the other stages (there were five of them).
One of my favourite bands was playing on Stage 2 – a hard rock band called Halestorm who have one of the best female vocalists I’ve heard in years and her brother the drummer who is an absolute lunatic on stage – both of them are very photogenic. I couldn’t get into the photo pit, so instead I located myself in the crowd, about 20 yards from the stage and got out my trusty 70-200.
Pro cameras usually aren’t allowed in to these festivals but my credentials meant I had my gear with me and it gave me a good opportunity to get a different view of the band. Usually I’m in the pit looking up their noses. When you are in the pit the dynamics of the images come from the different angles you can get close up and the foreground/background differential. When you are further back you lose that option but are compensated by the compressed perspective you get with the telephoto lens and you can concentrate on facial expressions and band member interaction.
Anyway, here are the shots ...
I got to meet the guys briefly afterwards in the artist/media area backstage (and got ‘em to sign their latest album for me, which I’d conveniently brought with me just in case). They seemed really cool, and I hope to be able to shoot them properly when they tour the UK in September.