Ah the Metal Show. A hint of sweat and beer in the air. Dimly lit venue. A black shirt and tie affair, sans tie. Over the wall and into the pit with the biggest stick you can find.
Testament’s Damnation Vacation Tour rolled into town this evening, sadly not destroying the venue, but certainly coming quite close.
For shooting, a bit of perspective is in order. The photo-pit was named such due to the pit at this venue. Pit being the operative adjective here. There is a small spit, beer, trash and sludge trough approximately 2 feet wide between the stage and the crowd. Oddly, it is about 3/4 of the height between the floor and the stage. Crouched on your knees you are eye level with the crowd on front row and a mere foot or so from the performers onstage. Sweat flying from front and behind, headbanging rockstars flinging hair into your lens. God knows what the wet spot you just sat in is. Still want to be a live performance photographer? If so, the best choice of gear going right now is the Nikon D3/D700. Shooting the entire show at 6400 ISO and up coupled with the Nikon 14-24 for the duration – the stick held up. There was largely no front-lighting for this show and heavy use of the reflected light off the faces of the crowd from the floods from behind the artists that would flare up on occasion. Maybe something to wearing a white shirt to these types of shows and take a batch to hand out the the crowd to act as human reflectors.