North Facing - part 2 of 1 2 3


"I was there for two songs - what a privilege." He enthuses.

"I was right behind Noel's amp so I had to worry about cables; what the exposure was like on the crowd; which lens to use etc.

You can't cart a camera bag on stage so you have to work out ahead of time which lens you will use.

Often there are TV camera crews filming too and so you get to occupy literally two square feet of space.

And smoke machines are a nightmare for any music photographer. Even if you shoot on a low ISO, if you are too far away the images you shoot will be just too grainy and awful."

Adds Danny: "But the pay-off is huge. When you are on stage you can craft pictures no one else will get - and that is what drives me."

But there's not always the adrenalin rush of working with a top band like Oasis or The Kaiser Chiefs.

He notes: "Two years ago I was on stage with a band called The Smashing Pumpkins .My pictures were abysmally dull simply because they echoed the band's performance that night."

And lighting can be a major issue at music gigs.

Explains Danny: "It's difficult because in other photo-disciplines you can learn from others about controlled studio lighting and posing, or setting up a wedding photograph or whatever. But in music photography there aren't really any reference points or tuition you can be given when it comes to shooting a live performance on stage. There is just so much to think about. It can get really complicated.

He says: "I've been a Bowens fan from day one - but there aren't too many occasions when I can lug hefty monoblocs onto a stage.

I have done it - but it tends to be restricted to sound checks, not live action on stage.Recently I had to shoot three bands in three cities for three different publications - all in one day.

I shot one session during a sound check rehearsal but these events are normally quite stale. They don't have lights blazing during these checks and I am not a fan of direct light.I took out a Gemini 500 and did a zoom burst shot, so it had a live vibe to it."

He adds: "I also use Bowens pulsars with my Nikon Speedlights.

I went to Brazil to shoot an important band called Gogol Bordello. The venues were big so you'd think the lighting would be fine but I wasn't taking any chances.

I don't like shooting anything slower than 1/200th of a second because when band members jump around you will still get blur at that shutter speed."

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