This was my second time shooting Slayer. The first time was back in 2009 at the Mayhem Festival. This time they were the headliners at the Los Angeles stop of the Jagermeister Music tour. I had already shot two bands that night, Anthrax and Megadeth and the lighting was pretty good and the stage angles were pretty good so I wasn’t expecting any problems with the Slayer shoot.
Thats when things went downhill.
I had heard that the Slayer lighting was mainly strobes and could be tough but what I wasn’t expecting was that they would have a Kabuki curtain set up and that we wouldn’t be allowed into the photo pit till after the curtain drop and the removal. No problem.. still plenty of time to shoot. Then the curtain dropped and we still weren’t allowed into the pit. Here’s what happened. The photographers were split into two groups, one group to enter from stage right and one group to enter from stage left. Once again I was int he group to enter on stage left and the Live Nation rep who was in control of our side wanted to wait until the kabuki curtain was removed from the photo pit. The problem was that the curtain was never going to be removed from the pit, it was to be folded and stashed under the stage. So there I was, waiting in the aisle when the band started, the curtain dropped, the security took the curtain and stashed it and the photographers in the other group were let into the pit.
Our group was not.
Finally the rep realized that the pit was open and we were allowed in, with the first song nearly over. It happens.
On the lighting side of things, I tried to use the very strobe heavy lighting to create some cool effects… Itreally helped to shoot across the front of the stage and not straight on.
A great show and wonderful to photograph even with the slow start.