Warpaint @ O2 Academy, Leeds

WarpaintLeeds Academy, Feb 2014

I've shot some tough gigs in the past, but this has to be amongst the toughest.

I shot Warpaint for the first time a few years back at Leeds Festival, and on that occasion they were quite difficult to cover - lots of ambient light, but not much on the actual subjects. This experience would stand me in good stead for what was waiting for me down at the Academy.

It sounds a bit daft, but Warpaint SOUND like the sort of band that are difficult to photograph. Don't get me wrong - they're amazing - but their pychadelic-post-prog sound is perfectly complimented by dramatic, moody lighting. In light (boom boom) of this, I packed all my prime lenses as I feared the worst. This turned out to be justified. 

the band were arranged in a horse-shoe shape around the stage, with centre stage left vacant. The two main vocalists - Theresa and Emily - were right at either edge of the stage, in front of drummer Stella and bassist Jenny. The former of which was the only member of the band with any real light on her. 

By the end of the first song it became evident that - even with the high ISO range of the 5D MarkIII - that my standard 24-70mm f2.8 lens wasn't going to cut it, so I gave my 85mm f1.4 prime lens it's first gig run out. This gave me much more flexibility with my exposures, and whilst I may have been hampered in terms of focal range, I was happy to sacrifice variety of compositions in favour of some sharp, correctly exposed shots. 

So yeah, it was certainly a tough one. It's nice to have a challenge every now and then, though.