2015 - Year-end Review: My top live music images.

Well, I'm a little late to the party. 2015 is dead and gone. The practice month of January is over, and we're now into the second month of 2016. Crazy. 

2015 was a good year for me, I've taken photos for some bands for the first time and I've sadly taken photos for some bands who have decided to call it quits. I've toured the UK with Slipknowt, I've done several promo shoots and had an awesome time all round.
I want it to be 2015 again. Sadly, I still lack the ability of time travel so lets just take a look at a few of my favourite live music shots of 2015. 

So, without further ado, lets kick things off - 

10. Amy of Flying - January 2015 @ O2 Academy, Newcastle

 
 

I really like this image. It was taken just as the band were hitting the stage for their first song. 
The thick contrast in the black and white really adds to the image and almost gives it a old-school Rock'n'roll look. 
Something else I really like about this image is that all the textures of Amy's clothes show through even with the black and white. The lights above the stage really add to the leather in the jacket  

 

9. 6 of Slipknowt - May 2015 @ Sumo, Middlesbrough Empire

 
 

This image, to me, represents everything of a Slipknowt show. This image represents the unpredictability, the intensity and the aggression Slipknowt have become famous for. 
The slower shutter speed on this image has caused a great action blur on the metal bar and the fist of 6 here and creates a real sense of motion and immersion. 
The overexposure of the backlights, combined with the smoke really gives a new dimension to this shot and is an excellent contrast to the usually black background live music photography typically has. 
My only critique of this image is that I wish I had shot it at an aperture of f3.2, that would have made it a lot sharper. 
 


8. Rob of Eleventh Hour - June 2015 @ KnowtFest - The Roxbury, Blyth

 
 

These guys were the ones who gave me every chance in the world to break through with my gig photography. I've toured the UK with them and I'm truly appreciative for every opportunity I've had to shoot them. From the first gig I photoed at The Central in ashington, to going on tour in Wales, at The Rigger in Newcastle Under Lyme, and everywhere in between. 

Thank you guys for helping this bearded dude with a camera get a start in this crazy business.

 

7. Titch of Yakx - August 2015 @ The O2 Academy, Newcastle

 
 

The composition and symmetry of this shot is what really makes it stand out to me. How many of you even noticed the horrible drum mic sticking up in on the left? Not many I'd bet. That's because of the fact that straight in the middle of the shot is the subject. 
Would this have worked as a horizontal portrait? I don't think it would, it would ruin the fact that Titch's mic stand is pretty much bang on centre of the frame.

 

6. Megadeth UK - December 2015 @ O2 Academy, Newcastle

 
 

Hey, remember that time I shot a photo of Dave Mustaine? Yeah, neither do I, but I do remember shooting Megadeth UK and getting this awesome look-alike shot. 

 

5. Adas of Reet Hot Chili Peppers- December 2015 @ O2 Academy, Newcastle

 
 

Drummers are notoriously difficult to photograph. They're normally shoved right at the back of the stage in a dark little cubby-hole. So when I got Access All Areas to shoot Christmas Rocks at the O2 Academy I knew I was going to get some great drummer shots. There was quite a few to choose from, but this one is my personal favourite. It just has a nice and clean feel to it. 

 

4. Shane of Metal Militia - December 2015 @ O2 Academy, Newcastle

 
 

Metal Militia are a band I photographed back in 2013 / early 2014 at Spennymoor Working Man's Club. It's been great to watch the guys develop their craft from that kind of awkward cover band to a confident, dominating the main stage kind of band and becoming one of the best Metallica tributes in the UK. Well done guys.

 

3. PA Wood of Bryan Adams Exposed - December 2015 @ O2 Academy, Newcastle

 
 

Very different shot from me here. Silhouetted against the harsh spotlight, this has one of those "instant classic" feels to it. I originally wanted to go black and white with this, but when I was editing, I grew to enjoy the warm golden tones of the light and the subtle hints of red in the guitar spoke much more to me than the monochrome equivalent. I would love to see this printed on a large metal print.  
 


2. Gregg of Bon Jovi Forever - December 2015 @ O2 Academy, Newcastle

 
 

Catching the motion. Catching the emotion. That's what live music photography is all about. This is one of those cases where I feel that I was able to do just that. But is this my favourite shot of 2015?

Well, not quite


My 2015 shot of the year is... 



1. Foo Fighters - May 2015 @ Stadium of Light, Sunderland

 
 

This is my 2015 photo of the year. 
Why?
Simple. I took this with my phone. I took my photo of the year with an iPhone. 
I mentioned in my last photo that live music photography was all about catching the motion and catching the emotion and oh boy, does this photo do just that. This is a great representation of live music, summarised in a single frame. The energy, the passion, the enjoyment and the celebration of music.


Question is, how am I going to top it this year?

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