Simone Simons of Epica performs at Gramercy Theater, NYC (photo by Chris Owyoung)

The draw of Epica’s brand of music is the combination of contrasting elements. Like many symphonic metal bands, their songs draw against the brutality of death metal and the melodic qualities of choir and opera. In the later regard, Epica stands well above their peers. Believe me when I say that the talents of lead vocalist Simone Simons simply have to be experienced first hand.

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Concert Photography Notes

I covered Epica’s performance with two D3 bodies; the first body stayed equipped with the 70-200mm VR II and the second alternated between the 24-70 and 14-24mm lenses. I’ve been experimenting with shooting with two bodies lately and although there was a bit of fumbling at first, the benefits are few but significant.

The main advantages of shooting concerts with two camera bodies:

  • Capturing what the mind’s eye sees simply by switching cameras instead of lenses
  • Getting a greater variety of compositions from one vantage point
  • Not having to switch lenses
  • A higher image yield overall
  1. Chris,
    Breathtaking set of photos!
    I think this is my favorite post yet!

    You and your brother dominate the Concert Photographer Genre.

  2. Hi Chris,

    Did you use flash for these shots?
    Thanks for sharing.


    • Hi Hendra,

      No, I did not use flash for these. For future reference, whenever I use flash, I state it clearly in my shooting notes.

      • Thanks Chris. Noted that for future reference.

        You certainly have wonderful collection of music photography. Best wishes.

  3. Damn,

    You’re my hero. Compositionally epic! Its not just the moment with your shots, they just scream, “Everything in this image is on purpose.” Even the timing with the headbanging.

    I do have a technical question if you don’t mind. Not sure if again, its just that badass D3 of yours and shooting with a ridiculously high ISO, but I’ve been having trouble capturing those harsh backlights.Its always hit or miss with me. Sometimes they’re blown to hell, sometimes they’re dead on. Are those crazy beams of light that come off the lights above the stage in your shots the result of epic lighting and a high ceiling? A filter of some sort which brings down the harshness? Or is it just spot on exposure?

    I just kinda screw around half the time between Spot/center weighted metering and lots of prayin. Probably why it doesn’t work at most death metal shows when I’m getting beaten up. hehe. I shoot with a Canon 30D and go between a 50mm/1.8 and 28-70/2.8. I’ve gotten some incredible shots with just my lil’ Rebel XT and a 50mm and zero flash.

    But with the 30D, I know its not a “high-end” camera and doesn’t handle digital noise that well after ISO 800. So I try really hard not to shoot with ISO 1600. But sometimes the images are insane and pretty much perfect. Sometimes incredibly horrible. Again, hit or miss. Any tips about nailing that exposure and lockin focus? I know music photography is just nuts on your camera’s sensor and I’m learning that Spot focusing is kinda tiresome and stops you from composing your images on the fly.

    Again thanks for the inspiration man!


  4. These are really stunning Chris – they have almost an ethereal quality to them, if that makes sense? gorgeous…

  5. @GandalfPT It's a small set (forgot my cards, argh!). Hope you like them when I post it. Meanwhile check this sick set: http://bit.ly/c3abTl

  6. Outstanding pics, man!
    Epica has been in Rio for its South America tour.
    Here are some of mine.

    • Damn, some GREAT shots there Luciano! Thanks for sharing.