Download Festival 2022 - Castle Donington
Nikon D780 and a Nikon 70-200mm F/2.8
Setting fire (literally as well as metaphorically) to the Download main stage, Black Veil Bride's set had the crowd in the palm of their hands during a roasting June day at this year's festival. I wanted to capture a shot that gave the context of the festival, but was more of a portrait in its arrangement of the band’s bassist Lonny Eagleton in action. Positioning myself out of sight behind the amps with a 70-200mm f/2.8 attached, I got ready for the flames I knew must be coming given the arrangement of pyros at the front of the stage. Normally, when shooting from the pit, achieving an exposure which manages to maintain detail in the subjects on the stage (often in shadow), and the flames as they erupt can be a struggle. However, on such a bright day and with my exposure set to keep detail in the sunlit crowd, everything came together perfectly. After the first burst of flames, I timed my shots with the rhythm of the track for a couple of variations of Lonny surrounded by fire. Of that set, this image with its balance of clean space and pyro was my favourite and encapsulates their set for me.
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