23 February 2010 – Tonight I shot 30 Seconds to Mars at Wembley Arena which was an ABSOLUTE nightmare traveling to and from.

I won’t bore you with my travel troubles but I just really never enjoy those trips because they just never work out right. Haha.

Anyway, I have shot 30STM before about 3 years ago and I was quite taken by their show then based on how much effort Jared Leto puts into it. I really liked their album “A Beautiful Lie” so it was great then seeing them play this material and the crowd then went crazy. Tonight was worse, the crowd was SO much more amped on the show and every one was ready to go off, kind of like a real “Mars Army”. I’ve never seen so many people singing almost every single song out loud. It was great to witness.

The show tonight was full of great efforts ranging from the initial curtain drop, to kick of the show, through to the lighting, screens and general live energy given off by the guys. I noticed quite a few mistakes during the set but in the end, does it really matter if the 12 000 strong crowd loves it? Not really.

With regards to the lighting from a photography point of view, I think tonight was one of the hardest shows I have shot because it was really different all the time. I normally work out what my settings would be and shift slightly to accommodate changes but tonight I was making such big jumps between no lights and too much light that it really was interesting. The smoke was slightly overkill for the first few songs but this died out slowly as the smoke made its way through the venue. The issue with smoke is that some times the subject just vanishes and it becomes hard to focus and create a shot worth anything (mostly back lit). In the end it’s important to remember that the band is performing for a crowd and not for 10 photographers in a pit so I understand completely when I think of it this way and with that in mind the light was great.

These are a few of the shots I took. They seem really grainy as lower resolution images but I shot on ISO 800 which is the same as I used for the Depeche Mode show this past weekend so I am going to take it that the smoke played a part of this.

8 replies
  1. Solange Moreira-Yeoell
    Solange Moreira-Yeoell says:

    I share with you the hate to travel to Wembley. I find it a nightmare as well. Reading and browsing around these pictures made my day. I feel excited and sad at the same time. I have seen 30STM several times and last time it was for the release of their new album at Koko. They hadn’t played the songs live yet and needed a bit more rehearsing , but the public were going absolutely crazy. I can only imagine what it must have been like at the Arena last night. I feel sad now that I wasn’t there. I love gigs like this, where you can feed on the energy and great vibes the public transmit around the venue.
    I think the pictures are amazing. They all have a fantastic , vibrant mood. Jarred Leto’s new hair cut is fun. I love the crowd shot and that girl with the hand up was right in front of me last time at KOKO. :-)

  2. Shani
    Shani says:

    Absolutly great photos! I never took pictures during the show cause i know theres some talnted people out there who can really capture the moment and then i could enjoy it later on.
    I’m acually in your last pic – me and all my friends in the first row. its really funny to see how crazy we were at the show, espacially from this point of view, the moment they go on stage my normal self just shut down

  3. Cassi :D
    Cassi :D says:

    :D omg! was an epic night! he ran right past me and my friends when he went into the crowd! my friend stood behind him when he was singing and touched his ass! :D was a great night! Jared a great crowd pleaser!


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