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The Best Of 2016 – Music Photography

Pick Of The Bunch

2016 was not as a prolific a year as past ones when it came to live music photography. To be perfectly honest, I found it pretty hard finalising a top 10 selection. Having said that, I did manage to photograph close to bands and travelled to Perth, Western Australia to photograph Iron Maiden. That one was a bucket-list moment for yours truly and a very, very special weekend.

I found collating this year’s top 10 to be an incredibly difficult exercise and it took me quite a while to settle on these final 10 selections.

But here we are, the year is quickly drawing to a close and after careful consideration and scrutiny, here is this year’s top 10!

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10: CLUTCH


When it comes to high-octane, blistering hard Rock N Roll, Clutch are the kings! This was my first opportunity to photograph them at Melbourne’s iconic Forum and it proved to be an amazing night of music with the aforementioned being ably supported by the Cosmic Psychos and King Of The North.

Pictured is lead singer Neil Fallon who took to the Forum stage like a man possessed and strutted from left to right, and right to left at a frenetic pace. I followed him through the camera’s viewfinder like a sniper chasing a target waiting for him all the while to be still for a second so I could get the shot!

Venue: The Forum, Melbourne
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09: SCORPIONS


After taking most of winter off, away from the camera… it was the one-off gig by the Scorpions that quickly shot me out of my self-enforced photographic lethargy and back to the Rock stages of Melbourne.

As you can read from the full review of the night, it happened to be an absolutely classic gig and one of the best I had seen at the Palais. It isn’t an easy venue to shoot at. There is no photo-pit to shoot from so you have to try your luck within the 3 song limit from the side of the aisles. It isn’t easy I can assure you.

Venue: The Palais, St.Kilda
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08: LAMB OF GOD


With Lamb Of God opening for Slipknot at Rod Laver Arena the last thing one would expect would be poor lighting but that’s exactly what featured for the majority of LOG’s set. The stage was very dimly lit and the only time one could get a shot was when the band members happened to be bathed with some front-lights. It wasn’t too often during Lamb Of God’s performance but I did happen to catch singer Randy Blythe staring towards my general direction with concentration and a spray of sweat decorating the air.

Venue: Rod Laver Arena
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07: NIGHTWISH


Nightwish are a fun and easy shoot. With the charismatic Floor Jansen leading the band through a plethora of Symphonic Metal tunes she is very easy on the eye and indeed the camera. Hair flowing in the wind! Passion! Drive! Purpose!

Venue: The Forum
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06: BEASTWARS


This was a tough shoot with very little light at all during Beastwars’ set. Again you just had to wait for the right opportunity to get your shot and when lead singer Matt Hyde stepped into the one solitary light hitting his face, I took a few shots!

Venue: Coburg Town Hall
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05: KING OF THE NORTH


One of Melbourne’s premiere hard rock acts, being a two-piece makes them a relatively easier shoot than say, Slipknot! This was taken whilst the band was opening for Clutch. I like the attitude of this shot mixed in with a bit of sweat and spit and just a ton of Rock N Roll attitude!

Venue: The Forum
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04: TRIVIUM


Third time shooting Trivium and all times they have been at 170 Russell. Although this one is a little similar to other shots I have here in my top 10, I do like the colour and sheen of it all. He is away from the mic so there is a clear and present focal point of his face. I adore the detail of his tattoo sleeve too.

Venue: 170 Russell
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03: IRON MAIDEN


If you’re going to shoot Iron Maiden, you need a photo of bassist Steve Harris pointing his bass at you like a gun. The definite ‘Arry shot and I had to wait until practically the last note he played at the end of my three song limit. Still, it was an absolutely magic night even if I had to travel 4,000 miles to get to it!

Venue: Perth Arena, Western Australia
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02: STEEL PANTHER


If you can’t get a decent shot of Steel Panther… give it away, you’re doing it wrong! With their over-the-top Glam histrionics amongst all the other frivolity and fun they get up to at any given gig, it literally is a case of pointing your camera at them and getting a shot! Well, not quite, but you get where I’m coming from. For mine, this one sums them up nicely! Pink! Purple! And Glam… oh so Glam!

Venue: Festival Hall
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01: SLIPKNOT


I was debating long and hard between this shot and the Steel Panther as my personal fave of the year right up until writing this post. Ultimately I went for Slipknot as my number one shot. Capturing that glint in his eye sold the shot for mine in what was my second fave shoot of the year behind Iron Maiden. A Slipknot performance is so highly visual so they are always an incredible shoot to do. This was my second time. Hopefully, there will be more.

Venue: Rod Laver Arena
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View this year’s top 10 below. Click to view large size rendering…

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