All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020


15 Apr 2016

Trivium Live @ 170 Russell, Melbourne

Silence In The Snow Trivium are a strange old beast. They’re a band I really don’t know too much about and a band who I haven’t followed over the years. Hey, you can’t follow everyone right? Having said that, I have had the opportunity to photography them three times now. And every time I have witnessed them from the photo-pit, it usually is at yet another sold-out show. The fans love them and they are hugely popular amongst young Metalheads […]

03 Apr 2016

Emma McEvoy’s Sand Castles

My interest was certainly piqued when casually watching the news the other night. An abandoned, derelict house in Fitzroy, filled with tonnes of sand housing an amazing photo exhibition by the incredibly Emma McEvoy. I am so there! The house in Hertford Street, Fitzroy was filled with over 9 tonnes of sand pretty much bringing a slice of the Namibian ghost town of Kolmanskop into the inner suburbs of Melbourne. The inspiration for the installation is located in the Namibian […]

31 Mar 2016

Behind The Curtain: Watain

Sworn To The Dark I used to disdain red lights at gigs at many of Melbourne’s venues. But I’ve learnt to love it. Especially with the genre of acts that I shoot, I have found that with some editing, you can achieve some deliciously evil tones! Back in 2014, I had the pleasure of photographing Black Metal legends Watain opening for Mayhem at Melbourne Max Watts (formerly Hifi Bar). That particular venue is renowned amongst photographers as a very tough […]

25 Mar 2016

Morton Ray Abandoned Masonic Temple

I had seen pictures of this place just as the Freemasons had left it. Driving past the place almost every day, I have always wanted to have a peek inside but the place has been heavily secured and closed. Lately tho, I have noticed that the front doors have been open. So today, I decided to have a look. Those initial photos I had seen look nothing like what these ones do. The place has been completely ransacked and destroyed. […]

18 Mar 2016

Sevendust Live @ 170 Russell, Melbourne

You get three songs in the photo-pit to do your craft. These days, most gigs come and go. You do your shoot, you get the hell out of dodge. Tonight was a little different tho. From minutes before Sevendust take the stage, the air is charged to the brim with a sickeningly ferocious electricity. You know full well in the pit of your stomach that this one’s going to be something pretty special! So yeah, I stuck around after my […]

15 Mar 2016

Buckcherry Live @ 170 Russell, Melbourne

I first caught Buckcherry live at the tail end of 2013 when they were opening for Steel Panther. That proved to be a fantastic night of rock n roll so I was eagerly awaiting to see (and photograph) the band again when they announced their tour of Australia in 2016. Melbourne’s Rockers turned out in full-force tonight and I have never seen a bigger collection of Guns N Roses, Faster Pussycat and of course, Buckcherry t-shirts all collected in the […]

13 Mar 2016

A Tour Of The Manchester Unity Building

Jewell In The Crown Over the course of my life in Melbourne, which happens to be my entire life, I always stop and stare at the magnificent tower and wonder what it would be like to view the city from up there. The Manchester Unity Building proves to be one of the most popular attractions during Melbourne’s Open House annual weekends where select buildings and locations are made available to the general public. I have tried to get in so […]

08 Mar 2016

Clutch Live @ The Forum, Melbourne

Sometimes… sometimes you know it is going to be a classic night just from having a read of the poster. For starters, Melbourne’s Forum is a fantastic venue to shoot in. It has certainly taken over from where the now defunct Palace use to stand. Secondly, any bill that features Clutch, Cosmic Psychos and King of the North is a bill that will most assuredly knock it out of the park. And that’s exactly what it did. Power duo King […]

29 Feb 2016

1349 Live @ Max Watts, Melbourne

So it was back to Max Watts for the first time this year to shoot Norway’s Black Metal kings, 1349. This was the band’s first sojourn into the land of Oz so the tour was met with great anticipation for fans of Metal of the blackest kind! As per the norm, the lighting was not the best at Max Watts. It has improved, but compared to other states where 1349 played in, where they were lit beautifully, tonight was a […]

22 Feb 2016

Rolling Thunder Festival 2016

Rolling Thunder And Pouring Rain! The Rolling Thunder Festival has come and gone and experiencing a lot of it from the ground up, it appears the event was a total success. Featuring a plethora of artists from various genres such as Stoner, Doom, Punk and a little bit of Hardcore – the exciting bill featured artists such as American Sharks, Beastwars, Clowns, Radio Moscow, The Sword, Holy Serpent, Kings Destroy, Warped, Wolfpack, Los Hombres Del Diablo etc. An bill peppered […]

09 Feb 2016

Blackhelm & Decimatus Live @ The Bendigo Hotel

Local Metal Excels I don’t usually photograph at the Bendigo Hotel in Collingwood. The venue is very small and very dimly lit. It makes for an incredibly difficult night shooting a gig but seeing as my friends in Blackhelm had asked me to shoot them live, I thought I would make an exception and check out the show tonight. I was only passing through so I didn’t have too much time at hand so I only caught Blackhelm and Decimatus […]

03 Feb 2016

Vulgod Promo Shoot

I had previously worked with Vulgod guitarist Grant Burns recently with his other band Mason. Through that working relationship, Grant had recommended me to Vulgod and we had mutually decided to work together on a promo shoot for them as well. Booking a band for a photo-shoot is all well and good, now we needed a theme and a location to shoot at. I had some preliminary ideas of where to go for this shoot, but before I could even […]

29 Jan 2016

Frank Iero Instore @ Eureka Rebellion Trading

I have photographed many events for Eureka Rebellion Trading over the past few years. Nothing could have prepared me for what was in store tonight. Former My Chemical Romance guitarist, Frank Iero, was scheduled to do an in-store at Eureka Rebellion Trading… half of Melbourne turned up! Here are some snaps from tonight…

24 Jan 2016

51st Victorian Hotrod Show

Hotter Than Hell This was probably the first Hotrod Show I attended merely as a punter and was not working on the day taking photos. You’d think that would encourage me to leave the camera home and just enjoy the day’s proceedings right? But what fun is life without a camera? Anyway – here’s a bunch of photos of some of the classic cars on display from day one of the event. Enjoy!

13 Jan 2016

Nightwish Live @ The Forum, Melbourne

It is always cool shooting at Melbourne’s Forum. It is the very venue I shot my first (professional) gig at in 2008 and it was great getting stuck back into it after a few weeks of not even looking at the camera. Unfortunately however, as I was getting ready for the gig, the world learnt of the passing of Rock legend David Bowie. That news certainly put a dampener on the evening and my motivation to photograph a Rock show […]

10 Jan 2016

Motörhead For Life

Born To Lose, Live To Win As a fan, I saw Motörhead numerous times over the years. The very first time I saw them in 1984 they left a permanent little dent to the rest of my entire life, by doing irreversible damage to my left ear. (Their first tour of Australia). I have seen thousands of gigs over the years. As a fan and a photographer. But Motörhead is the only gig I have ever left where I could […]

17 Dec 2015

Top 10 Albums of 2015

2015 has proven to be an incredibly difficult year to collate a top 10 best albums list. There were so many good releases throughout the year that I could have easily extended the list to be a top 50. But, through careful consideration and a look at just how much time I spent with each album, I was able to refine it down to an eclectic top 10. The selection below is diverse and uniquely different from each other but […]

15 Dec 2015

The Best Of 2015 – Music Photography

In terms of music photography, 2015 turned out to be a fun and successful year. Compiling these top 10 lists are always incredibly difficult. More often than not, my mind will change the very next day but once they’re locked in – they’re locked in. You may agree or disagree with my choices. You may like or dislike the shots I have chosen. The choice is totally yours. With thanks to the following artists, thank you for letting me stick […]

14 Dec 2015

Star Wars Experience

Use The Force With the Star Wars insanity that is about to envelope us all, I thought I would revisit this collection of photos from the Star Wars Experience in Melbourne in 2009. Most of these photos have never been published or seen the light of day. Several were published in a magazine I was blogging for at the time. I thought I would present them here as we’re all clamouring for a bit of Star Wars magic come the […]

14 Dec 2015

Misfits Live @ Max Watts, Melbourne

Holywood Babylon I always check the band times a day or so before attending a gig. Especially one I am shooting. A quick peruse over the Max Watts website told me that the Misfits were to be on stage at 11.30pm. Hmm, little late I thought, but I’ll get there early so I can catch the support as well. And lucky I did because the Misfits were hitting the stage at 10.30pm sharp. A full one hour before their scheduled […]