I’d put a lot of planning into this trip and at this point i’d lost count of how many planes, trains and buses were waiting for me in the weeks ahead…
I knew i hadn’t forgotten anything but that didn’t stop me from checking my pockets and my backpack, i was tired and a little anxious. I remember stopping to watch the sunrise over Heathrow airport, it was beautiful. I was so excited to get on the plane and start my adventure, I was flying out to Paris for the first night of the ‘Tragedy Will Find Us’ tour which featured three great bands; Capsize, Senses Fail and Counterparts, one of them being my favourite.
I love music and photographing bands is one of my favourite things to do, it’s probably one of the hardest types of photography but also one of the most rewarding. You never know what to expect, every show is different; the venue, the bands performance, the lighting and the crowd change each and every day, presenting new challenges and opportunities.
I’d booked up to go to 7 of the European shows on the tour, i absolutely love travelling and exploring new places so this was the perfect excuse to see some more of Europe. I made sure i had a couple extra days in-between gigs to do some sightseeing and my travel was often early in the morning, freeing up the rest of the day to see some of the amazing cities i was going to be visiting. The route was Paris, Karlsruhe, Munich, Zurich, Hamburg, Eindhoven and Antwerp, once home i also planned on attending 5 of the UK dates; Tunbridge Wells, London, Southampton, Cardiff and Leeds.
I traveled pretty light, taking only a backpack with a few changes of clothes and toiletries, i wanted to save as much time as possible by not having to check a bag on my flights, i was going to be doing a lot of walking so wanted to be comfortable. As well as my North Face backpack i also had my Manfrotto shoulder bag for my camera which is pretty small and perfect for carrying your camera and a spare lens, it was also home to a spare battery and something essential for me, earplugs! In terms of my gear i took my D750, my 50mm f/1.4 lens and my 20mm f/1.8 wide angle lens. I took my MacBook so i could process photos on the move and a small collection of accessories (hard drive, flash, pocket tripod etc) which i bundled neatly into a small washbag, the perfect choice for essentials and a lot cheaper than a branded bag.
Amazingly it only rained once the whole time i was away, a short shower in Hamburg but i managed to stay relatively dry thanks to the town hall. Most days when i arrived in the city i found my way to the venue to have a quick look around, i could then get an idea of what sort of photos might be available, how big the stage was and if there was a balcony or any other vantage points. It was also a good chance to check door and stage times for the bands to make sure i didn’t miss any of the action, next up i’d check in to my hotel and head out for some food and sightseeing, luckily most of the venues were central so it was easy to spend half a day walking and seeing the sights. The public transport in most European cities is amazing and i navigated them all with ease, apart from getting myself to the airport in Antwerp, but that’s another story…
If i had to pick a favourite place then i’d either say Eindhoven or Zurich, probably Zurich, i caught a bus there from Munich and it was so nice being up in the mountains and seeing all the rivers and lakes. The town itself has a medieval feel to it with plenty of great architecture, i made my way up the steps to the top of Grossmunster, a cathedral in the old town area which gave fantastic views of the city, it was so nice and relaxing walking along the Limmat river in the evening too.
The bands all provide excellent live shows and plenty of crowd interaction, i didn’t use a flash for any of my live photos in this blog post, i love the challenge of using available light and it also allows me to create some cool atmospheric and silhouette style images, plus i don’t want to be firing a flash at the guys all the time, i like to be inconspicuous when i’m taking photos, often shooting from a couple rows back in the crowd or a spot on the side of the stage. I’ll leave you with some of my favourite photos, i had such a hard time choosing these but wanted to give a good mix of lighting and perspective, there’s also a couple photos from my journey in there too. If you have any questions about any of them then please leave a comment below, make sure you support these awesome bands and give them a listen, come out to a show or buy some merchandise!