Last year, Maryland Deathfest VII was one of the greatest live music photography experiences I’ve ever had, what with the insanely awesome lineup, all-access, and a multitude of fascinating people to shoot between bands. Needless to say, I was excited to return for this year’s version of the biggest extreme metal festival in the United States; unfortunately, I was only able to make Friday of the three-day affair. Friday is basically a warm-up day, with fewer bands and a less immersive vibe. I took far fewer photos this year as a result - not only were there fewer bands, but for some reason I only had pit access for two songs per band (though I could still shoot for the full set, from outside the pit including backstage and onstage). I also spent most of my time between bands socializing, whereas last year I spent basically every single minute shooting something.
Still, I came away with some decent stuff. The last band to go on, D.R.I., were particularly great to shoot, especially since they were the only band to actually play with the house lights on. Every other band that played inside, I shot at ISO 6400 and the only lighting was deep blue and red (worst case, red only and I either used flash or accepted the redness as part of the ambience); D.R.I. used beautiful white light and I shot at ISO 1600 with generous shutter speeds.
Here are just a couple highlights (in order, D.R.I., Birds of Prey and Coffins); check out the full Flickr set for much more.
I’m particularly fond of that last shot, which is of the moshpit during Gorguts‘ fantastic set; check it out large. And again, there are 70+ more photos at the full photoset. For my 400+ photos from last year’s MDF, I’ve got two galleries up: Saturday and Sunday.