How I got the shot: 1349

In How I got the shot, Photoshoots

Backstage with 1349

So, this is quite an old photo of the Norwegian black metal band 1349. At the time, I had shot them live a couple of times (actually, they were my first black metal gig!). A while after the last time, I got a request from one of the guys in the band to use some of my concert pictures on their website. This being way back in 2011, my second year of shooting, I said it was OK, as long as they let me get a picture of them before they played next time in Bergen, as I really wanted a shot of them in my portfolio.

About a year later, they came to play at the venue Hulen (“The Cave”). I arrived an hour or so before the show. Of course, they were extremely busy preparing, so I just hung around while they made their final adjustments. At some point, though, I realized that there just wasn’t enough time to get the shoot I had planned done. I flew up and went out into the venue. Grabbed a mate of mine, and handed him a softbox. Steered him like a light stand, and then finally the band came out. At the very same moment, their intro-music started playing. I hurdled them against the door, clicked once, nothing happened. Clicked a second time, a flash! – and then they turned around and left. That was it. Not knowing if I actually got a usable shot, I swiftly packed my bag and ran into the photo pit, and what turned out to be an amazing gig.

Use the slider to see the before and after.

EXIF: Canon 5D Mark II and Canon 17-40mm f/4 at ISO 1250, f/4, 1/100 sec. 580EX II at TTL in an Ezybox 40×40 cm, triggered with a Speedlite Transmitter ST-E2.


After a tighter crop and basic RAW edit, I actually just used a soft brush with 100 % black and painted out all of the background manually. Not how I would do it now, but it did the job. As a final touch, I used the “Exposure” adjustment layer in Photoshop and set the offset to +0,0051. This dulls the black colour a bit without pulling out any details. I think it gives a sort of filmatic look that I like a lot.

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