How I got the shot: Nifelheim

In How I got the shot, Photoshoots

The Heavy Metal Brothers

I’ve been working for the festival Beyond the Gates ever since its first year. When working there last year, the band Nifelheim got in touch with me an hour or so before their set because they needed a few promo shots as soon as possible. So, thinking fast, we set up a “studio” in the backstage area, used their backdrop as a background and some spare stage lights to light them (gel-ed with red, green and yellow). Because Nifelheim may be the most ‘metal’ band ever, I wanted a shot that’s really ‘in your face’, so I went for a very wide-angle and stuck the camera right in their faces. The whole photo shoot was done in about five minutes, but with a band like Nifelheim, you can’t really get it wrong.

Use the slider to see before and after

RAW Conversion

ACR settings

In Photoshop

EXIF: Canon 5D Mark III with 16-35mm at 16mm, ISO 5000, f/5.6, 1/80 sec.


Because of all the different light colour, the photo required quite a lot of work in post. Since red light confuses the camera sensor and ends up being a stop or two brighter than anything else, my main concern was to darken the red areas enough to see some detail in them. In ACR, I mainly did that in the HSL tab by darkening all the reds, but I also used the Adjustment brush extensively, as well. The adjustment brush is generally what I use instead of dodge/burn in Photoshop, so in addition i went all around the photo brightening (mostly skin tones) and darkening smaller areas all over the photo. When in Photoshop, I cleaned up the background with the spot healing tool and did some finishing midtone dodging, and burning in the shadows. As always, the last thing I did, was to add some unsharp mask.

To see more photos from this photo shoot, click here.

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