Nightwish || The Grove Anaheim

Next to the Observatory, The Grove in Anaheim is probably my favorite venue to shoot at due to the fantastic lighting, massive open spaces, and accessibility as a photographer. That being said, Nightwish put in an incredible performance at the Grove that was quite refreshing for me. Also, due to the length of Nightwish's songs, I was able to stay in the photo pit longer. Usually the first 3 songs gives me about 12-15 minutes to shoot up front, but this time I probably had around 17-20 minutes.

Coming from Finland, Nightwish has been one of the most well known European metal bands in the last decade. Their highly popular musical style has been categorized as symphonic metal and is unique because of their phenomenal female opera vocals. Lead vocalist Floor Jansen joined the band in 2013 after the departure of Anette Olzon and is currently a permanent member of the band. Having never seen Nightwish live, I had no idea how tall Floor was until I saw her 6 foot 1 inch frame for the first time on stage. She was an absolute pleasure to photograph, giving me so many different faces and reactions along with the rest of the members of Nightwish.

European metal bands, especially Finnish bands have such a different feel from the American bands I usually listen to and shoot. Their chord progressions, vocals, and song structures are completely different from other cultures which truly gives live shows a unique feel. There is more passion from the fans in the crowd and they seem to love paying for concert tickets, merchandise, and the bands albums. I have found that metal heads and fans outside of the US support their bands financially more than most other genres.  The crowd was extremely energetic during the show and Floor Jansen’s stage presence and crowd interaction only helped to improve the show.

For the first time, I experimented with a camera technique called “prisming” where you put a glass prism in front of your camera lens to manipulate the light and image. While I had zero experience doing this, I’m very pleased with the results and will continue to experiment with this. I chose to do this while using my 70-200mm lens in order to blur out as much of the prism as possible. I tried it out with my 16-35mm but I thought the prism was too noticeable in the image. Be ready to see more of this soon!


Shudder Before the Beautiful, Yours Is an Empty Hope, She Is My Sin, Storytime, My Walden, While Your Lips Are Still Red, Élan, Weak Fantasy , Bless the Child, I Want My Tears Back, Nemo, Sahara, Stargazers, Ghost Love Score, Last Ride of the Day, The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter II: Life; Chapter III: The Toolmaker), The Greatest Show on Earth (Chapter IV: The Understanding; Chapter V: Sea-Worn Driftwood)