Soundtrack © The Minds of 99 – ‘Hjertet Følger Med’ (used with permission from management)
As you readers are probably aware, I photographed the Danish band The Minds of 99 on their Arena tour. The last stop was Royal Arena in Copenhagen where they played in front of 16.000 people in Royal Arena in Copenhagen on 23rd Nov 2019. It was mindblowing, insanely epic, I am still high from this total peak in my career as a music photographer. I saved every single picture I made of this show because I wanted to do another Every Frame From a Concert timelapse. Press play above to visit or re-visit The Minds of 99 at Royal Arena and see my 2.433 still pictures in a 3 minute timelapse!
- The movie has every single picture related to the actual concert, first picture is from 9.13pm and last picture is from 11.18pm, just over two hours. All the preparations, setup, rehearsals and backstage stuff earlier in the day is not suited for a timelapse, it needs to be an intense continuous period of shooting which the concert is!
- I started the concert with the band as I always do, shot a bit in the pit and then took a staff elevator to level 1 and shot from the side and then 3-4 songs from the back on both level 1 and 3. I already had shot 3 Arena Tour concerts at this stage, so for the grand finale here with 16.000 people it was really important for me to show the scale of the venue and production, to capture pictures from the back of the venue. And the venue is so big, I could not just run back and forth as I wanted, I would waste way too much time so I made a plan during rehearsals earlier in the day.
- My first favourite section is the scissor lift sequence at around 01:13, this just looks sick in timelapse. After this sequence you can catch 2 frames my camera fired off because my hand must have hit the shutter button as I sprinted down the hallways towards the staff elevators at the very back of the venue, to take me down to floor level and straight into the photo-pit to capture…
- The looooong crowd surf sequence at 01:20. Niels Brandt, lead singer, crowd surfed the entire way from Front of House – where he played the piano and then went up in the scissor lift.
- I love the shots from behind the stage at around 01:50 and forwards. The reason I am standing so still is that I am planted on a very small two-step platform that stage manager Mikkel Nielsen instantly supplied for me as he saw me standing there trying to shoot over the bridge on stage – thanks Mikkel!
- The entire sequence starting at 02:42 with the band chilling on the bridge while Niels Brandt does a solo version of Hurtige Hænder is a great little story by itself. You can see Louis the drummer walking across the stage, Søren the tour manager bringing drinks, and Anders, Asger, Jacob and Louis sitting on the bridge.
- Then we are suddenly in an elevator at 02:52! We are taking the elevator to level 1 so Anders can play his guitar solo in the final track from this platform among the crowd overlooking the whole arena. There are a lot of frames here so it looks great in timelapse. I am shooting straight into this massive follow focus light, it flares like crazy and it is hard to see what is happening in front of me in the heat of the moment. I am standing half a meter behind Anders with a 180 degree fisheye lens and just firing away hoping to get something great.
- I do not have any pictures getting from level 1 and back to the stage for the final shots but it was rather epic. We ran down the steps on the balcony level, then jumped over a railing and landed down at floor level. At first, carrying 3 cameras and a camera bag, trying to step over the railing I lost balance and fell backwards. Not sure who grabbed me but thank you! Probably saved me from a concussion. I then just went all in and jumped over this railing into a 1.5 meter drop or so down onto the floor and then sprinted back to the stage. Mad ending to a mad evening.
- Those final images on stage of the band saying thank you just still totally blows my mind. I still cannot wrap my head around what I am seeing, that I was there, and made these pictures. Dreaming out loud. And working hard to make those dreams come true.
- There are 2.433 frames in this movie. There is just over 2 hours from the first to the last shot, so that is a picture taken every 3 seconds. I shoot mostly on single shot mode, except for the very busy sections with lights or movement, so in some sequences there are naturally more than 3 seconds between pictures and in other sequences it is a fast burst shot.
- Photographed on 3 x Fujifilm X-T3 cameras, and Fujinon XF16mm F1.4, XF35mm F1.4, XF50-140mm F2.8 lenses + Samyang 8mm fisheye lens.
- I show RAW+Jpeg and the pictures in the movie are the straight out of camera jpegs, shot with Classic Chrome film simulation.
- No cropping and no post processing at all, everything including the exposure and white balance is straight out of camera.
- I shot the entire show on auto white balance and almost the entire show on auto shutter speed. The Fujifilm X-cameras keep up with mad changing light incredibly well, so I really do not need to worry about it and use manual shutter speed! I simply use the EV wheel on the X-T3 to tell the camera if I want to over or underexpose.
- My method basically is: manual ISO, manual aperture (almost always wide open), auto shutter speed, and I use the EV wheel a lot to over- and underexpose. You could accomplish exactly the same using auto ISO and manual shutter speed, I just like to do it the other way around because, well, works in mysterious ways!
- The pictures are from 3 different cameras, so obviously if I just put all files in a folder the sequencing is all wrong. I loaded all the jpegs into Lightroom so I could organise them by capture time in the Library module. This makes the sequencing almost correct, assuming the clock is synchronised on all 3 cameras. But the 3rd camera with the Samyang Fisheye was a bit off in the internal clock by about a second or two, so I had to edit and re-sequence all the sequence with fisheye pictures. Having to manually sync the clock in the cameras before every gig is a pain, I do not quite understand why these cameras cannot keep time, I have to sync them every time I shoot a gig.
- I then used the export feature in Lightroom so I could re-export the pictures as-is and and in-sequence but using the rename feature in the Export options so they are all named sequentially. This is super important, now when sorted alphabetically in a new folder every single picture will be in the right order.
- Now that the jpegs have filenames in sequence, 1, 2, 3, 4 etc, I can now simply drag all 2.433 jpegs into a timeline in a Premiere project and add titles and music. Timelapse created!
To see my 80 image edited gallery from the tour go to: The Best Of: The Minds of 99 Arena Tour 2019
If you are interested in tour photography, read my massive blog post On Tour: Photography Workflow
Why I love still photography
I think this timelapse and my gallery illustrates very much why I am a still photographer. Some sequences look totally awesome in motion, but I just love composing, freezing and showing one split second in time, one frozen epic moment for eternity.
Did you for example notice this insane frame in the timelapse?
or this one?
I will first and foremost always be a documentary stills photographer. I just love creating pictures of these magic moments, composing and freezing them in time forever, showing you a moment that even if you were there, you might not have noticed at all.
I hope you enjoyed this timelapse, any questions at all, hit me up in the comments below.
Thank you so much to the band, to management, crew, booker, label and the fans!
» To see my 80 image edited gallery from the tour go to: The Best Of: The Minds of 99 Arena Tour 2019
» If you are interested in tour photography, read my massive blog post On Tour: Photography Workflow
My original Every Frame from a Concert: The Minds of 99 timelapse was inspired by fellow X-Photographer Kevin Mullins and his “Every Frame from a Wedding” video. Watch his awesome video here: f16.click/wedding-photography/every-frame-wedding-x-pro2.html