The last time Lorde toured we shot from the balcony at the Shepherd’s Bush Empire. Not necessarily a desirable location but on a 300mm lens it actually worked out perfectly. Her new Melodrama world tour opened this week so photographers were literally in the dark about what to expect – beyond knowing that we wouldn’t be in the pit.
Tonight’s show was the third of the tour and shooting conditions in Manchester and London looked really challenging. The Brighton Centre is much smaller than Alexandra Palace, so a 400mm lens was actually the perfect choice. The challenge though was the lighting. Beautiful to watch, nightmarish to shoot in – when the lights came up they were never uniform and rarely showed the whole of Lorde’s face. As she also dances and twirls around constantly, getting correctly exposed, sharp shots was tough work – at that distance it all becomes a bit hit and miss.
The show sounded great, and I’m pretty sure the next time we see her will be in much bigger venues. No doubt there will never be pit access to shoot her own tours, so this may be the last opportunity to photograph her in a reasonably small venue.
It was only my second time working at the Brighton Centre and I have to say I was hugely impressed. Helpful, friendly security staff who were unfailingly helpful and accommodating – a far cry from the way photographers are so often treated in big London venues.