My name is Delta Hughes, and I’m a young photographer with a particular interest in concert photography. My dad is a big influence on my photography as he’s been doing it for a long time, and he taught me everything he knows. He puts so much effort into his photography and making sure his photos are perfect, and I aspire to be like that. The main reason I enjoy taking photos at live concerts and events is because you get lost in your own little world where nothing else matters. I’ve found that my anxiety tends to take over my life, but when I’m taking photos, all the anxiety I feel goes away.

I have found that if I’m going to get the perfect shot, the band has to visibly be having fun. I think that really helps show the atmosphere of the concert, which can often make for an interesting shot. Another thing that helps to get the perfect shot is the lighting. If there is too much red, blue, or green light, it can be hard to get a great picture. However, I’ve found that if there’s smoke on the stage with lights behind, no matter what colour they are, you can usually get a cool shot.

The camera I use is the Nikon D7000 and the lens is a Sigma 17-50mm f2.8. I set the camera to Manual Mode, the ISO to 1600 or lower, and the shutter speed to around 1/160th, 1/120th if the venue is darker. If the lighting is better, then I’ll make my ISO lower. I also occasionally use the Nikon 35mm f1.8 lens for smaller venues, it’s not wide angle but as it’s f1.8, it makes images brighter. It’s not ideal for larger venues or stages, but I use it when photographing at venues such as The Robin 2. 

My greatest achievement as a photographer so far has been winning the Amplified Young Photographer competition. I entered the competition back in May against other great young photographers. They were going to pick two winners to be a part of the media crew, and there was lots of great competition. Anyway, June came, and I received a message saying I had won! Me and the other winner, an amazing photographer named Sian, went to the festival and photographed as members of the media crew alongside some amazing people, and we were both invited back next year to, once again, be official photographers. That is definitely my greatest achievement, and probably always will be!

The most interesting band I’ve photographed is definitely Steel Panther. They are a very comical band, who ensure to involve their fans as much as possible. For instance, they have a song called 17 Girls in a Row and during the song, they invite as many women as possible on the stage, where they dance and sing along, and generally just have a lot of fun. There is a moment during their set where everyone except the guitarist, Satchel, goes off stage and Satchel plays a guitar solo whilst stood behind the drum kit, where he attempts to play the drums at the same time. It’s not hard to tell that they’re enjoying themselves, which is why it’s the most interesting show I’ve ever photographed. 

After I’ve photographed a concert, I upload the photos to my laptop and get straight onto Lightroom. There are four programmes that I use, Lightroom, Photoshop, Neat Image, and ON1 Photo. Using them together allows me to get the perfect final picture. I start off using Lightroom, where I edit the basics, i.e. the exposure or the clarity. I also change the Lens Corrections to suit my lens. After I’ve done everything I need to in Lightroom, I go to ON1, where I can choose the filters I want to use on the photo. I usually adjust the clarity some more. Then, I open the original edit in Photoshop and the ON1 edit, which I copy and paste on top of the original edit. I put my watermark onto the photo and save it. I then open the new edit in Neat Image where I can adjust how much noise is in the photo. I like to have very clear images, so I usually make the noise reduction quite high.

The band I would love to photograph is Black Veil Brides. I’ve loved this band for most of my life, so it would be an honour to photograph them anyway, but I’ve seen them live and their stage presence is amazing, and their fans are so interactive too, which is why I think it would be great to photograph them. I think you’d really be able to capture the atmosphere of the concert, which is what I always try hard to do when photographing a gig. They’re all very energetic and lively, which would make for some great photos, and they usually wear lots of makeup, leather, and awesome outfits so I think it would be great to photograph! 

In the future, I’d love to work as a professional photographer, where I can earn a living and not have to have another job on the side. I’d like to work doing what I love! I’d definitely like to work as a concert photographer, but I think it would also be really cool to photograph for magazines like Skin Deep or Kerrang! I’d like to photograph some of the bigger bands too, like Iron Maiden or Guns N’ Roses.