“Two and three, no flash!”

The outcome of three Roxette concerts from a TDR photographer’s point of view. Then there are around 100 photos to look at thus it might take a second to load this page. We think it’s worth it, though.

The Daily Roxette covers selected concerts of the ongoing Roxette tour for you. We do this not only by providing you with written articles and status updates on our Facebook page but we always try to set the focus on visual messages as well. So most of the time when a TDR staff member goes to a concert, there will be photos. Lots of them usually, of which we mostly only show a small selection. The rest ends up in our image archives, to be used later to illustrate other articles. Also, Roxette and their management have used our photos and videos many times in their album sleeves and booklets, EPKs, tour programmes, posters and merchandising articles, among others (soon more about this topic.) Today, we’re opening these TDR archives a bit and show you what we have managed to capture during the recent concerts in Warsaw, Berlin and Dresden. More concerts to follow, for sure.

A small technical sidenote: We along with photographers from the local press are permitted to shoot only two songs per concert, “The Big L.” and “Stars”, no flashes are allowed (thus “Two and three, no flash!”, this is what you get told each time). That’s why most of the photos you have seen on various websites always show the same motives. During “The Big L.”, the stage is lit up with very red light which certainly fits the song but challenges camera sensors a lot. “Stars”, to the contrary, features a very cold light. With this knowledge now you can find out yourselves which photo belongs to which song.

Working as a stage photographer is fun and a tough job at the same time. You have like eight minutes to take the pictures you need. No rehearsal, no repeats. Light situations change every second, artists on stage are permanently on the move. The colleagues from the local press are mostly only there to capture this one moment when Marie and Per stand close enough to each other to fit on the same photo, then they transfer this file to their bosses and are done. Unlike we from TDR they don’t care about the other band members or other, more subtle motives. Still you have to make your way through them although the photo pit directly in front of the stage is very narrow, full of  cables, guards, fences, photo bags, tour managers and other obstacles because you know that in two seconds, Per will run over to Christoffer, then they would pose like rockers and you want to have that shot. Of course, then you need to set the focus of your camera first (and be told that in these light conditions and with the lenses we use you need to work very precisely, an object only 5 cm in front of or behind your focussed point is already unsharp) and because Per never stops moving you’re adjusting the focus all the time, along with the exposure because you find out that this spotlight in the background shines directly into your lens and messes up the camera settings now. Just a second later, Dea and Marie sing a duet which makes for a nice view and you want to capture this motive as well so you run to the center of the stage now where you find out that the 6 other photographers have never moved away from there so you need to find your own little space between them. Best before Dea moves away again. And no, when you’re really into it you don’t actually hear the music. You know roughly in which song you are and that you have maybe 30 seconds before the photo pit has to be left again and you have to leave the venue as well because your camera gear is not allowed inside from now on anymore. Good that you came a couple of hours earlier this afternoon to find a parking place close to the exit where you can store your camera and then run back to see the rest of the concert, certainly not from the front rows then. If you’re lucky you only missed one song before you’re back. Maybe two.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s all huge fun. Really. I could do this every day although of course with the time the motives may get a bit boring because you really only have always the same two songs to capture in which always the same happens. After a little while you learn this choreography and you know what would happen next. It’s great that everyone in the band uses these two songs to strike every possible kind of poses, so you always get a certain variety of motives when you’re at the right place in time. This band is indeed a very challenging but also rewarding motive. It’s these moments when Marie looks directly into your camera for a couple of seconds or Per comes very close to the edge of the stage to play his guitar right in front of you that make you smile. Thanks for that, by the way.

Also, I would like to thank Roxette’s manager, Marie Dimberg, who so flawlessly organised all the photo passes in time.

Well, and here come the photos from Warsaw, Berlin and Dresden, eventually.

As the thumbnails are rather mashed-up we encourage you to click the photos to see them full-screen.



June 22, 2015: Torwar in Warsaw, Poland (46 photos)


June 27, 2015: O2 World in Berlin, Germany (34 photos)


June 28, 2015: Elbuferwiesen in Dresden, Germany (24 photos)

  ★ The author:
Kai-Uwe Heinze

  ★ Publishing date:

July 1st, 2015

Internal reference code for TDR's Good Reporters: [tdr 951708]

This article was posted here on TDR in these categories:

TDR:Editorial, TDR:Live, TDR:Roxette.

  ★ Read more about...

  • Heartland

    Great photos of both the band and the audience! Thanks for sharing and keep up the good work!

  • Thanks for the insights. I was in the audience in Dresden and – as always – had to discuss my camera specifications with the security (he wanted to to know what my zoom range was and I explained that prime lenses don’t have ANY zoom at all I was allowed to keep it on me, while I doubt they understood a word from what I said 😉
    Beeing a musician myself it’s no question that I would never fire a flash towards a stage, it’s not only annoying but in most cases completely pointless.
    I always was a bit jealous of you folks in the security photo pit but not so much anymore after having learned that you must leave with your gear completely after two songs. So I guess I had a worse location to shoot from (too far away from Marie, sadly, so I have no decent pictures of her) but I had all the time in the world ;-.)

    Today I was thrilled to see that Roxette’s official instagram account liked my pictures.

    • Kai-Uwe Heinze

      Usually, the rule is that you can’t bring cameras with detachable lenses with you. Security staff rarely knows the difference between lens types, so there is trouble ahead. Re flashes: Professional flashes are powerful enough to make a difference on stage even though they will destroy the light setting in the photo. Photographers for news agencies are not after arty motives with red or blue lights, they just want to capture the singer’s face unblurred, and using a flash would sometimes look like the easiest way to achieve this but I think it’s mostly the beginners or people sent by the promoting radio stations taking photos at the stage for the first time at all who need to be told not to use flashes.
      Yes, having to leave the pit is the worst part, not because you have to exit and return but because for the rest of the concert you keep thinking “Arrgh, what a great scene there- If I only had my camera now!”.

      • Guess I violated the no-detachable-lenses rule then 😉 I told the guy I was pretty sure the rule is “no dslr”, so my microfourthird (OMD EM10) is okay… lucky me!

        More photo nerd talk while we at it: I was pleased to see their offical photographer not only had is huge DSLRs but also a Fuji X100T around his neck, a man with good taste 😉

        And of course, thank you for your excellent images!

        • Kai-Uwe Heinze

          Oh, yes, the Fuji Anders wore around the neck, I saw it too. Well, the Fuji is a sweet little monster. High ISO range, sharp lens, very good for low light situations. But I think the actual reason he uses it is that there is a difference between pointing a DSLR with huge zoom lens or an innocently looking compact camera at somebody. If I had to shoot informally looking backstage photos I knew which camera to choose.

          • exactly the reason why I have an X100 (no S, no T), you can go stealth with a silent mode and blend in with the scenery. And of course it’s just a beautiful piece of machinery…

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