From The Pit - Attila At Rumours Rock City

Friday night 14th June 2019

A new Rumours Rock City venue opened up at the Hillfox center in Johannesburg and seeing as it was 10 minutes down the road from my house, I had to go check it out. Especially when you had an incredible line-up of local metal acts and a massive international headliner.

Atlantic South Performing Live At Rumours Rock City Hillfox.  Copyright © 2019 The Image Engineer. All rights reserved.

Atlantic South Performing Live At Rumours Rock City Hillfox.

Copyright © 2019 The Image Engineer. All rights reserved.

A few weeks prior, Alexander Wolf invited me to shoot the Brochella presents Attila live at Rumours Rock City Hillfox. Excited to go and check out the new venue (which only opened a few weeks prior to the show), I loaded my gear and hit the road. Upon arrival, I checked in, received my accreditation and started prepping my camera before entering the pit.

The pit was cordoned off in front of the stage with enough room for two people to pass each other, making it a breeze to shoot and move with ease without photographers getting in the way of each other.

While the lighting was a bit dim for my camera, the pit photographers were allowed the use of flash to help fill in the darker areas and bump ISO's down to around 640-800 at f2.8. Bouncing the flash off the ceiling wasn't problematic at all, even though the white ceiling was quite high, the amount of reflectivity was perfect to create a nice diffused falloff of light.

Red Helen Performing Live At Rumours Rock City Hillfox.  Copyright © 2019 The Image Engineer. All Rights Reserved.

Red Helen Performing Live At Rumours Rock City Hillfox.

Copyright © 2019 The Image Engineer. All Rights Reserved.

I would always prefer the natural stage lighting to light up the band on stage and stay away from flash if possible. If we weren't allowed to use flash, however, it would've become a problem as the stage lighting wouldn't have been powerful enough for the cameras to capture anything without introducing a lot of high-ISO noise and blurred movement.

All in all, it was a successful evening capturing the impressive line-up of bands and the crowd's energy and I'd love to shoot at this venue again. If Rumours Rock City introduced the same caliber of lighting as their Cresta venue had, I reckon this would become one of the best concert venues to shoot at in Johannesburg.

Attila Performing Live At Rumours Rock City Hillfox.  Copyright © 2019 The Image Engineer. All Rights Reserved.

Attila Performing Live At Rumours Rock City Hillfox.

Copyright © 2019 The Image Engineer. All Rights Reserved.

Camera Settings:

Canon 5D Mark II, ISO 800, 1/200

Canon 16-35mm f2.8 L II @f2.8

Canon 580EX Speedlite on Manual 1/16th

Special thanks to Alexander Wolf and Brochella for the invite and organizing the pit pass for the night.

Did you watch Attila at Rumours Rock City? Let me know what you thought in the comments below!


From The Pit is a review of local clubs and concert venues.

My aim with this new series of articles will be to review clubs based on the shooting conditions in the photographer’s pit in order to help other photographers by giving insight to different lighting and shooting conditions when photographing concerts.

Check out the full set of images below.