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Kane Hibberd: The Art Of Capture

After five years of capturing the blood, sweat and tears behind Australia’s annual Soundwave Festival, resident photographer Kane Hibberd has released a retrospective book looking back on some of the more glorious moments from the nationwide tour. Kanye Lens Vs Soundwave Volume 1 features over 600 images, with everyone from Marilyn Manson and Alexisonfire to Slipknot and A Day To Remember getting a look in. Naturally, we deemed it only fair that we get to know the memory creator himself and ask him about his six-month labour of love.

We’re curious. How much of photography can be learned and how much of it comes from real life experience?
I think it depends what sort of person you are, and I definitely think you don’t have to go to uni to be a great photographer; there’s so much of it that is a natural skill. For me, I like to know the theoretics of things. When I do something, I like to know why I do it and why I get the result I do. I’m a bit lazy, so if I wasn’t pushed to go and do these things, I’m not one of those people who would just go out and shoot things myself, so I needed that push to go out and shoot.

With such an immense body of work at your disposal, how did you narrow down what made it into the book?
That was one of the hardest and most time-consuming things. I went back through every year and every photo, and it sort of averages out at about 20,000 photos per year. So after five years of shooting, that’s 100,000 photos. I just went through each show and picked out images that sort of spoke to me, ‘cos that’s what I wanted the book to be about, not about, ‘Here’s some photos of Band A and Band B’, instead I wanted it to be, ‘Here’s some great photos that help you get a sense of what Soundwave’s all about’. So I basically just went through and picked really strong photos and out of one day I would maybe have 5,000 photos and then I’d run through it again and then I’d have 2,000 and then 1,000. Once I got it to about 1,000 with all the years, I put them all into one big folder and then started doing it again so I could weed out any that were too similar. It came out at over 400 pages and I don’t want it to be a book where people are just turning pages just to get to the end of it, I want people to be turning a page to see what’s next.

What do you think sets Soundwave apart from other music festivals?
I think it’s the fact that it’s a community of heavy music fans. Metal and heavy music fans, they’re lifers. They will cling to this sort of music for the rest of their lives. Their tastes will grow and change and they will listen to a lot of other styles of music, but there’s always that staple of heavy music. Whether you’re 15 or 50, if Slayer’s in town, you’re always going to go along and see them.

With this year’s Soundwave nearly upon us, who are you most looking forward to shooting?
I’d really like to get some different stuff of Metallica. I’ve shot them a few times, but I haven’t shot them with the snake pit, so that’ll be interesting to see what angles and access I can get. Hopefully I’ll get around to shooting everyone at least once, but there’s so many bands it’s almost impossible.

Kanye Lens VS Soundwave Volume 1 is out now.

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