In the Press

The Guardian: Metallica out on the 'ego ramp': Ross Halfin's best photograph

Mar 12, 2020

This was taken at the last show of Metallica’s Black Album tour, in Belgium on 1 July 1993. James Hetfield, the singer and guitarist, had walked to the very edge of what they called their “ego ramp” [the walkway into the audience]. Because they were touring The Black Album, I was shooting a lot in black and white. I noticed him, with the sunset behind him and the arms coming up, and it became one of my most famous Metallica pictures. It shows the connection between Metallica and their audience – it’s as if they are almost dragging him in. The time of day was important: most bands don’t like daylight, they want it dark. This was shot at twilight, which gives you the perfect balance and that sense of moment. Five minutes later, it would have been dark, and the shot would have looked nothing like that.

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