Concert Photography Tips

Concert Photography TipsSeptember 2, 2013

One of the most challenging fields in photography is concert photography. This type of photography does not allow the person taking the photo to have much control over any of the picture's parameters. There is no way to control the lighting or to direct the person who is being photographed. The photographer does not have access to every angle. Also, the lighting is always changing.

There is also the problem of people at the concert getting between you and the person you are trying to photograph. But don't you worry, because whether you've ordered your concert tickets or right about to, in this article we will give you concert photography tips and event photography tips that will help you to get around the problems we have just mentioned, while also taking beautiful photos that you can be proud of in the process. So without further ado, let's get started.


Concert photography is one of the forms of photography where equipment is very important. Because there is often dim lighting at concerts, you should use lenses that have an open aperture (f/2.8, f1.8, f/1.4). You also want a camera that allows you to take your pictures at high ISO without noise. When photographing a high energy show like a rock band, it is best to use a fairly high shutter speed as a way of freezing the movement of a singer that is jumping or a drummer that is moving wildly. Do not be concerned about taking photos that are a bit noisy. This is to be expected at many concerts. You can reduce the noise when you get home by using editing software. A good program to use is Lightroom 3. This program has a nice noise reduction option. A cool photo with some noise is preferable to a photo with no noise that is blurry because it was necessary to compensate for the lower ISO with an exposure time that was longer. If you find that the noise in your photos is just too much for you to take, consider taking some in black and white.


Selecting the right exposure and the measurement of light are the first issues that photographers have to deal with. Many photographers use the point metering to measure light from a certain point they want to expose. Others prefer to use the evaluative. Most concerts utilize a few sets of repetitive light. Try to remember the correct parameters for the different light. Then when the spotlight hits the singer, you will know the correct parameters for your frame. Along with your monitor, you should also check your histogram for points that are overexposed. This will ensure that there is proper exposure on important objects in the frame. It is best to shoot in raw. This will allow you to compensate if you find out after you get home that any of your photos are underexposed or overexposed.

Using a flash

The hard reality is that using a flash in a concert setting will have no effect on lighting anything on stage. Another issue is when a camera that is in automatic or semi-automatic mode, the camera is unaware that the objects you are focusing on are not affected by the flash. Therefore, it allows a lower amount of light into the sensor. The end result will be a dark stage. Make sure you turn off your flash if you are far away from the stage.

If you use a flash when you are close to the stage, the person in the photo will be bright. However, the background will be dark and the atmosphere will be lost. The solution is to measure the light by the environment until you feel that the exposure matches the atmosphere you want for the photo. Then simply add the flash. This will enable you to get all of the ambient lighting to create the atmosphere. The flash will light the subject of the photo, freezing his or her movement.

Smoke can be you best friend or your worst enemy. If you are taking a photo and smoke is between you and the subject of the photo, the flash will bounce off the flash, illuminating the smoke instead of the person you want to take a picture of. So remember to never use a flash if smoke is nearby. However, if there is smoke behind the person on stage, it can actually improve the photo, creating an atmosphere that is cool to look at.

Hopefully, these concert photography tips and event photography tips will enable you to take photos that you can sell or keep for your own enjoyment. Either way, I wish you luck.

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