Learning from the experiences of great photographers and your “photography community” is one of the ingredients for successful photography training, as well as improving existing skills. In this article Mark will tell you about concert photography tips, its technical aspects and his recommendations. After all, your personal experience can be a great help for a beginner or make a professional look at their work from a different angle. In this article, Mark, a member of the my portrait club, decided to tell the readers of the OrigaZoom about photography of concerts – about the difficulties in work, technical aspects, and also give useful recommendations to beginners.
Many articles have been written about the shooting of concerts, and I will also contribute to the general information flow. Below is my subjective opinion about what is needed for a concert shooting, so there will certainly be those who disagree with it. I will not write about composition, angles – only technical aspects and recommendations based on personal experience. I would be grateful for constructive comments.
At concerts, most people shoot with their smartphones. If you shoot for yourself, this may be enough, because modern smartphones do a pretty good job of shooting in difficult conditions: there is a built-in stabilizer and a good resolution. Many modern models have a telephoto lens and a hybrid camera that will suit different shots. You can take photos and videos from the concert and immediately upload them to the web. The security will not have a question if you come to the concert with a smartphone. And it’s easier to keep it.
But if you shoot with a camera, then preferably with a fast built-in lens or removable lenses and a low-noise matrix (usually the newer the camera, the less noise it makes, and full-frame cameras are also less noisy than cropped ones). The smaller the camera, the less questions it will ask the security (if you are not an accredited photographer). I have had cases when the DSLR had to be taken to the storage room.
It’s easier if the concert is on the street, but in any case, it’s not a good idea to take a monopod or a tripod with you, since they may not be allowed to go to the concert with them, and if they do, it is not very convenient to move around with such a thing in the crowd.
You will need a fast lens, preferably variable focal 24-70mm f/2.8 or 35, 50 or 85mm f/1.8 or f/1.4 fixes will become universal. Changing fixes, and in general, the lens in a crowd is a risky business, and you can miss the frame.
Wear the camera around your neck or wrap it tightly around your arm: An accidental bump from a concert guest can easily send your camera flying. I also recommend bringing wet wipes and paper handkerchiefs with you in case you are accidentally doused with beer or something stronger.
It is better to do basic camera settings before the concert. It is worth knowing your camera well in order to change settings by touch, because the light may not be enough to make out all the buttons you need. In the open air, be guided by the lighting outdoors, but the shutter speed should be fast enough (shorter than 1 / focal lens, that is, if the lens is 50mm, then 1/50 or 1/125 or 1/200). Use burst shooting and continuous focus, if there is functionality in the camera, then focus on the face / eyes.
To shoot indoor concerts, you will additionally have to open the aperture as much as possible and raise the ISO value. Always shoot in RAW (at least RAW + JPG) so that you can extract details from dark or overexposed areas of the frame, and correct the white balance.
That’s all. Happy concert photography.