Concerts are so dark that you pretty much need to constantly adjust and play with lights and stuff.
There’s all sorts of crazy lighting schemes going on and often the band can be drenched in red light or in almost total darkness.
What comes out in pictures is more emotive and artsy stuff than clear crisp pictures.
Almost every picture I like had some kind of colored light shinning in the background, or colored light covering from head to toe.
But concerts are nice because even though you might take 700 shots you don’t have to edit nearly that many because half of them are complete crap and you end up with a mear 300-400 that are bareable and in the end push out 200 that could be likeable because you realize fans really are fanatic and will love almost anything and everything. And that’s mostly who they’re for anyway.
Who knows what other concert photographers are doing, I’ve never looked at another concert photographers pictures a day in my life… but it could be fun do it more often.
My concert tips would be these:
- Have a nice fast camera with great ISO (less grain)
- Get close… preferable front row next to the stage. (Many reasons why most other places aren’t nearly as good… including backstage)
- After you take all your front row pictures try a few other spots towards the end of the show.
- Have a press pass because most places won’t let you take pictures with a nice camera unless you do.
- Edit them to be interesting or artsy. (Like a concert photographer not a photojournalist.)
- Ear plugs… you’ll probably be right next to really big speakers. Besides it’s not like they’ll block the music… just dampen.
- Get close and zoom in.
- Fast Lenses. (1.8 or 2.8 is pretty good)
- Use a flash and set it to low output. (you want the flash to freeze their actions but you want the background colors to come out well.)
- Sometimes don’t use flash and set the shutter speed high.
- If you want good pictures get their early because you really do need to be front row(unless you spent thousands on fast telephoto lenses)
- Get a fast prime lens. (i had a 28mm f/2.8 and a 50mm f/1.8 a 80mm 1.8 would be great and obviously the faster the better)
- Take a ton and then delete a ton. (You’re experimenting at first and you’ll delete a lot of them)
- Even it technically fails you can rescue it as an emotive artsy kinda picture. (meaning think twice before getting rid of all blurry pictures)
- Get tips from A Real Concert Photographer… because i’m not one.