Ten tips for concert photography: Use the best lenses, camera settings and more

You can hear the music, the lights are shining, and the crowd is singing loudly. And you have the opportunity to capture it all. A live music concert is one of the most exciting projects for photographers. Concerts can pose a challenge for beginners because of the crowd, dancers, bright lights and tight angles.

1. Shoot manual mode

Concert photography can be difficult due to the frequent and often extreme light changes. They are a whirlwind full of laser beams, strobe lighting, and many colours. It is more difficult for photographers to keep up with rapid changes and change lighting conditions the more complicated the light show.

2. Get the right lens

A fast lens with a large maximum aperture is the best for concert photography. This will let more light into the camera sensor and allow you to capture the best action on stage or in the audience.

3. Look for a lightning-fast focus

Music concerts can last hours. However, the most important moments often happen in a matter of seconds. You need to be able to point and shoot quickly. A fast-focusing lens can help you to be ready.

Modern, high-quality lenses will have a fancy focus system that can help you capture those special moments. Every brand uses a different name for its fast-focus system. Make sure to pay attention when choosing your lens.

4. Stabilization is the next step.

Concerts are made easier by the inclusion of stabilization. You can freeze moving subjects in their tracks with a faster shutter speed. However, you might still need to eliminate blurring – often referred to as camera shake.

A built-in stabilization feature can be crucial for handheld shooting in dark environments. It will give you the confidence to take photos without worrying about shutter speed.

5. Use a large aperture

Low light concerts should be shot with the lens wide open. A wider aperture allows for more light to enter your camera sensor. This will ensure that you capture all the action. For concert photography, we recommend an aperture of f1.4 or f1.8.

6. Speed up your shutter speed

Pay attention to your shutter speed. A speed of 1/250 is the best setting to ensure sharp and clear performers. However, you shouldn’t go too low to blur blurry images. Your shutter speed will need to be faster to capture the most active performers on stage.

Your ISO setting is very important. The higher your ISO setting, the more sensitive the camera is to light. You can start the concert by setting your ISO at 1600. If you are still unhappy with the blurred images, increase the ISO until it is satisfactory. Remember that your ISO setting will affect how much grain you get in your photos.

7. All the lights captured

It would help if you were prepared to shoot in low light conditions, but you also need to consider shooting when the concert lights will be on. Bright lights can enhance the drama and provide a vital boost for your camera.

8. Click the flash

Avoid flash. It can harm your camera’s exposure settings and will not affect the outcome of your image.

9. Keep your eyes open

The audience, the surroundings or any unique detail spotted from the sidelines are some of the most memorable concert images. The audience is a major factor in the quality and enjoyment of a show. Even performers will admit it.

10. Rock out respectfully

There are strict rules regarding who and where you can take photos at concert venues. It would help if you weren’t expelled because you broke the rules or got in the way of others. Respect others, be mindful and have fun!

Get in your groove

A live concert shoot is a great way to improve your photography skills, discover your style, and have fun. For expert advice on which lens you should choose, visit your Ted’s Cameras shop. You’ll be taking rockstar level photos in no time!

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