Concert Photo Tips?


TPF Noob!
Oct 3, 2007
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Southern Ontario, Canada
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Hey guys,

tonight I'll be taking photos for a friends band. I've never really taken concert photos, except for a few earlier this year.

I'm hopefully picking up a 50mm 1.4 f/stop lens today, so that should help out.

I need some tips :mrgreen:

edit: Oh, and it's at the Sound Academy in Toronto, in case anyone is familiar with it
Having a fast 1.4 lens will be nice because lighting is not always the best....You don't say what kind of band but the 50mm will require you to get pretty close..

Set our ISO to at least 800 if you don't plan to use flash........but if you do find you have enough light to use a decent shutter speed, set it lower to help with the noise..

Check your lighting first if you can.....decide on if you have enough to use shutter priority to be able to get good definition at the instruments, or aperture priority so you can have some DOF....... If you have to shoot wide open, watch the focus carefully..AF isn't too good in low light. Bracket if you can so you can get the dark smoky look, or a more friendly fresh look..

Take a flash in your pocket too........... using this dialed down and closing a half stop or so will still get you some atmosphere, and having some shots you can count on is better than coming up with nothing..... it's not like there aren't any bright lights and flashes there besides yours..
Wouldn't hurt to have a mono-pod with you either..... Take stuff with you..try everything, take lots of're the photographer, not a spectator...
Hey there. I had been struggling with this issue before but with a little practice finally got some decent shots. Check out my flickr page below in my signature. It's the last dated one.

When it comes to small dark bars the lighting tends to be very minimal or the lights they do have are placed in an unfavorable position or unflattering colors.

I have a D40x which is not the best camera to use in dark settings since the higher ISO settings tend to be a little noisier than desired but with a lens like yours (I have a Sigma 30mm 1.4 lens) you should be able to get some decent shots.

I can control Aperture, Shutter Speed, and ISO with some buttons on my camera. I'll usually start off with my aperture wide open and an ISO of 800. I'll adjust the shutterspeed to the fastest I can get it without darkening the photo too much. If the photo is still too dark I will increase the ISO until the picture is properly exposed. I have my Focus area set on SINGLE which I feel gives me better control of what the camera is focusing on. Sometimes it's hard to stay on the subject if it's moving around so I'll set my AF-Exposure lock to only lock the Focus area and Focus mode to Continous. When I have a properly focused shot I will quickly lock the focus and snap the pic. It's very hard to explain and I'm the worst person to do that but I hope this helps at least some.

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