TPF Noob!
Sep 6, 2010
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Does anyone have some advice for an aspiring concert photographer? And by that, I mean I have to shoot concerts for my work. I've shot several bands in the past... Here's some samples:
After Edmund:


Jack's Mannequin:




All of these full sets can be found at

I know that I have a terrible problem with noise in these shots. The first two concerts were shot with a Canon DigitalRebel XT with the kit lens. The random shots were taken with a Canon T1i with a Tamron 28-75 f/3.5.

I have since upgraded to a Canon 50D with a Sigma 18-200mm f/3.5. I haven't gotten either yet, but they should arrive sometime this week.

Any advice is greatly appreciated. I have another concert to shoot this Friday.
get some faster lenses! I've done a few concerts, fast lenses are needed! I have a 50mm 1.4L that works amazingly :) also try some wide angle lenses.
A mix of full band shots and closer shots is a good idea. When doing closer shots, really look for some emotion in the face...this goes for any type of person photography.

If you know the songs, wait for a high note or something the singer will hold. Wait for a long guitar solo where the guitar player is really pushing it. Pictures of singers with closed mouths just looks odd.

Get them doing something, add some emotion to the images.

Get a fast lens. A prime is a great idea, but can be limiting in the venue. I shoot with a 70-200 f/2.8, Tamron 28-75 f/2.8, Canon 10-22 f/3.5-4.5 and 50 1.4. The issue with being new to low light shooting is the venues you will shoot at are going to have horrible lights. Which means more demanding on your gear. As you progress up to bigger venues, you get better lights. Good gear is a great idea, specially a body that can handle higher ISO.

If you click my blog below, the current set is some concert shots from last Friday night. Smallish gig, but not bad lighting.
Thanks a lot for the input! I do want to upgrade to a faster lens, but unfortunately I'm on a pretty small budget and I just forked out a bunch of cash for a better body (which, in retrospect, probably should've come later).

I do try and get full band shots, but both of these shows never really presented much of an opportunity.

I'm heading out to shoot one tonight, so I might post shots from that.
When i shoot for bands i get up close and personal....ill get on stage, behind them, next to them anything. It makes for great shots. If possible get into the venue earlier and IF you have extra wireless lighting take some time hooking them to poles or fastening to things on stage for amazing lighting. It may take you a couple tries to get it right but yeah...looks good though.

quick example
Suffokate @TheVaultTemecula 8/14/10 | Flickr - Photo Sharing!

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