As an event photographer in Singapore, Concert Photography is a common assignment for me. Concert photography is not an easy thing. In fact, it consider to be more difficult compared with other photography discipline like landscape, street or other discipline of photography. Dimmed-light conditions, un-expected action moments, un-predictable changing color temperature & focus distance and so many other aspects. But what does it mean to me? CHALLENGE!
To be successful capturing good pictures in Concert Photography, you need to be able to operate the camera blindly. Your fingers should integrate with the camera buttons. ISO, speed, aperture, must be operated smoothly and quickly without leaving the eye from the viewfinder. Otherwise, you will miss the moment. So get to know your camera well.
Mode. What is the best camera mode to use in Concert Photography? In this case I can not give a definitive answer. Everyone has their own perception. I myself prefer to use Manual or Shutter priority sometimes. Never use Aperture priority in Concert Photography.
Shutter Speed plays larger role here. Especially in an energetic rock concert. I never use a speed below 1/200. The action of the band would be difficult to freeze under 1/200. In fact, I often use 1/250. This will ensure that you will freeze the movement.
Noise is something you need to live with, for this type of photography, the camera reliability to handle high ISO is crucial. If you think your camera noise is bad in above ISO1600, better get a new body.
White Balance, Auto. I don’t care. I always shoot in RAW because of the color of lights that keep changing in seconds. RAW gives a much wider range than JPEG during post process. And noise is slightly more subtle.
Ideally, I always carry two camera bodies in Concert Photography assignment. One for the wide lens to capture the band in majestic stage and one for tele to capture them in close up. It’s impossible for me to keep changing lens during the show.
Be nice to people around you, especially the security. Respect them.
And lastly, don’t be too caught up in technical stuff. Enjoy the music, go with the flow. But stay alert.
Got comments or questions? Shoot me a message in the comments form below. I will reply as soon as possible. Thanks!
All photos & text by Wisnu Haryo Yudhanto, Event Photographer in Singapore.
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The views expressed in this article is the personal opinions and do not necessarily represent the general of photography rules.