Some would feel like drowning in it, others would say it is like a dimension from which you can’t wake up.
Photography is like music, you compose the shot, adjust the rhythm of the frame, and click to capture.
It has rules, but sometimes, you need to break them, and go beyond what’s familiar and known. Sometimes, you need to let go and go by sense.
Much like an eye, you set the blinking of an eye shutter speed to get a blurred image or a perfectly still image while opening the eye aperture to its smallest value to get shallow depth of field or a greater depth of field.
Photography is not always about capturing a transient moment to last forever, it’s also about capturing a state of mind. When you experience going to a concert and trying to capture the bands’ moods while playing, it only reflects how you feel and how your eyes see it.
We’re all addicted to something that takes our pain away.
Concert photography is one of the most challenging fields of photography, because the lighting is crazy, it changes all the time. Therefore, you’re stuck in low light situations, and fast moving objects.
I’ll tackle each situation and how to fix any problems you’re facing.
1. Get the exposure right:
Always shoot on manual mode. Through trial and error, you’ll lose your fear of it. I, personally, prefer spot metering and then see how much overexposure or underexposure is needed for different parts of the stage. Through time and practice, you’ll begin to estimate the right settings needed for your vision. And because the stage lights are changing rapidly and you’ll never know if the lights will hit the artists face in the next second or not. Sometimes, you’ll go for evaluative/matrix metering if you’re shooting wide open, especially when there are multiple subjects at different distances from the camera in focus. You may vary your aperture, ISO and shutter speed relationship accordingly while keeping the optimal exposure in mind. For example:
(f4.5, Shutter speed: 1/30, ISO 4000)
2. Don’t be afraid to pop up your ISO:
Although it’s one of the things people may tell you not to do, it sure works with concert photography. Since high ISO results in grain effect, producing noise into the image, which helps with the overall mood of the picture.
(f9.5, Shutter Speed: 1/45, ISO 6400)
3. Use your body as a tripod:
Ditch the tripod at a concert photography, since you will be moving around a lot, a tripod will only weigh you down. Learn how to stand still, hold the camera against your body and use your torso as a tripod.
(f4.5, Shutter Speed: 1/90, ISO 6400)
4. Long Exposure:
The long exposure trick can get you a psychedelic fast moving theme along with the music. Let the image speak for itself.
(f4.5, Shutter Speed: 0.7, ISO 100)
You can use accessories like a mirror
(f9.5, Shutter speed: 1/125, ISO 3200)
Stay tuned for more tips and tricks in part two of this article. I’ll tackle even more shenanigans that will hopefully be to your liking.
Written by: Dina Yakout