Those who know me well, know that I'm a one eyed Matchbox Twenty fan. I've been seeing them live for the past 15 years and have around 500 photos for each of the 20 odd show's I've attended. There are only a couple of other bands that I see each time they tour, but when it comes to my favourite I just can't get enough.
There is a difference between what the average ticket buyer and professional paid event photographer is able to do (Todd Owyoung & Matthias Hombauer have great articles for pro concert photographers). For the regular folk, venues either limit your camera to a point and shoot (no detachable lenses) or not allow them at all. One big fear is that you get a tap on the shoulder from security and are told no photos and to put your camera away. Its hard for them to police the camera on your phone, but I've heard of it happening and it makes for very disgruntled fans. Yeah, I get the whole 'no flash photography', because there's nothing worse than being blinded by one flash let alone thousands. Then you have to contend with such things as where you are positioned the lighting and how active the band is. Yes, there are some great point and shoot camera's on the market that can make things easier. I'm quite fond of the Panasonic Lumix range when it comes to this type of photography.
Some tips for concert photography with your point and shoot -
1. Override your automatic flash and turn it off. You'll only capture the heads infront of you if you don't.
2. Time your shot when the lights are bright. No use shooting when its pitch black because that's the image you'll get.
3. Bump up your ISO.
4. Try and slow your shutter speed.
5. Try and open the aperture to allow more light in.
6. Zoom is tricky as the more you zoom the more shake you'll get. Digital zoom is just a nightmare so keep out of that zone. If you are seated way back, try to include the crowd to capture the atmosphere.
7. Play with your 'scene' settings. Point and shoot camera's have some great presets, give them a try.
8. Take lots of photos. It's the digital era afterall.
9. Processing your photos in black and white reduces some of that concert noise and make for some great grungy images.
One thing to not forget is to actually enjoy the show. I overcome this by doing multiple shows but I'm a little weird like that. If you got to just one, make sure you don't spend the entire show behind your camera.
Always interested to hear others opinions :)
Author - Nic Hume
The photography journey. Sharing a bit of this and a bit of that for inspiration!
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