A great concert deserves great photos to share with friends on your favorite social network. But concerts are a tough venue for shutterbugs, and all too often those photos are dark and blurry. If you use the right camera and follow these guidelines, you'll do much better.
Get as Close as Possible
There's a reason commercially-published concert photos are taken from the front row or from the stage itself: Whether you have the VIP wristband or not, you’ll get the best shot by getting in close to the action. Muscle your way to the front of the venue. If you’re determined to get great pics, this may mean arriving well in advance to stake out the best spots. If security isn’t cooperating, the optical zoom on your camera is your next best bet, letting you zoom into all the action onstage.
You can’t stop the band and the lights from moving, but you can try to keep your camera as still as possible, a critical consideration in low-light situations. No self-respecting bouncer will let you come into the auditorium with a tripod, but a thin, collapsible monopod might pass muster and will help you keep your camera still. It can also be used as an arm extender, letting you raise your camera up and over the crowd to grab a shot without heads in the way. If the monopod is verboten, use whatever you can to anchor your cam. Support poles, low walls and even barstools can be used to help keep your camera braced and still.
Crank up the ISO
You’re shooting in limited light, there’s no way around it. Tick the ISO settings (which let the camera compensate for low light) up and keep the camera as still as possible. The WB850 supports ISO ratings up to 3200, but don’t start at the top. Work your way up bit by bit until photos become too noisy.
Turn Off the Flash
It’s useless in situations like this. Instead, be patient and wait for the light on the stage to create an interesting shooting environment. Pyrotechnics going off, strobe light effects or even a simple lone spotlight that comes up during an acoustic guitar solo will make for a far more interesting photo. Shoot a lot and discard the stuff that doesn’t turn out.
When in Doubt, Shoot Video
If the perfect shot just isn’t presenting itself, try a video capture instead. This has the distinct advantage of also recording the audio of the event, letting you remember not just what the lead singer was wearing, but what he sounded like, too. Some cameras have the ability to capture still images while shooting video, without any pause in the action.
Photo Credits: Samsung
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