Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Camera Settings (Concerts)

Camera settings
I'm often asked about "typical" camera settings, and what should be used in various situations. As such, I've gathered a short list of what I use most, depending on the provided or adjusted light, motion, and overall conditions.

Concert photography, in some cases, can be the most challenging type to capture in image.  Not only technically, but also the surroundings.  Let me explain...  You can have 20,000 screaming fans behind you (You think you can zone it out? try shooting a One Direction concert!), security acts like you have no business there, you get kicked in the head by crowd surfers, the fans envy you, band management rarely provide you with anything more than 2-3 songs to shoot, the band rarely acknowledges you, and seldom are the cases when you have good lighting! Still, it's what makes us "tick", and wouldn't live without it!

As for camera settings... here's a little insight to our magic!

Let's face it, each concert is different, and depending on the music type and artist, concert lighting can "even" or ever-changing, with strobes from the back of the scene, pointing directly at you (example; the recent NIN concert).  So because of this, I usually start in Manual mode, with a setting similar to this... Full Manual Mode, F3.2, 1/320sec & 1600 ISO.  If the lighting is changing at a fast pace, I'll boost the ISO to 2000 ISO and switch to speed priority (TV), and let the camera select the depth of field, while defining a range for the speed.

Full Manual Mode, 200-400mm Lens F4, 1/400sec & 2000 ISO