How to Take Pictures at a Concert

by on Feb.13, 2010, under life, technology, thoughts

My University recently hosted Owl City for a concert here. Tickets were $3, so I bought one and planned on going with a bunch of my friends. At the concert, a bunch of people had cameras because they wanted to take pictures. I’m honestly not very surprised at this. Digital cameras have made it quite easy for anyone to document every mundane detail of their life.

I, obviously, am just bitter because I did NOT bring a camera.

Anyway, I was quite disappointed in how people used their digital cameras, and I now feel that it is my duty to educate the public on how to take pictures at a concert, or any other event that involves a stage and stage lighting. I saw many people take a picture, then look at the result, disappointed. Others will simply get home and realize that none of their pictures turned out very well. Without going into much technical detail, I present to you… how to take pictures at a concert!

The easiest thing to do is to just turn off flash. As soon as a digital camera realizes that it’s going to use flash, it tones down all light sensitivity settings. I realize why the temptation to leave flash on “auto” is there, but your pictures will turn out better if it’s off. Flash is made for very close objects. On a stage, with lights that are brighter than your cameras flash, your best bet is to just let the stage lighting do its work. Objects on the stage are too far away to actually be affected by the flash. Additionally, since your camera tones down its light sensitivity, you’re going to get darker pictures.

Another tip is to turn the ISO up. A higher ISO means higher light sensitivity. However, beware of turning the ISO up too high. Digital cameras often have a lot of noise in the darker parts of an image when using a high ISO setting. Top out your ISO at around 800. Anything above that usually results innoticeablenoise.

However, for best results, you should just use manual mode. Any good digital camera has a manual mode of some sort. Manual mode with manual focus is a very powerful tool. Go learn how to adjust the settings on your camera and use that when taking pictures at a concert. Knowing how to use manual mode properly will ensure you’ll get the best pictures at a concert.

So, the next time you go to a concert… please turn OFF the flash on your camera. It’s annoying, and you’ll get better pictures without it.

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1 Comment for this entry

  • Shelly

    Brilliant post! Thanks! Am going to a concert on Monday & am trying to find out the best way to get pics! We are at the back on a balcony so a fair way away from the stage. Wish you had gone into manual setting more though lol I always use the manual setting on my camera but don’t know have of the settings I’m changing and using!

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