Jazz Music Deserves Special Photography

Smooth jazz, there’s nothing quite like it is there? For people who like to listen to jazz music, many other genres are just plain noise. Jazz is a purely American genre of music, which is why so many people are drawn so strongly to it.

Anyway, this article is not about everything that is great with jazz music but rather about how this genre of music deserves to be photographed a little differently than some others. Here are some things you should try incorporating into your photography if you cover jazz concerts or gigs on a regular basis:

  • Get Close to Your Subject:

Jazz music is all about soul. The musicians are so involved with their music that it’s a sin not to capture all that feeling on camera. So don’t be afraid to get close to the stage and take some portraits of the performers. Invest in a fast prime lens with a little bit of reach that allows you to take close ups of the musicians from a good distance so that you don’t have to make your way to the front of the crowd every time.

  • Go Monochrome:

It is true that black and white photography is timeless, and imbuing your jazz photos with this timelessness is a great way to create something unique. A monochrome photo will make sure that all background ‘noise’ recedes from the main focus of your photo – the musicians.

  • Don’t Forget About the Instruments

A major part of jazz music is the types of instruments used to make the actual music. Yes, the singers matter as well, but it’s really the thump of that bass that get people’s hearts going. As a photographer, you should focus on capturing the essence of these instruments just as much as you focus on capturing the expressions and feelings of the musicians.

  • Don’t Take too Much Gear

And lastly, don’t go to a jazz event with too much gear. Having too much stuff will only make you inefficient in your work. Carry only the couple of lenses you are sure you’ll need, and go handheld. Capture those emotions, take pictures of the crowd, get close to the music, and to do all of this you’ll need to be able to move around freely without having to carry bags and cases. Jazz deserves your attention, don’t deny it that because you’re too caught up with heavy gear.

How to Nail Exposure in Concert Photos

One of the hardest things you’ll have to get through as a photographer is taking photos at a concert. The constant changes in light, the massive crowds, and the fleeting moments all combine to make concert photography a very challenging task.

Nailing the exposure during a concert is especially hard because of these factors. However, if you follow a few simple tips and tricks, you might not have to worry about getting the perfect exposure at concerts too much.

Capture the Setting before the Show

You should try to get to the venue of the concert before the crowds start piling in to take some wide angle photos of the stage and the setting. As mentioned, use a wide angle lens for this purpose so that a lot of the scene can be captured in your photos.

If the lighting is tricky, consider taking HDR shots. This can be done by photographing the venue multiple times at different exposures and later creating an HDR image out of them by using a photo editor. If you would like to give a shot to an HDR photo editor, head on to www.aurorahdr.com to find out more.

Use a Fast Lens

If you want to take well exposed concert photos, you simply have to invest in a fast lens. A fast lens is one that has a low aperture value or f-number. So a lens with f/1.8 aperture will have far superior performance than one with a minimum of f/3.5 aperture. Lower aperture value means more light gets into the sensor of your camera, which in turn means that the shutter speed can be kept fast enough to get sharp and still images.


Bounce Your Flash

If the concert you are covering is in a closed space with a ceiling, you can consider using a flash by bouncing it off the ceiling. Don’t use a direct flash pointed at the face of the singer, as the harsh light will do nothing more than ruin your photo.

Don’t Forget to Move Around

Taking photos at a concert, especially one held at night, is all about finding the right light. The lighting changes so fast at times you just can’t get the right frame from where you are standing. That is why it’s highly important to keep moving to find interesting points where you can take your shot from, otherwise you’ll just end up with a handful of photos that all look the same and are probably not very well-lit either.

Jazz and concert photography

No one can speak better than Josh about concert photography. World renowned and all time photographer. With more than several thousand followers, he is a deal worthwhile. Josh would like to give you these following tips to up your concert photography (especially jazz which is one of the favorite thing to shoot for any photo shoot lover) game. Because jazz focuses so heavily on solo efforts, I find myself concentrating on single musicians as opposed to the group effort, but whether you shoot jazz, rock, pop, or classical, certain basics apply to all concerts.

  • Take Permission

For the small venue, It’s better to call in advance and ask whether still photography is permitted.  Photography-friendly venues will allow you to shoot with the consent of the musician, whose permission is generally sought just prior to the performance.   But you need to be clever, so if it is a large venue then you don’t actually need permission because almost all the audience is pointing out on musicians some or other thing. So it won’t be too skeptical unless and until stated that photography is not allowed.

  • Get off your Gear

A fast lens — at least an F/2.8 — is essential. This allows you to capture speedy moments in the quickest way possible. Make sure that the image is not too noisy. Adjust your shutter speed around 45 if the musician is still and there is low light in the room. Take extra batteries. If the venue is not comfortable to roam then you can set up the whole gear for once but if you are free to roam then get some support and grab the best shot. Also, make sure to shoot in raw.

  • Avoid clusters

One of the challenges of concert photography is the clutter that is generally found on a concert stage – microphones and their stands, monitor speakers, amplifiers, cables, and even roving videographers. Clutter detracts from your shots. Try and position yourself to get shots that are as clear of such distractions as possible.