How a Mirrorless Camera Can Help You

If you’ve actually gone out and taken photos at a concert, you know how difficult it can be to carry a heavy camera with multiple lenses only adding to the weight. Sometimes you’d just want a smaller, easier to carry camera that can still give you amazing image quality. This is where mirrorless cameras come in.

Mirrorless Cameras Rival DSLRs

If you’re worried that a smaller-sized camera means that the image quality won’t be as good as a much bigger DSLR. However, that is not true. Mirrorless cameras have come a long way in recent years and can rival DSLR quality.

They Can Take Fast Burst Shots

When you need to take some sharp and candid photos during a concert, you need a camera that can take photos at a high fps. Mirrorless cameras like the Sony a9 can do that, allowing you to take a large number of photos quickly so that you can choose which ones work for you.

They Have an EVF

Many people don’t like the EVF over the OVF, but this can come in handy more than you’d think. It’s simply easier to change your camera settings on the fly and see exactly how the image will come out to be through the EVF, rather than make changes and then have to take test shots for the same purpose.

They Are Light and Compatible

We’ve already gone over the facts that it is easier to carry a mirrorless camera because of the smaller size and lighter weight. However, another great advantage to using it is that these cameras are highly compatible with older lenses. What this means is that you can simply buy an adapter, and put any lens you prefer onto your camera regardless of the brand differences most of the time.

So go and buy a mirrorless camera right now, and see how easier it gets to cover your favorite concerts.

Use a Monopod to Support Your Camera

While photographing a concert or a performance at a jazz bar, you usually have to deal with very low and unfriendly lighting. Pictures come out noisy or underexposed as a result. Pair that with the fact that you have to move around quite a bit and can’t use a tripod because of that, and you are suddenly facing a really tough night.

But there is a solution. Yes, you can’t use a tripod at such events very easily but you can always use a monopod. A monopod, as the name implied, has just one leg as opposed to three on a tripod. Therefore, you cannot prop it up on its own and stabilize your camera perfectly. What you can do is support your camera just enough to take noise-free photos at lower ISOs and blur-free photos at lower shutter speeds.

Easy to Carry and Setup

A monopod is much easier to carry than a tripod. It’s also easier to setup because you don’t need to create any space for it. Just put it down wherever you want to shoot from, attach your camera to it and you have added stability in a few seconds. This combination of light weight and small size makes them perfect for concert photography where you have to move around to find the right frame.

Additional Support at a Low Price

Monopods are cheaper than tripods, which makes them even more attractive for people who don’t need to have their camera stabilized on a tripod independently. For a low price, a monopod will offer you the necessary stability for taking photos in low light.
You can use telephoto lenses more easily with a monopod than without, which allows you to take those portrait shots of the singers on stage from a good distance. If you like using an HDR editor to compile multiple photos into one HDR image, monopods play a role in helping you get perfectly aligned brackets for your photo as well.

So the next time you have to cover a concert in tough lighting, take a monopod along. You’ll be able to take much better images, with lesser noise and better exposure.

What Kind of Lens Should You Choose?

A big concern for many photographers who wish to cover musical events like concerts is the kind of lens they should choose. While I don’t think there is one singular lens to cover a whole concert, there are certain kinds of lenses that are best for specific types of concert photos.

For a Wide Field of View

If it isn’t already obvious, you should choose a wide-angle lens for capturing things like the audience, the stage, or a large chunk of the venue. Fish-eye lenses are not a good choice for concert photos, however, as these warp the perspective of your photos because of the very wide field of view.

For Capturing the Action

When you want to capture the action on stage, a fast prime lens is my recommendation. Prime lenses usually have better image quality that those that can zoom in on their subjects. They also have wider apertures than zoom lenses in the same price bracket. And a wide aperture is very useful for capturing photos in dimly lit situations, like concerts.

For Versatility

If you want to carry just one lens, or something that will give you some more control over your camera’s field of view, a zoom lens with a wide aperture is your best bet. The zoom lens you choose, however, should have a fairly wide focal range and a wide aperture. Keep in mind though that a zoom lens with a wide aperture can be fairly expensive.

To get the best possible photos at a concert, I would recommend that you carry different kinds of lenses as these will help you capture a wider range of shots.

Low Light Photography Tips for Your Next Concert

If you’ve ever taken photos in dark environments, you know exactly how hard it is to get a usable shot. The reason is that, with the loss of light, noise creeps into photos very quickly. There’s no need to fret though, because I’m going to share some essential tips and tricks to help you take better low light photos.

While it’s better to own a camera that is made for low light shooting, not everyone has the luxury to dish out a couple of thousand dollars for it. So until you have a camera that can push ISO values way up without allowing too much distracting noise to ruin your images, you need to understand the camera you do have.

Find the Sweet Spot

Cameras usually have a sweet spot where the ISO values bring in enough light into your photos without too much noise. You need to experiment with your camera and find that value, and then you need to always try to stay under that value while shooting. Try to compensate the lack of light with a faster lens and some lighting techniques.

Shoot Wide Open and RAW

Shooting wide open with a lens that has a maximum aperture value of around f/1.8 will provide you with enough light to keep your ISO somewhere between 800 and 1600. However, this will give you a shallow depth of field, so be aware of that. It’s also really helpful if you shoot in RAW, because you can sometimes do miracles in RAW editors by pulling out every ounce of image quality your camera sensor can capture.

So, just to recap:

  • Understand the limitations of your camera.
  • Find the maximum ISO value your camera can handle before producing noise-laden photos.
  • Use a fast lens.
  • Shoot in RAW.

 

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.