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8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

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Camera Settings for Concert

Photography Beginners

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This guide is intended for concert photography beginners. If you have a DSLR camera and are
interested in how to control your camera settings to take great photos at concerts, this guide is
for you. If you’re an experienced photographer who just hasn’t shot shows before, there may
be some helpful info in here along with plenty of stuff you know already.

First of all: there are no perfect camera settings for concert photography. They just do not exist.

Every situation calls for different camera settings based on a countless number of factors How
much light is there? Is the subject moving? How much of a depth of field do I want? Is it okay if
my photos are grainy?… 1/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

Music photographers are often asked specifically “what settings do you use?” Any concert
photographer, or any photographer in general, knows that the answer won’t be very helpful,
because your settings change constantly depending on the situation. What is helpful is getting
a basic understanding of how each setting works, to what limits you can push each setting to,
and a baseline to start shooting at.

A lot of photography beginners are drawn to concert photography, because it’s an alluring
place to start! You get up close and personal with bands that you enjoy, have the opportunity to
capture tons of “photo-worthy” moments, and get to work on your photography too. Despite
the appeal to beginners, shooting a concert is one of the toughest set of conditions for any
photographer. Very little light, constantly changing lighting conditions, and quickly moving
subjects make it very tough to get great photos.

When you first start out in concert photography, you’ll likely begin with small local shows to
build your portfolio. Sometimes these have some of the worst lighting conditions, making it
really tough. But the good news is no one cares if you bring your camera in there, and you’re
shooting for yourself so there’s no pressure and you can experiment at your own pace!

Thankfully, with the right camera and lenses for concert photography, along with the proper
settings, you’ll be able to take some great live concert photos in no time. If you don’t have a
“fast lens” yet, the Yongnuo 50mm f/1.8 is a solid budget lens to start with as your first lens for
shooting concerts.

A Quick Look at Basic Camera Settings

Camera mode: Manual
Shutter Speed: 1/250 or faster
Aperture: Wide open (f/1.4-f/2.8)
ISO: As high as possible; 3200 max
White Balance: Auto WB
Autofocus: AI-Servo
Drive Mode: Continuous
Metering: N/A
Image Quality: RAW

Camera Settings for Concert Photography

All of your camera settings combine to result in a properly exposed image. Having a basic
understanding of the exposure triangle is important, and helps you understand how you’ll need
to change your settings for the situation.

Basically, the exposure triangle states that getting the correct exposure depends on three
things:… 2/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

ISO – How sensitive your camera’s sensor is to light

Shutter Speed – How long the shutter is open to let light in
Aperture – The size of the opening in your lens, allowing light in

In concert photography, you’re constantly battling to let in the most light possible. So you want
your aperture wide open, ISO high, and shutter speed low… but if you go too far there are
consequences for each of these settings. We’ll go through each setting and the repercussions
of pushing their limits below.

Camera Mode: Manual

Shooting in manual mode gives you the most control over exposing your image correctly. You
want to be able to change your settings quickly to combat changing lighting conditions,
especially when shooting concerts.

You may see some people recommend AV (aperture priority) or TV (shutter priority) modes for
shooting shows, but I recommend against them as you really want full control over aperture,
ISO, and shutter speed to adjust to the situation. There are too many factors to just “lock-in”
your aperture or shutter speed and not worry about them. The other upside is that shooting
manual will quickly force you to learn how each setting affects your image and you’ll become a
better photographer because of it!

Shutter Speed: 1/250 or Faster

You ideally want your shutter speed to be as fast as it can be without having to push the limits
of your other settings to get a bright enough image. If you reference the exposure triangle… 3/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

above, you can see that if you have a slow shutter speed, you’re allowing more light into the
sensor resulting in a brighter image.

But if your shutter speed it too slow, you get motion blur when subjects move in your frame.
This is a big problem in concert photography, where your subjects are constantly moving and
you really need to freeze motion. When the most iconic moments of a set are a big jump or a
swinging guitar, you do not want those images to come out blurry.

1/250 is a good baseline, but not a hard rule. It will capture most motion well, and let in enough
light so you won’t have to push your other settings too far. If it’s a brightly lit show, and
conditions allow you to increase your shutter speed to something like 1/400 or 1/640, you’re
going to freeze motion really well.

In extreme low light conditions, you may have to lower your shutter speed below 1/250. You
can do this, but I’d be very careful about going any slower than 1/100 even if the subjects aren’t
moving much. It’s hard to tell on your camera’s preview screen if you’re getting a small amount
of motion blur, but it will really suck if you get home and look at them and they all lack

Here are a couple good examples of “freezing motion” for an iconic moment.

By using a fast shutter speed, I was able to freeze-frame this jumping shot; one of the coolest moments
of the show. (Hoodie Allen in Silver Spring, MD)
Settings: Shutter Speed 1/400, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 2000
Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II… 4/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

I cranked my shutter speed to 1/1000 for this photo because I didn’t want the confetti falling down to be
blurry. Shooting in manual and being able to change my shutter speed quickly let me get this moment.
(Hoodie Allen in Seattle, WA)
Settings: Shutter Speed 1/1000, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 1000
Gear: Canon EOS 6D, Canon 16-35mm f/2.8L II

Aperture: f/1.4-f/2.8+
To shoot concerts, you really do need a specialized “fast” lens that allows for a low f-number
aperture. They’re often really expensive, but there are lens options for nearly any price. These
lenses let in more light so that you won’t have to make your shutter speed really low or ISO
really high (we’ll get to that in a moment) to get bright enough photos. You can see the
correlation back up in the exposure triangle chart.

You’ll often shoot “wide open,” meaning the lowest f-number your lens allows for. The one
downside of this is that the lower f-number you’re set at, the smaller depth of field you’ll have,
and your image isn’t as sharp as a higher f-number. This can result in you missing your focus
point, but good lenses and cameras make this less of an issue.

Having a low depth of field can be an awesome effect to utilize, even if it means missing a few
more shots. It can make your photos stylized and more interesting, especially if you’re up close
to your subject. It effectively separates your subject and the background. Here are a few
examples.… 5/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

In this image, you can see how the subject’s entire body is in focus,
while the hands ahead and behind his depth of field plane, as well
as the cloud and building in the back are blurry. (AFI in Brisbane,
Settings: Shutter Speed 1/2000, Aperture f/1.8, ISO 100
Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Sigma 50mm f/1.4 EX DG HSM… 6/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

You’ll notice that the drum set and back of the stage behind the
subject are blurry, as well as the front of the stage with the mic cord.
There is a very narrow plane of this image that is in focus – maybe 6
inches or so. You can identify this by noticing how the subject’s face
and shoulders are in focus, but the closest end of the microphone as
well as his left elbow are out of focus. (Letlive. in Perth, Australia)
Settings: Shutter Speed 1/500, Aperture f/1.4, ISO 1000
Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 35mm f/1.4L

ISO: 500-3200
The effect of ISO on your photos is pretty simple; if your ISO is high, you’ll get grain or noise in
your photo, if it’s low then you won’t.

If you’re struggling to take bright enough photos, ISO may be the first setting you want to
adjust. A little extra grain in your image beats having a blurry photo of the most important photo… 7/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

of the night that you’d get from having your shutter speed too slow. Usually you’ll be shooting
with a wide open aperture so you can’t adjust your setting further to get more light; that leaves

Some cameras handle high-ISO grain better than others. If your camera doesn’t handle ISO
well, you’ll end up with a photo that has large, ugly grain that destroys detail and makes it
unusable. Some impressive DSLRs performers on the Canon side include the Canon EOS 6D
and Canon EOS 5D Mark III. With cameras like these, you’ll be able to adjust your ISO to high
levels like 6400 without ending up with an image that is too grainy to use.

Regardless of your camera, I suggest starting your ISO at 500 or so, and then quickly adjust the
setting up to 2000 if you need your image to be brighter. Your sweet-spot should be between
100-1250 before you start getting noticeable grain. You’ll want to test your camera out to see
how it looks at higher ISO levels than that – if it doesn’t look great you’ll want to start adjusting
your shutter speed or aperture to get additional exposure stops.

Here are some examples of high ISO photos:

You can clearly see the grain in this photo, it’s especially evident in the midtones. Even with my shutter
speed very slow and my aperture wide open I had to crank up my ISO a lot. Thankfully it’s still a usable
image, since the Canon 6D performs pretty well with a high ISO setting. (PVRIS in San Antonio, TX)
Settings: Shutter Speed 1/160, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 5000
Gear: Canon EOS 6D, Canon 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM… 8/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

Here’s an image on my old Canon 5d Mkii, which didn’t handle high ISO as well as my current camera.
You can clearly see grain throughout the image, which I believe detracts from how this photo came out.
(Our Last Night in Paris, France)
Settings: Shutter Speed 1/320, Aperture f/2.8, ISO 1000
Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Tokina 11-16mm f/2.8

White Balance: Auto WB

Leaving your white balance on auto is the best thing you can do as a beginner. As you get a
grip on the rest of your camera’s settings, you can start learning a bit more about how white
balance works, and how you can adjust it to get consistent colors throughout your entire set of
images. However in situations like concerts, the lights are often changing colors which make
this less of a benefit. As long as you are shooting RAW and not JPEG, you’ll be able to adjust
your color temperature and tint in editing software like Adobe Lightroom.

Autofocus: AI-Servo
The Nikon equivalent to AI-Servo on Canon is AF-C. This is a continuous focus mode, which
helps to track your subject and focus point as they move through the frame. When shooting
quickly moving subjects like concert photographers almost always do, continuous focusing AF
is a big benefit.

A helpful technique for concert photographers to learn is back button focus, which allows you
to set another button on your camera to be in charge of focusing. Check out my post on back
button focusing where I explain it in detail.

Drive Mode: Continuous

Any DSLR will have a continuous shooting mode, where you’re able to take a ton of photos in
succession. At first, you’ll probably accidentally take photos when you don’t mean to by… 9/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

pressing down the shutter just a little too long or too hard. You’ll quickly learn how to apply the
right pressure to only shoot a bunch of frames in a row when you want to.

This is of course an important mode to capture the iconic moments of a set; a jump, spin, hair-
flip, etc. You’ll want to make sure you get the highest point of the jump, for example, and
instead of just taking one shot and hoping you got it, shooting in continuous lets you get a
bunch of frames of the whole thing so you can select the best one.

Metering: Spot Metering

Your camera’s metering setting has no effect on the exposure you’re shooting in manual mode.
If you’re using a different mode, like AV or TV, metering works by automatically changing
settings on your behalf to get the correct exposure. However when looking through your
viewfinder in manual, the meter can be used as a guide in figuring out how to expose your
image well.

When looking through your camera’s viewfinder, you’ll be able to

find out your metering easily. When the indicator is to the right, your
image is overexposed based on the in-camera meter setting. When
it’s to the left, it’s underexposed.

Because there’s so much contrast between the artist and background, some metering modes
give you more useful readings than others. Spot metering is typically the most useful mode for
concert photography, and it works by assessing how to properly expose only one point; your
focus point. This is useful because your focus point will almost always be the artist’s face, which
is the part of the image that is the most important to properly expose.

Other metering modes aren’t as helpful in a concert photography context. Evaluative (or
“matrix”) metering calculates exposure with your focus point in mind, but also factors in other
parts of the image as well. This can be excellent for other uses, but when shooting shows, the
only exposure reading that matters is the artist’s face or specific feature you want to expose for.
Center-weighted metering measures only the center of the frame. This is also not ideal,
because we are not consistently framing our subjects in the exact center.

Image Quality: RAW

RAW images have some huge benefits over JPEG images. RAW files store much more
information, which allows you to take your photos into an editing software like Adobe
Lightroom and adjust white balance, exposure, and many other settings. This is an incredible… 10/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

advantage! You can get some of your settings wrong, or be slightly off, and still end up with a
fantastic final photo. You’re also able to heavily adjust your shadows and highlights and retain a
ton of detail, which makes editing much easier. Because of these abilities, RAW files are much
larger than JPEG. Despite the size difference, it is not worth shooting in JPEG. SD and CF cards
are inexpensive these days, and so are hard drives.

Here’s a non-extreme example of the flexibility shooting in RAW can give you:

(Left) Before: If this was shot in JPEG, a lot of the shadow details would be completely lost in the editing
process, as you can see most of this image is very dark. (Our Last Night in London, UK). (Right) After: But
after editing, I’m able to bring up my shadows drastically, change the colors, and I’ve kept my highlights
from becoming blown out as well. Shooting in RAW gives you tons of flexibility when editing. (Our Last
Night in London, UK)
Settings: Shutter Speed 1/640, Aperture f/1.4, ISO 1250
Gear: Canon EOS 5D Mark II, Canon 35mm f/1.4L

Camera Settings in Practice

If you put together everything you’ve learned here, you’ll be shooting while adjusting your
settings effortlessly in full manual mode in no time!

When I first get into the photo pit, I’ll usually start with my aperture wide open, my shutter
speed to 1/250, and my ISO at about 640. As soon as the set starts, I will adjust my settings to
fit the situation – if it’s too dark still and I need brighter images, I’ll turn my ISO up. If it’s too
bright, I’ll adjust my shutter speed to be a bit faster. It’s all about experimenting and knowing
how changing your settings will affect your final image.

Thanks for reading! I hope this is helpful for those beginners to photography in general, and
concert photography in specific.… 11/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

About the author: Matty Vogel is a music photographer based out of Philadelphia,
Pennsylvania. You can find out more about him and his work through his website and his blog.
This article was also published here.


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Jack B. Siegel • a year ago

I like the photographs you have chosen to illustrate the article. You've obviously have experience and a
good eye. I also agree with your setting suggestions. My longstanding rule was never above 3200ISO,
but with newer cameras, I have been breaking that rule more often, with excellent results.
1△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Brian Drourr > Jack B. Siegel • a year ago

its getting pretty crazy what we can do now. I was always a crap shoot back in the film days. I
am still not sure how we got the shots back then.
4△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Kirk > Brian Drourr • a year ago

Back in the 70s--800 ASA was the useable max with color film, maybe 1600 ASA with
black and white--and then you were rationalizing "artistic grain."
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Matty Vogel > Jack B. Siegel • a year ago

Thanks Jack. I agree regarding pushing your ISO past the 3200 limit if it can handle it and the
situation requires — cameras keep improving so fast that 3200 is hardly "pushing" for newer
bodies. Excellent news for music photographers like us!
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Brian Drourr • a year ago

I would say that is pretty spot on. It all depends on the lens and camera though. My standard concert kit
is my trusty 6D's a 15-30 super wide 8mm fish eye, 50mm prime and a 70-200 2.8. fast glass really
h l l t I l j t dd d Th t S 360* VR t kit ll… 12/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners
helps a lot. I also just added a Theta S 360* VR camera to my kit as well.

see more

1△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Brian Drourr > Brian Drourr • a year ago

2△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Adam Favre > Brian Drourr • a year ago

Now THAT is an eye catching use of fisheye and the color range is fantastic!
2△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Brian Drourr > Adam Favre • a year ago

thanks its actually a very large panorama of over 30 images stitched. at 30mm.
almost 1 gig for the final 16 bit Tiff file! lol
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Adam Favre > Brian Drourr • a year ago

Oops. Even better. Inspiring. Ty for the direction...I can pano
1△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Matty Vogel > Brian Drourr • a year ago

Thanks Brian. Cool shots! I similarly shoot a 6D with 16-35 f/2.8 and 70-200 f/2.8 probably 80%
of the time these days. The 360 VR camera must be a cool addition to your kit.… 13/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners
1△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

jackharrybill • a year ago

I do a lot of Dance school show dress rehearsals. Constant movement, changing, often poor light. Just
have to shoot quickly, very quickly no time for fiddling about with much. So ISO on auto, limited to 3200
or 6400, TV on a suitable speed 1/200 or faster if possible and away I go. I change the speed as
required when I can but it's a fun time. This is the only time I ever use auto ISO.
△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

gufran khan • a year ago

Hello, please let me knw how to use flash in concert and wht are basic thing to keep in mind
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Roddy McKenzie > gufran khan • a year ago

As a general rule, flash is not permitted at concerts. There is a standard 'first three songs, no
flash' routine.
1△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Tyson Robichaud > gufran khan • a year ago

Firstly, make sure the venue allows it, secondly ask the band. As a photog and musician, I can
say that many musicians really don't appreciate having a flash firing while playing. Depends on
the venue size, proximity and flash power, but as a rule of thumb, don't use flash if you can avoid
it, and if you need it, make sure everyone involved is okay with it.
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MsPit > gufran khan • a year ago

Don't use it. Stage lighting is meant to create a certain effect. Flash defeats the purpose.
3△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Brian Drourr > gufran khan • a year ago

you do not use flash at a concert you just dont do it! it blinds the acts there is plenty of light with
out it and you dull the effect of the lights the performer is using in your final image.
1△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Olandese Volante > gufran khan • a year ago

how to use flash in concert

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This comment was deleted.

vitormunhoz > Guest • a year ago

I'd love to see your 70's photos if you have any online!
2△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Matty Vogel > vitormunhoz • a year ago

And I back this! Would love to see some.
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Matty Vogel > Guest • a year ago

I don't know if I'd be very good at music photography if I was from a previous generation! I can… 14/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners
only imagine the challenges you must have dealt with. And to think people like me like to
complain about the capabilities of modern cameras shooting shows when we're taking 1,000
images a night at 3200 ISO, haha.

I'll use a slower shutter speed in certain situations, but I know as a beginner learning my settings
I struggled with never having it high enough to capture motion with the types of artists I was
shooting, so I recommended on the safe-side. Hopefully that's understandable!
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vitormunhoz > Matty Vogel • a year ago

Ditto! In my case I shoot often above 3200 ISO and I don't think I've ever gone under
1/125 sec. Mind you I shoot mostly rock/punk/metal so no one ever stands still lol
2△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Deirdre Ryan > Guest • a year ago

Please share!!
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alvareo • a year ago

Absolutely do not get the Yongnuo, it's far from a "solid" lens. And ISO 3200 "max"? That depends on
your camera. I know I can't get past that on my 60D, but on a Nikon D7200, D3300, D750, D810, a7,
etc. I won't have any major problem even approaching ISO 10000. Let's remember that technology
advances and you can now use ISOs you couldn't before. It wouldn't surprise me if ISO 12800 was
more than fine in what, three years?
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Matty Vogel > alvareo • a year ago

I agree with you on the ISO, I wouldn't ever put a hard limit on a high-end ISO setting and it
certainly depends on your camera's abilities. I recently got an A7SII and taking it out at shows is
mind boggling at what it's capable of! I feel like 3200 might be a good limit for beginners who
likely don't have one of the more expensive models that can handle higher ISOs very well.

In regards to the Yongnuo, I would also never recommend it if you had a budget of over $100,
but virtually every true beginner that asks me for recommendations wants to spend as little
money as possible. In comparison to the old "gold standard" of cheap lenses — Canon's nifty
fifty — it seems as if the Yongnuo is a perfectly acceptable choice for true beginners who aren't
able to afford any better options ( Think that's fair?
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alvareo > Matty Vogel • a year ago

Thing is, the difference in price between the Canon/Nikon 50mm vs the Yongnuo is very
small, smaller than the difference in optics—I currently don't have, and do need, a 50mm
but would rather save up a little more and get good glass.
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Jeff • a year ago

I find it hard in full manual mode with lights changing every second.
I usually set my aperture and shutter speed but leave ISO to auto.
Then, using back button focus, when I press the shutter my ISO makes up for the changing light.
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Adam Favre > Jeff • a year ago

That sounds like a good idea. One step further in the direction you are headed, is to set the ISO
limits so that you don't have so high an ISO that you can't fix things in post processing. For my
camera, the highest I can live with is ISO 3200.... maybe 6400 in a pinch. I have the limits set… 15/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

and it bounce iso in those parameters while I still run shutter and aperture.
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NJOceanView • a year ago

I have some disagreements with this but only because of my own style of shooting, so I'm not faulting
any of the advice. But I think some of this is way too complex for a beginner. Still, the information helps
us re-think and challenge ourselves, so thanks for the post.
1△ ▽ • Reply • Share ›

Matty Vogel > NJOceanView • a year ago

Thanks for reading. Out of curiosity, what would you tend to disagree with?

I agree that many of these things are not necessary for beginners to know, but after researching
other concert photography settings articles that new photographers might look up, I found that
there weren't many that fully explained what setting you should choose, why, and why the other
options for the setting aren't ideal. I hoped that this piece would flesh out those ideas and help
beginners start to understand the effects of each setting so they can adjust them to their own
style and preference. Hopefully I'm correct about this!

I appreciate the perspective of your response, even if you have some disagreements!
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Robert • a year ago

I think telling people to buy a 50 mm lens to shoot concerts is lousy advice. You cannot assume
everyone has a full frame 35 mm camera. Most of the people I run into at shows is using DX gear (as I
do), so having a 50 mm lens is great if you want a telephoto.

Also shooting at a maximum of ISO 3,200 might be the choice of some, but it doesn't mean that high
quality show photos cannot be shot at a higher ISO. This is a show I shot several years ago for a online
magazine using for the most part consumer grade Nikon gear at ISO 12,800. I think they came out just
fine. I now use a pair of Nikon D500's and have shot shows (metal and burlesque) at ISO's as high as
51,200 with great results.
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Matty Vogel > Robert • a year ago

For this, I am mostly assuming readers are beginners with their first camera, likely a crop sensor.
I certainly wouldn't want to suggest a 50mm to anyone who has a $500 lens budget, but for
those starting out I think it's the best (also only) choice you have if you're looking to spend very
little. Do you think that's a fair assessment?

Those pictures look great, especially at 12,800 iso. If all cameras were capable of that, concert
photography would be much easier! Nice work. I should have phrased it better in the article, but I
agree that there should be no hard limit to your ISO and it should be dependent on the ability of
your gear. I certainly shoot past 3200 ISO when the situation requires, but for the sake of the
audience this piece is intended for, I feel like they will likely be using inexpensive starter cameras
that struggle at high ISO settings.
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Robert > Matty Vogel • a year ago

Thanks Matty, your work is incredible!!! You shoot in places that are generally better lit
than what I have encountered in the last year. Most of the local venues expect bands to
play in the dark and I shot a show where I had no usable shots of the first two bands!!!

I put together what I call my "f/1.8 kit" which is a 20, 35, 50, 85 and a 50-100 zoom. Even
ith these lenses I am shooting at some places at ISO 12 800 and 25 600!!!!… 16/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners
with these lenses I am shooting at some places at ISO 12,800 and 25,600!!!!

Maybe you should expand your article with some Photoshop or Lightroom tips to get nice
images from less than perfect lighting.
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Matty Vogel > Robert • a year ago

Thank you Robert! I certainly understand that, I've been mostly spoiled with the
stuff I've been shooting the last few years but I can definitely empathize with the

That's quite the kit you have put together, haha. I'm glad they serve you right most
of the time. Nothing more demoralizing than whole sets of bad images, what a

I put together a video on how I approach editing a little while back if you are
interested in checking it out -
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Richard Jackson • a year ago

Don't spend all your time taking photos either ;)

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MsPit > Richard Jackson • a year ago

the laws are quite different for video and to shoot it, you need a release that specifically allows
video. If you actually get approved for video, it's seconds or a minute or so; definitely not an
entire song.
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Brian Drourr > Richard Jackson • a year ago

unless its your job to be spending your whole time taking photos. lol ;)
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Rui Bandeira • a year ago

i just dont agree with the AI-Servo mode...and on my Canon 5DmKII i try never to go over ISO 2000,… 17/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners

and i only go to 2000 as a last solution, i prefer 1600 tops.

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Matty Vogel > Rui Bandeira • a year ago

Hey Rui, what would you suggest instead? When my main body was a 5dmkii I felt the same
way, but I've discovered that at a similar price the 6D is substantially better in regards to ISO

Thanks for reading.

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Rui Bandeira > Matty Vogel • a year ago

Hy Matty.
first of all, the 5DMkII was never designed for concert photography it was designt for
studio work mainly, so in concert photography it has some problems that we nead to work
around, the main big problemes ( for me) is the hi ISO and the focus...
the Hi ISO is not that great, and i dont like the results with ISOs biger then 2000, and
most of the time the ISO 2000 images come with noise and with a very sof focus.
Another problem is the most cases the focus tends to be soft, probabli because
of the moire filter and all that other crap they put in the senceros for improving the video (
i dont even use viedo...if i nead video i would get a video cam...cant they just do a cam
for photo? )...and the speed of the focus is not the fastest, and with the stage lights
moving all the time the AI Servo can be rong, so i prefer to use the ONE SHOT mode,
yes some times i lose focus, but with time we get a point where we get most of the focus.

P.S most of my concert photos are for the bands and promoters and some of them are
used for CD/DVD cover and posters so i only deliver images that are realy sharp and in
focus when at 100%
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Rui Bandeira > Rui Bandeira • a year ago

P.P.S loved your work
already sended you a friend request on Facebook some time ago ;-)
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Derren Lee Poole • a year ago

Now write the article on how you do 'gig' photography! A completely different ball game and one I
personally enjoy more as it presents a lot of different challenges to concert photography that make you
work harder for the shot. I'm talking small pub/clubs with little in the way of 'stadium' lighting, cramped
conditions, lot's of shadows and a very narrow area where lighting might be actually any good ;)

*personal taste I guess!

**Good article though!
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Kirk • a year ago

A trick from back in the day of slow lenses, slow film speeds, and slow shutter speeds was
remembering: "What goes up pauses for an instant before coming down." Learning how to handle the
lag of reflexes and shutter release to capture that anticipatable peak moment when a body or a hand
reached its apex and paused before coming back down. Many a basketball photographer learned how
to do that at the hoop. For musical concerts it's easier--most such action is on the beat...if you can keep
time, you can capture that moment.
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Deirdre Ryan > Kirk • a year ago

That's hat I did ith m man al film cameras and lenses I had man indoor basketball e ents… 18/22
8/22/2018 PrintWhatYouLike on Camera Settings for Concert Photography Beginners
That's what I did with my manual film cameras, and lenses. I had many indoor basketball events
to shoot for newspapers using manual focusing and manual flash too.
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Douglas Drumond • a year ago

I just saw this article (somehow badly) translated to Portuguese without mentioning the source here:
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Dominic Ross • a year ago

This will be really helpful when I shoot another Concert, Thanks Matty!
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John_Skinner • a year ago

I didn't agree with quite a chunk of this piece. And with that, they're too many to mention.

If your going to shoot concerts -- go out and shoot. You be the judge of the final outcomes. Because

see more

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Brian Drourr • a year ago

If you happen to be int he North East of the US there is an amazing exhibit of Rock and Roll
photography at the Shelburne Museum .
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Eli Devilska • a year ago

I am a begginer and I will go to a concert but this settings are with f1.8, and my lens is standard 18-55
mm with f3.5-5.6
Is there will more different in ISO and the Shutter Speed if I put the F3.5?
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yat > Eli Devilska • a year ago

F/1.8 to f/3.5 is two stops. Meaning you have cut the light in half twice or 1/4th the light getting to
the sensor. So you need twice the time, shutter speed, and twice the ISO amplification) or 4 X
one or the other.
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