Photographing live concerts on stage can be trickier than you’d imagine. For one thing, the lighting keeps changing (usually) in coordination with the tempo of the music. And then, if you try and control light by using a flash, you’d kill out all the atmosphere created by the stage lights. Here are a few tips to photograph in such situations –
- Never use the flash – As mentioned above, using a flash could give you good exposures, but with very little ambience or atmosphere left to your photographs.
- Use fast shutter speeds – The subjects such as musicians and singers on stage probably move around a lot, so stick to 1/125 or higher shutter speeds. We know this can be tricky in low light situations, and thats why a good lens with a fast aperture can really make a huge difference.
- High ISO – Using a fast shutter in low light eventually spells out ISO of 800 or higher. Again, equipment plays a key role here – read, a sensor that performs well in low lighting conditions.
- Work with the stage lights – Stages are usually creatively lit. Use these lights to get exposure readings. The lights can change in intensity and direction periodically, so observe the changes in light and monitor the trend. You’d then have a fair idea of the changes, and take readings off a ‘averagely lit’ condition when the lights are somewhat mid way – not to their brightest intensity and not too low either. try and time your shots with the changes in light – try and anticipate the changes with the tempo of the music!
- Shoot RAW – In all probability, most of your exposures may not come out perfect. Shooting in RAW mode allows for a good deal of exposure and white balance tweaking in the post production stage.