5 Tips to Getting Better Canvas Prints from Your Concert Photos
by Cody Johnson | May 22, 2014 | Advice
taken with a Nikon D300
Although some concert venues do not allow cameras in the auditorium during a show, there are exceptions. If you have a smart phone, you might be able to use this to take photos that rival the quality of most ordinary point and shoots. Be sure to follow the venue rules, and if photography is permitted, use these tips to maximize your chances of getting great canvas prints from your concert photos. You will never have to buy another concert poster again.
1. Know your camera settings in and out.
Can you adjust the settings on your camera in the dark, without looking? Many pro photographers recommend being this familiar with your camera in all conditions, but in concert conditions it is especially important. If your goal is to capture that perfect shot, spend some time familiarizing yourself with your camera ahead of the show so that you can make adjustments on the fly–even with your eyes closed.
2. Don’t use the flash on your camera.
Most concerts are dimly lit in the crowd, but the stage area usually has spot lights and other interesting lighting effects. The bad thing about using the flash is that on most cameras it only illuminates as far as 15-30 feet effectively. For cell phone cameras, the range might be even less. The result at a concert is that the heads and shoulders of those in front of you are lit perfectly, but it’s difficult or impossible to see the concert details you wanted to capture in the final photo. Avoid using the flash and use low-light or custom settings instead. If you can, raise your ISO to compensate for the amount of movement happening on stage.
3. Pay attention to setting.
A large number of concert shots that you see on social media are close-ups of a lead singer or performer. When you want a concert photo to print on canvas, though, setting can be everything. Performers give a great deal of thought to their lighting and stage set up, which deserves to be included in a great photo. This helps set the mood for those who will be viewing your canvas print later as well. This goes hand in hand with tip #2. The stage lighting is your friend. Use it creatively by playing increasing your shutter speed to darken the image for a moodier setting or decrease the shutter speed to let a little more light in. Just beware of how slow of a shutter speed you are using. If you go too low you could end up getting a blurry image.
4. Recognize that timing is everything.
Anticipating the action is key to getting great concert photos and those translate to awesome canvas prints. The best concert photos, like the best action or portrait photos, capture a specific moment. Get a feel for the concert before you try to take any photos so that you can time the moment you press the shutter to the lights and action happening on stage. If there is a great deal of movement and relatively steady lighting, experiment with panning your camera in time to the performers’ movements. With the right camera and the right timing, this can result in more strongly focused subjects.
5. Don’t forget to have fun.
If you are having fun at a concert it will show in your photos. Even if your goal is to get the perfect photo to print on canvas from the concert, make sure that you relax and enjoy the show. In some conditions, no one but a master photographer with stage access will be able to get the perfect shot. If you don’t get the photo you wanted, you will at least have a fun memory if you’re relaxed and enjoying yourself–and practice stored up for next time.
Taken with an iPhone 4