If you are into music and you really want to get a shot of your favorite band on the wall then here are some tips to get the best concert photos on canvas. Getting good photos at a concert can be pretty difficult. You are dealing with several factors that could potentially out of you control. But I want to give you a fighting chance to the the shot you want...something that you could print on canvas and be proud of it hanging on your wall.
First you have to consider where you are sitting. If you are way up in the nose-bleeds then chances are you aren't going to get a great close up of the lead singer. But that doesn't mean you still can't get great wide shots of the entire arena. There are some iconic images of bands and the arenas they are playing in. Take sitting in the upper atmosphere as a challenge. You are getting an aerial view of the whole event. So use a wide angle lens to get the whole venue. Get the laser show from above. Use it to your advantage. If you have a railing in front of you you can use it to help steady your camera to get clearer sharper photos.
If you do score stellar tickets for a sold out show or maybe it is a smaller scale concert and you wiggle your way up to the front you aren't promised amazing photos. You still have to deal with the crowd elbowing you, hands blocking your photo, and even stage lighting (or lack there of). What is the solution to these?
Stand your ground, be patient and keep shooting. I usually keep my elbows out a little while I am shooting. I usually can get a little more space if I "accidentally" elbow someone in the ribs. Their fault not mine.
Not much you can do their but be patient. Remember, concerts can last for a while so hang in there. You can also try the one handed raise the camera above your hand approach. It's not great for stabilizing your photos, but it can get the job done in a pinch. Being tall helps. But even someone who is 6'2" (me) will get a hand thrown in the way from time to time.
In most concerts they won't allow you to use your flash. Bummer? Not at all. Most concert venues have at least some form of stage lighting. This lighting is way better than your flash. The stage light can create some amazing effects in your photo that you would not even be able to reproduce in a studio. So use that light. Turn your camera's ISO up a bit (ie 800-3200 or higher if your camera allows is). That way you can shoot with a higher shutter speed and freeze the action...and possible see the sweat fly while the lead guitarist is shredding his solo. Timing is everything. As the lighting changes on stage it may effect your shutter speed. As will the position of the person you are trying to photograph. Here is where chimping (checking your lcd screen after you take a photo) to help make sure you are dialed in with your shutter speed.
There you have it. Some easy ways to conquer photographing a concert. These are photos I shot at a Jack Ingram concert. I didn't have front row tickets, but I did manage to jostle a little closer to get these photos. For bands and artists who aren't necessarily "huge" names you might be able to get away with this....at your own risk.