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Thread started 16 Jul 2013 (Tuesday) 13:38
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Beginner advice for shooting concert photos

180 posts
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Joined Mar 2012
Jul 16, 2013 13:38 |  #1

I'm still very new to photography and will be going to an orchestra concert tomorrow night. It will be outdoors and will have venue lighting. My friend will be performing in it and asked me to take some photos. I could just go with Auto or P, though I'm hoping someone can give me some basic tips/advice. I am using a 5DM3 and have access to a EF 24-70mm 1:2.8 L USM and a EF70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM.

1. How do you white balance since the lighting might constantly change during the show?
2. Any best guesses as to where I should set the ISO?
3. Any other basic tips?

Thanks for any info.

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Joined Jan 2013
Location: Montreal
Jul 16, 2013 13:59 |  #2

shoot RAW, that'll solve your white balance concerns

set the ISO as low as you can (minimize noise) while keeping a usable exposure. Shouldn't be a worry with a 5D3 and f2.8.

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Cream of the Crop
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Jul 16, 2013 14:00 |  #3

The ISO should be set according to what aperture and shutter speed you're going to be using.

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Jul 16, 2013 14:33 as a reply to  @ maverick75's post |  #4

Everyone has a different approach but generally with concert shooting I give priority to the shutter. If you don't know how to shoot in manual mode then choose Tv. I set it that the minimum I need to avoid shake with my lens. In TV mode all you need to do at that point is set the ISO to get the exposure you want. If I'm shooting in M mode I generally use the same process.... start with the shutter speed then the ISO. I try to adjust the aperture to get the depth of field I want but a lot of times at concerts I end up close to wide open in favor of keeping the ISO lower.

Do shoot RAW. You'll have enough to worry about when shooting without adding white balance into the mix. Shoot RAW and adjust that later.

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Jul 16, 2013 14:59 as a reply to  @ Mavgirl's post |  #5

  • Shoot RAW
  • Use the highest ISO possible that you have confidence with good results (the 5D3 should work well for you)
  • The 24-70 may well be your best choice for lens, depending on how close you are to your subject(s)
  • The 70-200 with IS will also be an excellent choice, especially if you need slower shutter speeds and there is not excessive movement of your subjects.
IS is your friend for concert photography. Good luck.

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Jul 16, 2013 15:12 |  #6

On my 7D I use M (1/160 Wide open) and auto iso, works fine for me should work even better on the 5D3.
And: shoot RAW.

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Jul 16, 2013 16:03 as a reply to  @ hennie's post |  #7

I don't have a 5d, but I would use your 70-200, av mode, set apature to 2.8, set your focus on center point, so you can have your friend in focus, ai servo, high burst rate, and adjust your iso so that your shutter is around 1/400. Auto white balance and it sounds like you are very new to this so I would just shoot jpeg, and auto white balance......there are 20 other ways and 100 more opinions on how people would do,it, but this is my thought on simple, for someone new. If you then want to get the full orchestra in focus, roll your apature to a higher number, meaning 6, 7, 8, and it would give you more depth of field and greater people in might be able to have a lower shutter speed than 1/400, I am guessing on what movement they might have,,,arms..etc

Cream of the Crop
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Jul 16, 2013 16:48 |  #8

Mavgirl wrote in post #16125759 (external link)
Everyone has a different approach but generally with concert shooting I give priority to the shutter. .

That dude has it right. Hopefully the camera's ISO can handle it.

Thank you. bw!

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Jul 16, 2013 17:14 |  #9

Like taking pictures of moving birds. Shoot more photos than you think. You'll get a lot of blurry ones and some good clear ones especially having to make low light compromises.

Of course my experience with concert shooting was in the late 1970's with an AT1 and Tri-X so maybe things have changed since then.

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Jul 16, 2013 19:41 as a reply to  @ Davidsl222's post |  #10

A search would have produced the thread that I started to address your questions. Most of them should be answered HERE.

Concert results are HERE (external link) and HERE (external link).

Good luck and Enjoy!


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Concert Photography (external link)

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Beginner advice for shooting concert photos
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