Concert Photography Settings Revealed

Concert Photography Settings for Beginners

The correct concert photography settings are key to getting great photos in small and murky concert venues. Unfortunately, the automatic mode on your camera simply won’t do the trick and for a lot of concert photography beginners the journey already end at this early stage. In this article I’ll share some of the basic concert photography settings and I promise they’ll help you to immediately boost your career as concert photographer. Let´s jump right into it.

Best concert photography settings for Beginners

St.Vincent Hombauer

St. Vincent, Nikon D800, 100mm@f2.8, 1/400sec, ISO1600


In Aperture Priority mode you tell your camera the aperture you want to use and the camera sets the shutter speed accordingly. This is a setting I used for years. Why? Because you’ll be stressed enough with all the other things going on around when shooting your first concerts. Appreciate this help from your camera.


“Use fast lenses and shoot them wide open”. This quote you´ll hear a lot from concert photographers. Due to the low light situation on stage it´s crucial to set your aperture to the smallest number on your lens e.g. f1.8 or f2.8 (which reflects a big aperture). This allows the most possible light to enter your sensor and is one of the must-have concert photography settings. The best prime lenses have an aperture of f1.4 or f1.8 whereas good zoom lenses have an aperture of f/2.8. For Beginners on a budget I highly recommend the 50mm f1.8 which is a no-brainer for concert photography.

Read on here if you want to know more about the camera gear for beginners on a budget.

Fink, Concert Photo, Vienna, Austria, 2014

Fink, Nikon D800, 38mm@f2.8, 1/200sec, ISO1600


Have you ever been on a gig where the artist was hyperactive jumping from one side of the stage to the other? To freeze these movements you have to use a fast shutter speed. In general, I try to get a shutter speed of 1/200sec and faster. Otherwise you risk blurred photos. If you are shooting singer/songwriter who are sitting on a chair and barely moving, you can try longer shutter speeds such as 1/60. Some people even prefer motion in their photos, but for my photography style I want to freeze the action and therefore a fast shutter speed is one of my concert photography settings.


Set you camera to a HIGH ISO value. ISO or film speed refers to the sensitivity of an analog film. Today the term is used for the sensitivity of your digital sensor. Start with an ISO setting of 1600. Take a photo and have a look at the LCD monitor on your camera. Is the photo blurry? Then your shutter speed is too slow. Crank up the ISO setting to 3200 (if possible) and try it again. Just keep in mind: The higher the ISO setting the warmer the camera sensor gets and the more noise you will encounter in your pictures. Therefore try the keep your ISO in your concert photography settings as low as possible and as high as necessary.

Learn more about Aperture, Shutter Speed and ISO in this article here.

Atlas Losing Grip

Atlas Losing Grip, Fuji X-T1, Fujinon 23mm@f4.5, 1/180sec, ISO 1600


Set your camera’s internal light meter to spot metering. This takes a light reading limited to a very small percentage in the camera viewfinder. When shooting concerts, you will often find yourself in a situation where the artist is lit by a spotlight and the rest of the stage is almost dark. When using spot metering mode, aim to place the artist’s face in the middle of your viewfinder and you’ll get the right exposure for it. When using the Matrix (or evaluative) metering setting, the camera will take a light reading at several points in the scene and you’ll probably get overexposed faces if the background is dark.


The reason why we have to use the white balance setting is to get the colors in our pictures as accurate as possible. As you can imagine in concert photography, the light situation can be different within seconds. You can change the white balance setting on your camera to different predefined color temperatures. However, one of my concert photography settings is to keep the white balance on auto mode. You still have to ability to change the white balance setting afterwards in post production.


Bonaparte, Nikon D800, 85mm@f2.8, 1/200sec, ISO3200


I always get the question from people asking which gig photography settings they should use. One of the question is: Autofocus or manual focus? I love shooting old analog cameras and manually focusing is a breeze with a Hasselblad or a Mamyia. But not with our DSLRs. Therefore I definitely would not recommend to manually focus your lens at your first concert. Your camera might have some problems to autofocus in very low light situations, but still Canon and Nikon cameras/lenses do a great job. So, set your lens to Autofocus and forget the rest.


Using the JPEG format means that your camera already processes the pictures and you won’t have to do the post-production of your photos afterwards. This format has limitations but as a first step it’s absolutely fine. Why I am not suggesting RAW? For the people who disagree here, I’m a 100% RAW shooter, but I think when starting out, you might not be familiar with post-processing RAW data in Photoshop or Lightroom. I want you to succeed from the get-go and keep your motivation levels high. So, JPEG first, RAW later.

Read on here if you are planning to shoot your first concert!


Dillon, Nikon D800, 70mm@f2.8, 1/200sec, ISO 6400


Set your camera to multi-shot (burst) mode. It allows you to rapidly shoot three to four photos in a row (depending on the frames per second of your camera model). It’s more likely that at least one of the four photos is tack sharp whereas the others might not be in focus. This is not one of the must have concert photography settings, but it helped me a lot in the beginning.


In general you are not allowed to use a flash in concert photography. Imagine ten photographers burst their flashes at the same time. This would be quite annoying for the artist and this might also the reason why they came up with the rule “no flash” in the photo pit. My recommendation is to learn concert photography using the available light. However, I learned that in smaller clubs with low light situations flash can make a big difference. I recently was on tour with the swedish punk-metal Bands Atlas Losing Grip. Using my flash allowed me to freeze the jumps on stage and I was pretty amazed from the photos. Like I said before, I wouldn´t recommend flash in general, but if you know the band and it´s fine for them. experiment with it.


Moderat, Nikon D800, 24mm@f2.8, 1/200sec, ISO6400

Congrats, you made it through my 10 concert photography settings for beginners! Theses 10 settings are no rules that you have to obey, but they’ve helped me building up my portfolio and becoming the music photographer I am today. So, chances are good that you´ll also benefit from them for your own work as concert photographer.

With these concert photography settings in mind you´ll be able to get awesome results even when you are just starting out. So, print out my 10 Concert Photography Camera Settings as Checklist (free PDF) and take it with you for your next concerts.

Let me know which concert photography camera settings you are using in the comment section below.

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  • Lorne

    First with the don’t use jpeg use Raw comment!
    When you start shooting bands you generally wont be required to process your pictures the instant you get home, giving you a lot longer to work on them. Starting out is when mistakes are bound to happen, Raw helps you bump up the exposure and myriad other tools, helping you to get a few decent pics from the off. If you’re learning you may as well learn properly from the start!

    • thanks for your comment Lorne. At least I know how I felt, when I was starting out. I had no idea which camera settings I should use nor did I know about Lightroom. I get a lot of emails and most of the people who are starting out, don´t know how to post process images. Yes, you are right, RAW IS the better option, but for your first concerts jpeg is totally fine as well. For me, it´s more about getting used to the situation in front of the stage and get some decent shots. So, there is definitely more to worry about than RAW.

      • megs

        I agree Matthias, when I started music photog, I was advised & chose to shoot JPG (I knew RAW files & how to process them) but for one I took a GAZILLION shots back then….sorting through that many huge files was AWFUL …Shooting JPG & knowing there was only so much post processing I could do, really made me learn the tricks to shoot properly from the outset & try my best to not have to do anything but “enhance” later… if I wanted …..I tired very quickly of the limited ways I could try to “Fix” a gazillion blurry, grainy, dark shots….(I detest editing….bores me quickly). Re the shutter speed I get by quite well on 1/160 sec though even with super hyper peeps. (Arena concerts I shoot 1/200 unless there is very little light… RAW).

        • Thanks megs for sharing your insights here. I also shoot 100% RAW but, as you mentioned correctly, things get a bit more complicated compared to jpegs. You´ll have to buy more storage cards, a faster computer and you have to know how to post process. Is a great advice to shoot jpeg to learn how to get great photos. If you have to fix everything in post you´ll never have time to shoot other concerts 😉
          Yeah, 1/160 sec is still fast to freeze the action. I guess 1/200sec is on the safe side for beginners.

      • Ok, I might be wrong so @disqus_MatthiasHombauer:disqus feel free to correct me. I don’t think Matthias is saying don’t shoot RAW when you start out, he is saying JPEG is easier to process when you don’t know what you are doing. When I started photography I used to shoot both RAW and JPEG (most Canon’s allow you shoot both simultaneously). I was looking through some photos from 4yrs ago and was shocked how bad my editing was back then but, I had the option to go back and tweak them, which is why I tell photographers I mentor to always shoot RAW, but if it is overwhelming, just edit the JPEGs and visit the RAW files when you have matured.

    • Roxanne

      I know that my camera (and I imagine most cameras are the same) has the options to shoot both RAW and jpg at the same time, so I would recommend this instead of just jpg. Of course, if you use this setting it is going to fill up your memory card really fast, so you will need to make sure you have cards that have a lot of memory, and plenty of them!

  • Recommended exposure mode setting: manual exposure !

    • Thanks Andre. Yes I agree, manual mode is the best option. However I shot in AV mode for years when I started out and it´s a great mode, when you are busy learning all the camera settings.

  • Matthijs

    I created a premade mode for concerts when I started. ISO 1000, 1/80 shutter speed, f/2.8 (my standard lens was f/2.8-4.5), with spot metering, and single focus, burst mode.

    If the light was okay, I changed aperture to f/4.0 for sharpness, but mostly venues were too dark. I changed ISO to 1600, and shutter speed to 1/100 to make it work.

    Now that I have better lenses, it’s easier, but this worked quite well. In fact, I still start out like this most of the time.

    As tip to improve fast: learn to work with Lightroom, and look at the both successful and unsuccessful photos: learn from your settings, and see what is salvageable and what isn’t.

    • Thanks for sharing your great tips Matthijs. Premade mode for concerts sounds like a good idea and I would also suggest to get used to work with Lightroom. Simply the best program for concert photographers.

  • Hendy Winartha

    My camera setting
    Manual Exposure, ISO 800-1600, Shutter Speed 1/80, f 2.8, Spot Metering, Auto/Manual focus, Auto White balance, RAW Format, Lens Tamron 17-50mm VC + Canoon Lens 70-200mm and No Flash! 🙂

    • Great settings Hendy! You are almost using the same settings that I use. thanks for sharing

  • Wmriddle

    I find that my camera settings are closely matched to most folks who have posted their settings yet my iso ranges are much higher being that I choose to cover shows in venues that are in poor or inadequate lighting and so up close and personal, at times I find myself at one with the band and the audience. At times I have used flash simply due to the dread red, orange, yellow, green and blue lighting concert lighting kits which usually run too hot through the colored gel.

    Sadly a great deal of the images recorded are extremely grainey. The upside, the good images produced will be landmark for the venue and the groups fans.

  • Shannon L. Christie

    I shoot the underground scene, so while agree with no flash, especially with venues that have a lighting system, a lot of my venues have one, maybe two lights if your lucky. I find in these circumstances the only option is to use flash. Most of the underground bands that I have shot this way don’t care and have even had no idea you were even using it. These images are usually the one’s I turn to black and white. I use both manual and AV mode, shoot in RAW, autofocus, ISO 6400, shutter speed from 1/60 – 1/250 depending on the circumstances, canon lenses 18-55mm f/4-5.6 and 50mm f/1.8, spot metering, as for white balance, I use auto and tungsten.

    • Thanks for your comment @shannonlchristie:disqus ! If the band doesn´t care about flash and the lighting on the stage is a problem I also agree to use flash for concerts. In my blogpost I wanted to state that flash is normally not allowed in bigger venues and therefore it´s already good to learn from the beginning to shoot without it. Converting flash photos into black&white works great as well.

    • Brandon

      When you do use flash what are the best settings? On the flash that is. Im used to just using TTL mode.

  • wk

    I’m just starting to learn about concert photography. I usually use AV or Shutter priority (at 1/80 to 1/160),spot metering, auto focus, auto white balance, RAW with olympus m4/3 f1.8 25mm and f18 45mm lens. No flash too.

  • David Horrocks all done in RAW but I guess the amount of shots I took to get this (400 shots with around 9 or 10 decent ones) leads me to think I may try JPEG next time. I run a entry level D3200 Nikon, have a 50mm prime f/1.4 and a 30mm f/1.4 sigma lens, they seem to do the trick with my trusty 70x300mm nikon lens (not ideal f/4+) but need to get the 70x200mm f2.8vr for more light in the dark clubs. Obviously the full frame camera purchase is needed before I get the new 2.8 zoom lol

    • Hi @davidhorrocks:disqus, nice capture. If you are already used to shoot RAW and definitely stay with it. It´s normal to shoot around 300-400 pics whereas only a fraction of them are good ones. The 50mm and 35mm are a good lens choice. You can also get the older 80-200mm f2.8 from Nikon. I use this great lens and it cost about $500 on ebay.

  • RebekkahFGP

    I did my first show on Sunday night. I devoured article after article on this site and I can’t thank you enough for the information. I will say I struggled significantly because my camera stopped functioning in autofocus due to the light and i had to use manual focus for most of the evening. I use a D70 with a 50MM 1.8. Highest ISO is 1600. I couldn’t get my Shutter speed to go over 1/120 without blacking out the screen. I really don’t know what to do about choosing a used D700 or a used D750. There’s no way i can afford new, unless I purchase a D7100 but I don’t want to go cropped with an ISO of 6400 and just turn around and have to buy another camera before i even break in the one i get. Any comments you have would be helpul

  • Kevin Albertson

    Shot my first concert this past weekend. Ran into the exact problems you mention…. I’m a portrait/wedding photographer and I’m used to having good lighting and stationary subjects. Trying to get settings right for low light and movement is tough. I was shooting in manual mode, so maybe I’ll try Av next time. I typically pretty good with my settings in M mode, but a lot of my shots came out underexposed (fixed in lightroom, but kind of redundant). Can’t wait to get back and try again. Great article! I’ve added one shot I liked (70-200 2.8 at ISO 2000 and 1/125).

  • Shounak Roy

    I have a limited experience in concert photography….but quite a bit experienced in general photography. I just wanted to add two points.
    I completely agree with shooting aperture priority…as it makes the job a little easier. But I would suggest one thing. We can always use the exposure bias setting along with aperture priority to have more control of the output.

    I have seen in most concerts you cant shoot below 1600 ISO…in some cases I had to boost it to 6400. The pictures become grainy…but then I would suggest to convert them to black and white as grainy photos go well with them.

    Whatever you have said is exactly the tools one needs to shoot good gig shots…in post processing you just need to add some contrast…thats it…

  • Richie Soans

    you say use jpeg, but you also then say use jpeg, RAW later, isn’t that a bit of a contradiction?

    • Hi Richie thanks for you comment. Like I mentioned in the article I would suggest to start with jpeg if you don´t know how to post process your photos. I want people to have success in the beginning and not getting frustrated dealing with post production. Later on you definitely want to switch to RAW.

      • Chris Patmore

        The best solution at the beginning, especially given how cheap memory cards are now, is to set your camera to shoot both RAW and JPG, so that you still have the RAW files to go back to when you feel more confident at processing. And on those rare occasions when there is really good light you can get the JPGs online without having to spend time making lots of adjustments.

        • good point Chris!

          • Richie Soans

            Nope, still prefer RAW all the way, cameras do not have a good way of processing it for themselves

  • Maryelle St. Clare

    I used manual and raw from day one. Once in a while I try Av or Tv just to check, and I never get as good results as I do in manual. As for JPEG vs. raw, well I’d just tell someone that he needs to learn how to process the raw and not bother with the JPEG. It ain’t rocket science, as they say. I think the benefits of shooting shows in raw far outweighs the effort it takes to learn how to process. Anyway, it is completely possible to shoot raw and STILL use the JPEG preview version of the photo, with absolutely no adjustments, except converting the file to JPEG. I often do it when at festivals when the turnaround is very short. So if the picture came out good right off, I just convert to JPEG and don’t do anything else. If it needs work, then I can manipulate the raw file.

  • Peter Sakaniwa

    You suggest to use Aperture Priority mode, but you also suggested to use fast shutter speeds… I dont think I can adjust my shutter speeds while in aperture priority mode – Is there a way around this? Thanks!

    • Hi Peter. Great question. You´re absolutely right. If you´re in aperture priority mode you can’t change your shutter speed directly. What you can change is the ISO setting. Raise your ISO value until you get a fast enough shutter speed and you´ll don´t have to think about it anymore. Hope this helps

  • Toria Lawson

    Because of your blog and helpful tips.. this girl has landed her first real job with Ion Indie Magazine. I just wanted to stop by and say thank you! xoxo m/

  • Trevor

    Hey dude, I came across your website after i got a chance to shoot the Vans Warped tour this year. Holy wow was that amazing!! I did not get photo pit pass so i had to use my Tele lens for a lot of the shots..

    I wanted to say thanks for sharing your information. So many do not want to. I will be using a lot of your tips going forward.

    I am also a Nikon shooter. I am using a D7100 right now but have dreams to upgrade to a full frame body.
    my lenses are: Tokina 12-24 F4, Sigma 20-40 F2.8and the kit nikon55-200 F4-5.6

    Needless to say my dark lighting shots are hurting right now. But i still have made some good captures.

    I will figure out how to shrink the image size so I can share photos with you as i would love your feedback!

    Thanks again!


    • Hi Trevor, thanks so much for reaching out and awesome that you found your passion in concert photography too!

  • Jonathan

    Hi one big question i have is how much to charge for your work. Or for individual photos.

  • Gary Pahlow

    When shooting completely manual I set the aperture wide open (lowest number) and then try to pick a decent shutter speed like 1/200 or higher if very active subject, and then adjust ISO as needed. The problem I am having is many pictures still come out under or over exposed. I try to rely on setting the ISO til the exposure meter in the viewfinder is centered. Is that a bad strategy? I use spot metering as a guide, AF-Servo, and have my AF-ON button set for back button focus. I shoot with a Canon 5D Mark III and mainly a 24-70mm f2.8 or a SIgma ART 50mm f1.4. I normally try to frame my subjects so that the head is in the upper third. So I set my AF area as either single point AF or single point spot AF and adjust it up from center. I then focus that spot on their face. Any thoughts?

    • Hi Gary, your options sound good to me. I am also using AF-ON to focus and single point AF. Maybe it´s better to have a look at the actual photos than on the exposure meter. Set your ‘blinkies’ to ON so you can see which areas are overexposed and set your ISO accordingly to it. I guess this way is faster and more reliable. Let me know if it works for you

  • Oripro

    Hi! So I currently shoot with a Nikon D7000, and have been wanting to get into concert photography, but haven’t really had much of a chance since most of the shows I go to don’t allow detachable lens’! I just recently invested in a Fixed 50mm f/1.8D lens (I’m not sure what the D means?) and was wondering if this was a good lens to shoot concerts with? I will be going to a concert of one of my favourite artists in March, and the venue will be very dark and the set filled with pastel-y colours. Do you have any tips/tricks for beginners with this camera/lens? Of course I read your article and have it saved for when the time comes nearer, but I always get nervous in case I bring the wrong lens and miss shooting it so I just wanted to double check! Thank you so much.

    • Oripro

      (I also forgot to mention, I have no idea how to do ‘spot metering’ and stuff like that, do you have any tutorials on things like that?

      • Spot metering basically means that the camera only takes a light reading where your autofocus point is placed. This makes a lot of sense because the artist is normally well lit whereas the background is not lit at all. So you´ll get the right exposure on the artists head (or to the spot you´re focusing)

    • Hi Oripro, Shooting concerts is always challenging for the camera gear you´re using. As you might alredyd know Aperture and high ISO capability is key. “D” means these lenses let the camera know the distance at which the lens is focused. All lenses introduced since 1992 have been “D.” The newer versions are called G. This means that the D version is older, but I also use this one. I once had the G version and I found no difference. The D7000 in combination with your 50mm is a good combo to start with. You can find my gear here:
      The limitation of this setup is that you don´t have the capability to zoom and that you might not get a full body shot (depending where you´re standing). Is always a balance between getting enough light into to camera and not having to invest in lenses which cost 1500$+. Let me know how it worked out for you

  • Scott Pam

    I shoot mainly in small, b=very dimly lit clubs and have been using the D800 since 7/13. I just bought the D750 and it has the softest focus ever and I think I am done with it. It’s less than a week old and I am trading it in.

    Is there another brand that you suggest that covers the spectrum I shoot? how is Fuji?

    • Hi Scott. Interesting observation with the D750. A lot of concert photographers are using it. Which lens did you use? A soft focus (or out of focus) means that the Autofocus point was not spot on. This might have to do with the lens or a not calibrated camera Autofocus. I had this issue just recently with my D800 and a 24-70mm f2.8 which came just back from a service.

      I think at the moment there is only Nikon, Canon and probably Sony (I have never used one) for concert photography. I have a mirrorless Fuji XT-1, but they are not there yet. The ISO capability in low light stage situation is not comparable with a full frame Nikon or Canon.

      • Scott Pam

        I took it back to the store and they got me another one that IS working just fine.

        The first D750 was defective and this one truly is a beast in low light.

        The issue I have with switching is that I would have to spend $$ on rentals to find another solution.

        A friend of mine is sponsored by Sony and he does rib me on Nikon but unless I get to use it in real life scenarios, I would not be able to make a decision.

        I will stick with the Nikons for now.

  • asdfasdf

    Are you f’n kidding me?! USE JPG?! That is the worst advice ever. Why would you say that?! RAW is always better.

    • Like I mentioned in the text: “For the people who disagree here, I’m a 100% RAW shooter, but I think when starting out, you might not be familiar with post-processing RAW data in Photoshop or Lightroom.” There is nothing wrong when shooting jpeg for your first few concerts. For me it´s more important that people have success and keep their motivation high than getting frustrated with post processing. I agree that RAW is better (not always, e.g. for weddings when you shoot 4000 pics, you won´t have RAW files), but in this case I think it´s a good advice.

  • Alejandro Becerra Monroy

    I like to use flash, well almost 90% of the time here in the venues of my city, the light is really bad (or not at all), so if I want to get something useful, I have to use it.
    So my recommendation if you are in the same situation as I and if you have a FULL MANUAL flash, is:

    Don’t point the flash straight to the artist face, instead point the flash to the roof and use the little white card to redirect the light to the front.
    By doing so, you’ll be able to first; not to blind the artist and second; be able to use the available light there is in the stage and filled it with your flash and get nice results.

    Now, you’ll have to learn how to measure the amount of power you put in the flash and the zoom as well, and those deepens in how close you are from your subject and the kind of lens you are using.
    If you are close and using a wide angle, put the power of the zoom between 1/128-1/64 approximately (being 1/128 the lees amount of power in Yongnuo flashes) and the zoom of the flash between 24 and 35 mm.
    Otherwise, if you are far away the band or subject, the rise the power and zoom of your flash according by how far you are. For example, you are like 10 meters away, you can put your zoom flash up to 70 mm and point the head of the flash a little bit more directly to the stage, also a great reference could be the zoom on your lens, for example: You’re zooming at 50 mm and in your flash use the same number . In regard, the power, you could start with 1/32.

    This numbers are good to start shooting and have some idea how well light your photos will be.

    All of this is only referred to the flash and in your camera, you can use the same useful recommendation that Matthias wrote but just remember that the shutter speed depend of the range of values that your camera is able to synchronize with your flash.
    For example, I use a Canon 70D and the shutter range is between 1/50 and 1/250 tops; all depends your camera. The standard is 1/80 to 1/200, just play with those numbers to discover your camera speed, or read the manual, that works too 😛

    Remember this: Higher the shutter speed number, less natural light will be capture by the sensor and the main light will be your flash.

    I have learned all of this the hard way and I hope this little flash guide helps somebody. Don’t forget to keep practicing at home and venues in order to master the flash as much as you can and you’ll be able get some nice results in crappy light situations.

  • jjoachim

    Hi Matthias, I have a quick question. I’m a beginner and planning to do my first ‘concert photography’ during Adele her new tour. She stands still most of the time and always has a bright light focused on her. Do you think it could work with a Nikon 18-140mm lens. I have seats on the ground floor, row 14. (not mine, but to give you an idea of the light

  • Waki

    Hi guys, thanks for the helpful article. I have bought DLSR recently mostly for concerts and needed some good basic info. Trying to aim for ISO <3200 (not possible all the time), Shutter 1/400+ and I really like shoot wide open with 50mm f1,4. Althought 35mm would be better if youre under podium in small clubs. Spot metering, single point. Sometimes with bursts, but feels like cheating somewhat. =)

  • Mike

    I shot a fast paced theatre performance with the Nikon D500 and 70-200 F/2.8 over the weekend.. Typically 1/400th, F4, iso between 1600 and 10000 iso.. Manual mode Auto ISO.. They all look brilliant! 😉

  • Rogers Gallery

    Hi, I was granted my first photo pass a couple of weeks ago for the Side by Side tour with Dave Koz and David Sanborn (smooth jazz music) and your entire series helped me TREMENDOUSLY!! I’ve been a photographer for awhile and within the last year have been really interested in concert photography and how to have the freedom to go where others aren’t allowed. So, thank you for your great site!! I was just granted my second pass for a day-long jazz festival in October. And since I didn’t have a fast lens, I rented one from Easy to do and I didn’t have to spend $450 for a new lens. For the October concert, I’m renting a lens from a local photo rental place.
    Here are a few from the Dave Koz and David Sanborn concert:

  • Jason Lent

    A week ago, I found this site and took the plunge. Ordered a Nikon and went for it. Shot my first show last night (Adam Ant and Glam Skanks). Didn’t realize the intensity of a three song limit and how many pictures I needed to get in such a short time. Thank you SO MUCH for this blog. It was a crash course in something I’ve wanted to take more seriously.

    • Hi Jason, great to hear that you´re an action taker! The most important point is to actually take action, which you did. Congrats on shooting your first concert and for sharing your experience here. If you want to take the next step you can register for my free video training here (it´s all about how to get access to bigger shows and how to build your portfolio): See you there and rock on!

  • Octavia Lyons

    I have a question.. Well actually 2… First off, this is a great article… I have always been confused about which metering mode would be good when shooting bands performing cause of all the lighting that is use..
    1. Would you recommend Single Focus point when shooting concerts?
    2. Which would be better Back button focus or Top button focus (original focus button)


    • thanks for your comment and your great questions.
      1. I use single focus point since I have the feeling that I can nail the focus better. Try out if you like it otherwise there is nothing wrong when getting some Autofocus help from your camera .
      2. I like to use the back button focus. this comes down to personal preference and there is no difference when using the top button.
      Hope that helps