Tips for Photographing Concerts & Music Festivals

1

As a rock festival veteran, I've taken hundreds of pictures at music gigs over the years. Let me share some of my tips to get great concert Lomographs!

Credits: stratski

Mind your ISO
A large part of a rock festival takes place in low light, either because it’s after dusk, or because you’re in a tent. Using a flash is not always an option, so it pays to use a high ISO. Especially when you’re using cameras like a Holga or Diana Mini, which need a lot of light, think ISO 800 or higher. Even in cameras with a better lens, like my Olympus XA, a high ISO might just give you that cance to take decent handheld pics of your favourite artist.

Credits: stratski

Forget about the bands
Well, enjoy the music of course. But unless you have experience with concert photography, I’d advise you to forget about taking pictures of the performing bands, unless you’re at a small festival were you can get really, really close to the band. Most festivals won’t let you bring “professional” cameras (i.e. with big tele lenses), so ten to one you’ll end up with blurry, underexposed pictures of the backs of peoples heads with some impressive looking stage lights in the background. I have dozens of those. Some of them look pretty good, but hardly any of them have actual recognisable musicians in them.

Credits: stratski

If you can’t resist, get out that smartphone and go wild with the zoom. Or concentrate on other things, like forests of waving hands, close ups of dancing people, or abstract compositions of stage lights. Or just enjoy the music.

Credits: stratski

Or, you know, prove me wrong and take the best concert pics of your life… ;-)

Pick a theme
A festival is of course more than just the music. It’s a socal happening, with thousands of people: all potential models. Before you get overwhelmed by the possibilities, pick a theme. Look around for cool T-shirts for instance.

Credits: stratski

Or people passed out in the sun.

Credits: stratski

Silly costumes:

Credits: stratski

Facial hair, dirty shoes, kissing couples, silly hats, ugly tats, dancing people, whatever else you can think of. It’s fun walking around in between gigs, looking for themed shots, and it makes for a cool series.

Double your fun
Festivals were made for doubles! Bring out the coloured flash, and create multi layered party pictures. Two or three portraits with different colors always look festive.

Credits: stratski

Panoramas
Panorama’s, Holgaramas, Dianaramas, etcetera are perfect to capture the vast numbers of people.

Credits: stratski

Don’t forget the tents and stuff
Want some cool festival pictures? Those big circus like tents are always good for a few cool pics. Light beams falling in, colorful canvas and flags outside, inflatable art… All of it just begging to be photographed. Use a steady surface (the floor, a handy garbage can, a fence) when shooting inside or after dark for sharp images.

Credits: stratski

Have fun
Most importantly: have fun! Don’t spend all your time looking through the viewfinder, but enjoy the moment every now and than. And perhaps a pint or two.

Credits: stratski

The SuperSampler, the queen of multilensed cameras, is now in black. It takes four sequential panoramic shots on a single, action-packed 35mm photo. See all SuperSampler colours and designs in our Shop!

written by stratski on 2013-07-16 in #gear #tipster #music #summer #tipster #analogue-cameras #rock #requested #festival #inspiration #analogue-photography

One Comment

  1. niko_fuzzy
    niko_fuzzy ·

    I got question. For night shots at festivals or concerts, i'm using old LC-A with 400 asa max, do i use film iso 800 or iso 1600?

More Interesting Articles

  • Meet Our LomoGuru: herbert-4

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-02-14 in #people #lifestyle #videos
    Meet Our LomoGuru: herbert-4

    Herbert Morris has been taking photographs for almost 60 years. From being his family's event photographer, he now acts as one of the community's resident guides who's always willing to give advice—photography related or otherwise—to fellow lomographers. In this interview, Herbert shares tidbits about his life as a war veteran and how being a sneaky photographer preserved the memories of his aunt.

    32
  • A Salute to the Masters: The Mediterranean Sea (A Tribute to Édouard Boubat)

    written by sirio174 on 2015-05-16 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: The Mediterranean Sea (A Tribute to Édouard Boubat)

    This article is a tribute to an important street photographer, Edouard Boubat. His pictures are characterized by great poetic touch, strong social sensitivity, and utmost respect for people and places. Inspired by a book which contains Boubat's photos taken in the countries bordering the Mediterranean Sea, I pay homage by showcasing some of my photos taken within the same geographic area.

    2
  • Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    written by ciscoswank on 2015-07-10 in #people #lifestyle #lomoamigos
    Glastonbury As Seen Through the New Petzval 85 Lens by Taio Konishi

    The Glastonbury Festival is arguably one of the most anticipated and renowned music festivals in the world. It is a joy to be able to watch it, and a privilege to capture scenes on and off stage. Apart from creating beautiful portraits, the Petzval Lens is great for adding an albeit subtle drama to the already spectacular scenes of music festivals. Japanese photographer Taio Konishi photographed this year's Glastonbury with a Petzval 85mm Lens, and here are some of the photos. He also talks about his Petzval-meets-Glastonbury experience in this exclusive.

    3
  • Shop News

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    Explore the New Jupiter 3+

    A resurrection from the zenith of Russian premium optics, get the same elegance and classic compact design as its predecessor. — available in small quantities on a first-come, first-served basis.

  • Leslie Lindell Takes the Petzval Lens to Dance with Native Americans

    written by antoniocastello on 2015-02-23 in #people #lomoamigos
    Leslie Lindell Takes the Petzval Lens to Dance with Native Americans

    Leslie Lindell is a Californian photographer based in the San Francisco Bay Area. She shoots photos of regular people doing regular things, capturing life and lifestyle. A cookbook which contains photographs that she took won the 2014 IACP Cookbook of the Year award. That same year, Lindell attended the 51st Shoshone Bannock Powwow Festival at the Fort Hall Reservation just outside of Pocatello, Idaho and shot some colorful pictures with the Petzval Lens.

    1
  • Analog By Nature

    written by Cameron Jean-laing on 2015-04-17 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Analog By Nature

    It's late October in Copenhagen and summer was well and truly behind us. With the nights drawing in, the chances of going out with one of my cameras was slim. All was not lost at this time of year, however, as it allowed me time to focus on my own personal music projects—I am a professional composer/musician and audio engineer at my own studio by day.

    1
  • Doug DuBois on My Last Day at Seventeen

    written by anamartaml on 2015-09-15 in #people #lifestyle
    Doug DuBois on My Last Day at Seventeen

    Doug DuBois spent five summers photographing the small neighborhood of Russell Heights in Ireland to capture the essence of coming of age: the inevitable loss of youth and the imminent transition into adulthood. Those four years resulted in his latest book, My Last Day At Seventeen. The book is a visual tale told through a collection of photographs and gives an alternative perspective through a comic narrative around the same subject. This creative combination of two distinct narratives in one book not only works wonderfully in visual terms; it also serves as an essential tool that lets the reader dig deeper into the story being told, making one go back to the book over and over again, yet from a new perspective, every single time.

    4
  • Shop News

    Start to Get Wide with Horizon Kompakt

    Start to Get Wide with Horizon Kompakt

    Prepare your overwhelming panoramic views and capture them with this ultra-wide panoramic 35mm gear. Start sharing your great memories with family and friends the analog way!

  • Photo Stories: Snow Monkeys by ihave2pillows

    written by Julien Matabuena on 2015-06-28 in #world #locations
    Photo Stories: Snow Monkeys by ihave2pillows

    Ever since it opened in the '60s the Jigokudani Yaenkoen park in Nagano Prefecture, Japan has been visited by people from all over the world to observe the famous snow monkeys, or the Japanese Macaque. Lomographer ihave2pillows had the wonderful opportunity to see the snow monkeys up close a couple of years ago, and here are some of the photographs that he had shared with the community.

    1
  • Photo of the Day by _baunovart_

    written by lomography on 2016-02-06 in #world #news
    Photo of the Day by _baunovart_

    It took nearly 20 years for this work of art to be completed.

    1
  • Landei and her Weapon of Choice: Sprocket Rocket

    written by lomography on 2016-02-06 in #world
    Landei and her Weapon of Choice: Sprocket Rocket

    Lomographer Carina, or landei in the community, regards the Sprocket Rocket as a "versatile plastic camera." For her, it doesn't only take great travel snapshots but makes an interesting conversation starter as well. In this interview, Carina expounds more on what makes the Sprocket Rocket her go-to camera.

    1
  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

    written by Lomography on 2016-02-06 in #people #locations
    Inside the Closed World of State Mental Hospitals

    Architectural photographer Christopher Payne takes us on a historical journey through the abandoned psychiatric hospitals that were once a distinctive feature of the American landscape.

    2
  • Lubitel Is Back In Stock

    written by lomographymagazine on 2016-02-06 in #gear #news
    Lubitel Is Back In Stock

    No need to miss Lubitel this Valentine's, you budding camera collector. The Lomography Shop is fully stocked with the twin-lens classic.

    1
  • A Salute to the Masters: Santa Barbara 2015 (A Tribute to Bruce Davidson)

    written by sirio174 on 2016-02-06 in #world #lifestyle
    A Salute to the Masters: Santa Barbara 2015 (A Tribute to Bruce Davidson)

    This article is dedicated to Bruce Davidson, one of the most important American documentary photographers and a leading figure of the Magnum agency. Recalling his photos of the Worcester Fire Department in 1999, I'll show you my coverage of Como Fire Department's public demonstration, an annual event commemorating St. Barbara.