11 music photography mistakes everyone always makes (and how to avoid them)

11 music photography mistakes everyone always makes (and how to avoid them)

You don’t have to have access to the photographers’ pit at stadium concerts to take great music photography. There are some excellent opportunities at festivals and even local bars and pubs.

In her latest post in her series looking at some of the common photography mistakes photographers make, our head of testing Angela Nicholson examines some of the most common mistakes made by music photographers and gives some advice on getting things right.

All words and images by Angela Nicholson

Common Music Photography Mistakes: 1. Shutter speed too slow

11 music photography mistakes everyone always makes (and how to avoid them)

A shutter speed of 1/800sec has frozen the head-banging going on here

The low light conditions of many music gigs can make it tricky to use movement-freezing shutter speeds, which is why many pros use fast (wide aperture) lenses.

Even if your lens or camera has a stabilisation system built-in you need to use a shutter speed that’s fast enough to freeze the movement of the performer.

This needs to be assessed on a case-by-case basis.

A shutter speed of 1/60sec is likely to be fine for a seated classical singer, for instance, but you’ll have to push things up much further to get sharp shots of a gyrating rock god.

If necessary, crank-up the sensitivity setting as it’s better to have a bit of noise than a blurred subject.

If you’re planning to submit your images to an image library they need to be super-sharp or artistically blurred, there’s no middle ground.

It maybe acceptable, even desirable, to blur a guitarists strumming, but their eyes/head should be sharp.

Assess your shots at 100% on-screen and be ruthless.

Common Music Photography Mistakes: 1. Shutter speed too slow
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 2. Using flash
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 3. Focus problems
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 4. Exposing for the lights
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 5. Mic or mic stand in the way
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 6. Shadows problems
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 7. Up-the-nose shots
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 8. Subject too small in the frame
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 9. Shooting JPEGs
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 10. Spare cards not ready
Common Music Photography Mistakes: 11. Failure to edit

READ MORE

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