5 must-use camera settings for concert photography

With the exception of sunny summer festivals, concerts are low light photography challenges with distracting spotlights and fast-moving subjects.

When trying to capture performers on stage, finding the right settings to balance the dark arena and changing stage lights is easier when you know what camera settings to use.

The correct settings for concert or live event photography will create enough light to stop movement and capture the perfect shot. These are the five camera settings needed to get it right.

The right settings for concert photography

  1. Wide aperture

Choose an f-stop between f/1.8 - f/3.5. Go as low as your lens allows. A low f-stop opens the eye of the lens wide, allowing the maximum amount of light to come in.

  1. Fast shutter speed

To freeze motion and reduce unwanted motion blur, start with a shutter speed between 1/100 to 1/200.

  1. High ISO

An ISO setting of 1600-3200 will help compensate for the low light level. You can try going higher if your camera allows but watch out for unwanted noise or grainy looking images.

  1. Auto white balance

Make it getting the perfect shot easier with the in-camera auto white balance feature. Multi-coloured stage lights move too fast for you to change the white balance manually. And remember, you can always adjust the white balance during editing.

  1. Burst mode

Also known as continuous shooting, burst mode takes a series of photos rapidly. Depending on your camera, you can shoot from 5-60 frames per second. Use this option sparingly so you don’t risk running out of storage space.

Edit your best shots

Pick your favourite shots and make them even better with post-processing software. Adjust the white balance, reduce noise, and make colours more vibrant all in one go. Both Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop are excellent choices for editing your photos and turning a good shot into a great one.

Discover how Adobe Lightroom can make your concert shots poster-worthy in a matter of minutes.