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100 Action Packed Concert & Gig Photographs

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Concerts provide a rich atmosphere for any artist. The sights, the sounds, the people and the excitement-charged atmosphere all come together to create unforgettable experiences. Today we'll discuss how you can effectively capture these events using your DSLR, and also take a look at 100 photos that you can use as inspiration for your own live concert shoots!


Hints & Tips For Shooting Live Concerts

So you're going to a concert and hoping to get a few good shots? Think again. Shooting a live concert can be one of the most difficult tasks for a photographer. Poor vantage points, dark rooms, wildly varying lighting conditions, unpredictable facial expressions and constant motion all stack the odds against your favor.

The key here is to use all of these cons in your favor and turn them into pros. For instance, use poor lighting to capture amazing silhouettes, your cheap seat in the back to grab sweeping shots of the arena and the constant motion of the artists to experiment with intentional blur. Think about what you're experiencing and how to translate that artistically into an image without necessarily being too literal.

concert and gig photography

Some general tips for shooting under these constraints include keeping your ISO high and your aperture open. This will help you pull in as much light as possible. Battling this is going to be your need to keep your shutter speed as quick as possible to capture the ever moving subjects on the stage without too much blurring. You'll have to experiment a lot with different combinations to see what works best in your specific venue.

Depending on where you'll be sitting, you'll definitely want to pack a lens with a hefty zoom and preferably one that will allow a fairly wide open aperture (just beware of a shallow DOF). If you can afford it, a 70-200mm f/2.8 should work brilliantly.

If there's a light show wreaking havoc on your settings, consider shooting in AV so that the camera quickly adjusts the shutter speed based on its own readings. One last trick that you'll see quite a bit from dark shoots: if you find that your images have too much color noise from cranking up your ISO, try converting them to black and white. What appears ugly and accidental in a color shot can often appear classy and deliberate in black and white.

Bottom line, just remember that it's going to be extremely difficult to get anything amazing, even if you don't normally have trouble producing stunning shots. Don't expect to figure it all out right away or to walk out with hundreds of professional grade shots. Even many of the photos below are great in composition while suffering from noise or lighting issues (or vice versa). Try to have fun experimenting and learning about how your camera resounds to the environment.

Need some more advice? Here are a few great places to start:


100 Live Show and Concert Shots

AC DC Concert Stage (Montreal) - Colorful Lights

concert and gig photography

Coldplay Concert Stage (Osheaga 2009) with Fireworks & Butterflies

concert and gig photography

Bryan Adams Concert Stage

concert and gig photography

KISS Concert in Montreal - Kiss Alive 35 Tour

concert and gig photography

Van Halen Concert - Remote Controlled Helium Blimp

concert and gig photography

Beyonce Concert - BBC TVC - London

concert and gig photography

Franz Ferdinand Live Concert @AB Brussels Tour Gig-68

concert and gig photography

Beyoncé Concert

concert and gig photography

Britney Spears Concert - Sparks Falling on Stage

concert and gig photography

Glee- (Choir Concert Weekend, 05-06/02/2006)

concert and gig photography

Nazippé

concert and gig photography

Hands in the air - in concert

concert and gig photography

in Concert - blue

concert and gig photography

PJ Harvey

concert and gig photography

U2 - Croke Park - Dublin - 27 July 2009

concert and gig photography

Wygraj Sukces 2007 - Fram #1

concert and gig photography

To Excel and Ascend

concert and gig photography

Harmonica Hands

concert and gig photography

Sing it

concert and gig photography

guitar hero

concert and gig photography

The Flaming Lips Rock Austin @ SXSW

concert and gig photography

Unity in Diversity

concert and gig photography

Beautyproof

concert and gig photography

[Paper]tiger Jams {Explored}

concert and gig photography

Telefon Tel Aviv

concert and gig photography

Dir en grey

concert and gig photography

hives_01

concert and gig photography

Beastie Boys

concert and gig photography

Regina Spektor at Stubbs 2007--a black and white study

concert and gig photography

The Jazz Singer

concert and gig photography

Worship During Vertical Window's Set

concert and gig photography

pipettes_04

concert and gig photography

Nx Zero

concert and gig photography

The Police Dress Rehersal - Vancouver

concert and gig photography

Arms Wide

concert and gig photography

david gilmour munchen 29/7/2006. 36 (B&W)

concert and gig photography

Anthony Green (Circa Survive)

concert and gig photography

placebo_03

concert and gig photography

26th 566

concert and gig photography

Charlotte Cooper of the Subways

concert and gig photography

U2 5/14/05 Philadelphia- City of Blinding Lights

concert and gig photography

Jonsi in Action

concert and gig photography

Chhom Nimol

concert and gig photography

Teemu Tuominen

concert and gig photography

Goggi, Popplagio

concert and gig photography

Vive La Fete @ Dour Festival 2009

concert and gig photography

Ra Ra Riot

concert and gig photography

siouxsie and the banshees_02

concert and gig photography

sonic youth_01

concert and gig photography

I'm no photographer...

concert and gig photography

Bloc Party @ The Concourse in San Francisco and cameras

concert and gig photography

taking back sunday_01

concert and gig photography

Antennen 2 (Schlachthof)

concert and gig photography

Bob Dylan That's Right

concert and gig photography

shooting into the sun

concert and gig photography

The Donnas @ Rockefeller, Oslo

concert and gig photography

kind of blue

concert and gig photography

Maja Ivarsson :: The Sounds

concert and gig photography

Julian Casablancas

concert and gig photography

Mikko Salovaara

concert and gig photography

Eths (Festival Art Sonic 2008)

concert and gig photography

A Soul's Expression

concert and gig photography

The Hague Jazz 2009 - Hugh Masekela

concert and gig photography

Deftones

concert and gig photography

Pitchfork Music Festival 2009

concert and gig photography

Parkpop 2008 - Jason Mraz

concert and gig photography

Return To Forever - 1976

concert and gig photography

Freddie Hubbard - trumpet

concert and gig photography

Kiuas

concert and gig photography

The Killers (37)

concert and gig photography

Katie Melua @ Tractor Tavern, Seattle 5-9-09

concert and gig photography

Picture perfect

concert and gig photography

The Avett Brothers

concert and gig photography

Violin

concert and gig photography

The Strokes (49)

concert and gig photography

Scorpions @ PPM Fest

concert and gig photography

Coldplay 16

concert and gig photography

My Bloody Valentine

concert and gig photography

Mankind

concert and gig photography

Zephyr in the sky at night I wonder

concert and gig photography

Leslie Feist/Cat's Cradle

concert and gig photography

Blake Judd

concert and gig photography

moviestar junkies 05

concert and gig photography

david gilmour münchen 29/7/2006. 56

concert and gig photography

{ The Chap }

concert and gig photography

Ninja Dolls at Arenan, Falun

concert and gig photography

The Amazing Tim Swanson

concert and gig photography

Fresno

concert and gig photography

Ben Riley & Percy Heath

concert and gig photography

Nice Shirt

concert and gig photography

Scott Van Djembe

concert and gig photography

the hives - 10 - Pelle alone in the dark

concert and gig photography

Dag in de Branding 11 - Vic Chesnutt

concert and gig photography

"Contre-Jour Amour"

concert and gig photography

cesk freixas:avui serem el món

concert and gig photography

Damien Rice

concert and gig photography

oasis.gallagher.bros.001

concert and gig photography

Coldplay 39

concert and gig photography

Eagles Of Death Metal Concert @AB Gig Tour -51

concert and gig photography

Andre

concert and gig photography


Show Us Yours!

I hope the photos above inspire you to try your hand at shooting a few live performances. Once you get the hang of it, the resulting shots can be quite amazing and provide really unique portfolio pieces.

Use the comment section below to leave a link to your own live show and concert shots and be sure to let us know how you captured them!

Bonus points to anyone who can spot the author of this post in one of the images above!

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