Why Can’t I Get Clear Lightshow Photos With My Concert Camera?
The lights go down, the crowd screams, and your favorite DJ takes the stage – this is the moment you’ve been waiting for! Is your camera up to the task for recording all the energy and excitement? Or will you photos and video end up blurry, under-exposed or off-color? Light shows are awesome, but the quick changes in brightness and colors can make it difficult to snag great photos and clear video. Here’s how to fix the most common concert photography problems using a small video camera or concert camera:
Problem: Auto-focus doesn’t work correctly.
Solution: Compensate for auto-focus with better framing.
Elaborate light shows, a quick change from bright flashes to low light, and strobe lighting that comes out of nowhere can make capturing the moment a frustrating challenge. Inconsistent lighting makes it difficult for most cameras to auto-focus correctly, which means cameras often end up focusing on a microphone stand or the crowd in front of the stage rather than the DJ, band or singer. Generally speaking, even the best camera for concerts is built to focus on areas of high contrast. This means even if you position your camera’s auto-focus point right on the DJ, if the DJ is in low contrast, your camera may become confused and focus on something else (like the turntable or laptop). Fix this problem with better framing: aim the camera so it is focused directly on a high contrast feature on your main subject, like the face/hairline. If the lighting is too low on your subject for good contrast, try shooting from a side angle, which will help eliminate foreground distractions.
Problem: Your subject looks yellow or blue.
Solution: Adjust the white balance presets.
When the lighting is changing rapidly, your camera may struggle to keep up, which means the white balance can be off. Unless your subject actually should appear yellow or blue (because a colored light is shining on them), you may need to tweak your white balance presets. Instead of auto white balance, try the balance options for tungsten lighting and fluorescent lighting, depending on the type of lighting and colors present at the show. Tungsten lighting is “warmer” lighting; if your subject is appearing yellow, rather than white, opt for this preset. Fluorescent lighting is “cooler” lighting; if your subject looks blue, opt for this preset. If things still don’t look correct, do your best with the auto exposure and correct the white balance in post-production.
Problem: Your photos lack the drama and excitement from the show.
Solution: Use composition to enhance the drama of the photograph
Timing and composition are the two key variables that can turn a technically-sound photograph into a jaw-dropping masterpiece. If you’re shooting up close, use the corners of your frame to emphasize a singer’s outstretched arms or a guitarist’s hands and guitar headstock. Include the dramatic stage lights or the entire stage setting, depending on the show, to crank up the drama even more. If possible, edit out distracting elements, like equipment stands or cords. If you’re shooting far out, go as wide as possible. The Polaroid CUBE+ features a wide panorama angle for capturing the entire stage, the dramatic light show and the crowd’s energy – so you can still feel the excitement long after the show ends.