Bryan Adams concert in Amanora, Pune on 11th Feb
Are you going to the Bryan Adams Concert? I had been to one of his shows in Cyprus few years back and it was amazing. If you still haven’t got your tickets, here are the details.
Tickets can be obtained at all State bank of India branches in Pune or directly at the Amanora office in Amanora town. The show is on 11th Feb starting around 6pm at the Amanora Entertainment Arena. The tickets are priced at Rs 2000,Rs 3500, Rs 6000 and Rs 10000.
If you are going to the concert, i am sure that you would want to come back with great photographs. I am not too sure that cameras would be allowed into the arena, but the crowd and probably some sweet talk should enable you take in the camera. If you do manage to take in your camera, follow the simple tips listed below to get the best out of the opportunity.
Avoid using Compact Cameras, the point and shoot type. They are slow to start up, slow between photographs and have a shutter-lag. Even the latest point and shoot cameras suffer from these drawbacks. If you want good photographs, go the SLR way. Better still, go for a digital SLR so that you can immediately check whether the photo you captured is good enough for your liking.
Use High ISO. Most of the concerts would have sections of the stage well-lit, but the rest of the area would be dark. There will always be some kind of a spotlight on the artistes on stage. But this light is not enough to get a good exposure. So, use a higher ISO to get a good picture in spite of the little light. Avoid ISO 1600 as it can get too grainy. But, take many practice shots to get the exposure you like. A high ISO would help you get photographs like the one below where you can see the lights from the all the mobile phone cameras in use.
Use Shutter Priority Mode. I have had good success with Shutter Priority mode on many low-lit situations. You can customise the shutter speed based on your capability to hold the camera still. Using the program mode will make the camera try to get the best possible picture and in most cases (for concerts), the shutter will be opens for many seconds! Override this and use shutter priority. The Big Ben photo below was shot from a running open-top bus. I used a shutter speed of around 1/20s (don’t remember exactly) and ISO 1200.
Use a Zoom Lens, unless you are a good friend of the rockstar and manage to get a seat on the stage. Of course, not having a zoom lens would give a different perspective of the concert like the first photo below. I carried both the 18-70 and the 70-300 lenses with me and i switched them from time to time to take different views. From the first photo, you can kind-of guess where i was seated – far away from the stages and yet, with the zoom lens (and some cropping), I managed to get some decent close-ups of Bryan Adams.
Don’t use Matrix Metering. If you don’t understand what I am saying, then it is time you take out your manual and look up on this. Matrix metering will work for many landscape shots but will mostly fail in concert shots where a small section is brightly lit and the rest are almost pitch-dark. Switch to Spot Metering and meter for the person whom you want to take (if you want to get the rockstar in focus).
Obviously, Flash is useless. Ok, in some situations I am wrong. When you want to take a photo of yourself standing in front of the dimly-lit stage, you need to switch to the night-portrait mode or if you don’t have one, manually enable the flash so that you are also well-lit. But, in other situations when you want to take the photo of a far-away rockstar on a stage, a flash is useless as it can light up, probably a few feet away from you. Worse still, if you have any object close to you, it will show up in your photograph in deathly-white. When i was in egypt, i had been to the sound-and-light show at the pyramids (first photo below). At that time, i had the “relatively ordinary” Nikon Coolpix 2500. I put in on a tripod, disabled the flash and let the camera decide its own exposure and I got pretty decent pictures. There were people around me pointing their cameras at the pyramids and shooting in auto mode with the flash. All they would have got is the chair in front of them with a white colouring!
Even if you follow these tips, you might not get it right the first time. So, practice a lot (another reason to move to Digital-SLR cameras) when the local artist comes on stage before the main act. Find the correct exposure (shutter speed/ISO) needed to get a decent image of the rockstar.
Hope you find these tips useful. Feel free to add more in the comments. Would also love to hear about your shooting experiences in music concerts.