Commack High School Winter Concert II

Commack High School Winter Concert II

Here are some tips on photographing high school concerts. If you're just here for the photos, scroll down to the bottom of the post and click on any thumbnail to open the gallery.

  • If your camera has a quiet mode, use it. Camera shutters can sound very loud in an auditorium. If you're shooting with a mirrorless camera use the electronic shutter. The lighting in most auditoriums is all tungsten so you won't have a problem with rolling shutter issues. If neither of these applies to your camera, shoot during louder passages.
  • I know. It's dark. The lighting is not great. But don't bother using flash. It probably won't reach the stage, it will drive people nuts and it will only light up the guy's head sitting in front of you. Instead, set your camera on a high ISO, open your lens aperture as wide as possible and go with whatever shutter speed you can get.
  • Use a lens or camera body with images stabilization (vibration reduction), and don't forget to turn it on. That will let you shoot with slower shutter speeds. I've successfully gone as low as 1/25 sec. using a monopod. Musicians and singers don't move that much and, at times, don't move at all, so you're really only concerned with your camera's movement.
  • You may find that shooting from the rear of the auditorium with a long lens is better than shooting from the front row, especially if your kid is not in the front of the ensemble. This is because most auditoriums slope downward and the further back you are the higher up you are and the better you can see the whole ensemble. If your auditorium has a balcony, even better.
  • If you know your auditorium has tungsten stage lighting, and most do, use tungsten white balance. Don't use auto white balance; it will suck the life out of your photos.
  • Take a few photos but enjoy the concert. That's why you came, remember?

More questions? Shoot me an email. Have fun.

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