STEP BY STEP GET SET UP FOR LIVE MUSIC
Find out how to set up your camera to capture the action at a live performance
01 the right lens choice
Prime lenses are usually faster than zooms, and while they’re not as versatile, their low-light performance more than makes up for it in these conditions. A 50mm f/1.4, or the slightly cheaper f/1.8 is a great choice if you’re just getting started in gig photography.
02 try auto iso
A good place to start with exposure is Manual mode at 1/200 second, aperture at its widest setting, which is f/1.4 on the 50mm lens here, and ISO set to Auto. This way the ISO will adapt to the lighting conditions, while the shutter speed stays fast enough to capture action.
03 use spot metering
In gig photography the frame is often dominated by areas of darkness punctuated by highlights. Your metering system may be duped into overexposing the scene. This is a good time to use Spot metering. Meter off a face or a highlight to keep dark areas dark.
04 set a max iso
It’s worth setting a max ISO – the highest the Auto ISO goes. The limit you choose will depend on how your camera performs at high ISOS, and what is an acceptable level of noise. Take a few test shots in dim interiors to figure out what you’re comfortable with.