Go to any gig these days and you’ll likely be greeted by a sea of hands held aloft, each tightly gripping a smartphone. While thousands upon thousands of photos will be taken at concerts and uploaded to social networks, many of them will be pretty rubbish. Here’s how to make sure yours aren’t.
Get as close as you can
There’s no point standing by the bar and trying to get a snap of what’s happening on stage – smartphones just don’t pick up the kind of detail you want and the digital zoom that many of them use makes for poor quality photos.
Instead, just grit your teeth and barge your way to the front. You may well get pushed about and soaked in cheap lager, but the pictures you get will be worth it.
Frame one musician rather than trying to get all of them in
If you try to capture too much in one go your image will lose any focus and just look messy. Instead, try to just capture one band member, maybe with another one in the background, and avoid the urge to get every single person on stage in your shot.
Lighting will be bad, accept it and use it
Smartphone cameras work at their best under natural light, of which there is precious little at gigs. Nevertheless, what you will get is strobes, coloured lighting and bright flashes, all of which can be used to great effect. Just wait until the band is bathed in some strong colour or silhouetted against a bright light and you’ll be able to get some really unusual shots.
Use filters and effects
Live music photos look great with an abstract touch, and this is where even the cheapest smartphone can come to the fore. Use apps like Snapseed and VSCOCam to add loads of filters and play around with effects – you’ll find yourself getting some interesting results that can get the mood of the gig across really well.
Share them online
With your phone still in your hand you can share your photos on Facebook, Instagram, and countless other social networks. Do so, and make sure all your friends see them and know exactly what a good time you had.
If you’re looking for some more general hints on taking photos with your smartphone, take a look at our rundown of tips.