After reading our Top 6 Concert and Festival Photography Tips you are probably wondering: Which are the best camera settings to use? Here we give information from our Events Ninja, Laura Gonzalez, which shot Envision Festival in Uvita, Costa Rica.

Camera mode: Manual

Shutter Speed: 1/250 or faster

Aperture: f1.4 – f2.8

ISO: 800 or higher if needed

Image Quality: RAW

White Balance: Auto White Balance

Drive Mode: Continuous Shooting

Shoot in Manual Mode

Shooting in Manual Mode is extremely important when doing festival or concert photography because you need to have room to change the ISO, Aperture, and Shutter Speed according to the lighting conditions which you will face. And that’s the thing about shooting these kind of events, you will most likely shoot in challenging lighting conditions such as dark settings. The more you put the correct settings in practice, the easier this will become.

Shoot with a Shutter Speed of at least 250

It is recommended to shoot of a shutter speed of minimum 250 because there will be lots of motion going on in the festival or concert that you shoot. However, you need to keep in mind that as you increase the shutter speed, the image will become darker as a result. Unless, you lower the aperture or increase the ISO to combat this change.

Shoot using an aperture of f1.4 – f2.8

You want to have a lens which can shoot at a very low F-Stop. The reason is that you need a lens that can handle capturing low light. A recommended lens is the nifty 50mm with an F-Stop of 1.8. This is an affordable lens which is great for shooting festivals and concerts even if you have a crop sensor camera, which means it is a more affordable camera which crops images (a 50mm turns into an 80mm on cameras with a crop sensor of x1.6) Sure, you could shoot on a standard 18-55mm kit lens with a maximum aperture of f3.5, however you would be relying on either a very low shutter speed, creating blurry images when capturing motion, or using a very high ISO, which will add a significant amount of grain to your images.

Shoot using an ISO of 800 or higher

During the night time events of the festival or concert you will need to use an ISO of at least 800. Before you raise your ISO, check to see if you have already lowered your F-Stop as much as possible for your lens. As covered above, this is because the higher you raise your ISO, the higher grain you will have in your photograph.

Shoot your images in RAW format, not JPG

RAW images capture the most data. More data means easier time editing. The two golden reasons to shoot in RAW while shooting festival or concert photography are as follows. 1, you have a better chance at fixing blurry images. 2, you can edit out grain from shooting at a higher ISO than normal much easier. And thus this result is a more beautiful image.

Shoot using your White Balance on Auto

Unless you know the exact white balance you want for that specific moment, the best bet is to shoot using an auto white balance since you will be doing edits later and adjusting the white balance in post is a simple tap on the slider.

Shoot in Continuous Shooting Mode

You may wonder why you would do that since this will fill up your memory card fast. The reason to do so is because if you only have a few images taken seconds apart of each moment, you will most likely find plenty of blurry ones. A great way to prevent the disappointment in seeing that you only have blurry photos of the moment your favorite act jumped up on stage while strumming his best guitar friend is by shooting in continuous mode.


Photo taken at Envision Festival 2019 by Laura Gonzalez
Settings: 1/200, f/1.8, ISO 800, on a 80mm lens

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