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Ideal Camera settings for Gig and Theatre photography

In this video I offer Five Top Tips for setting up your camera ready to take photos at gigs, at theatres, your kid’s nativity play, your mate’s stand-up comedy routine, and other live events that are oftentimes dark, have strobing lights, changing colours, and moving people. The settings maximise the light taken into the camera so you can capture crisp images of bands, actors, singers, etc.

Special thanks to Stageworks for allowing me to take pictures of their shows, and also there are pictures of Paul Weller, Marah, Jesse Malin, KT Tunstall.

If you would like a print of any photo that appears in one of my videos, please email with a screenshot of the image you would like, and the size you would like (A4, 8 x 10, 6 x 9 = Β£30). These prints are signed but not numbered. Thanks for your support πŸ™‚

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Composed and performed by Adam Mason

My Camera Gear:
Canon 5D mkII
Canon 5D mkI
Canon EF 24-105mm, f4.0,
Canon EF 50mm 1.4
Fujifilm XT3
Fujifilm X-Pro1
Fujifilm XF 10-24mm, f4.0
Fujifilm XF 18mm, 2.2
Fujifilm XF 35mm, 1.4
MeFOTO Travel tripod with ball head
Velbon Ultra 353 Mini Q with ball head
HoldFast MoneyMaker dual strap
Peak design straps (Slide and Slide Lite) and clips
Lee filters for ND and grad filters
Rode VideoMicro
Purple Panda Lav mic

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  1. Well, actually……….
    Many performances are NOT dark. Yes, they appear dark, but the subject often is lit by a stage lights.

    Modern cameras can often keep up quite well. Just don't rely on the "normal" matrix metering. Set it to point, center or something similar. Go to full manual, set iso to auto within your own acceptable bounds and vary your shutter according to movement on stage and aperture to desired dof, within a narrow margin.

    Use exposure compensation to slightly underexpose, so you won't have blown highlights if your spot metering doesn't quite do the trick.

    You're saying in this video" go full manual. The people who know how already know what way to go.

  2. Found this really interesting, had not thought of setting the camera up and then excepting that some will be over exposed and others under. Guess that is better then looking down at your camera to adjust and play then missing the action. Thanks for sharing.

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