Capturing the energy and essence of a live concert can be a thrilling experience, and having the right camera can make all the difference. If you’re a proud owner of the Sony A7s, you already possess a powerful tool for low-light photography – a crucial feature when shooting concerts. In this guide, we’ll explore tips and techniques to help you get lucky and capture stunning concert pictures with your Sony A7s.

  1. Know Your Gear: Before diving into the concert photography world, familiarize yourself with your Sony A7s. Understand its settings, buttons, and menu options. The A7s excels in low-light conditions, thanks to its impressive low-light sensitivity, so take advantage of this feature by exploring the ISO settings and experimenting in different lighting scenarios.
  2. Fast Lenses are Your Allies: Concerts are dynamic, and lighting conditions can change rapidly. Invest in fast lenses with wide apertures, such as a 50mm f/1.8 or a 24-70mm f/2.8. These lenses allow more light to reach the camera sensor, enabling you to maintain faster shutter speeds and freeze the action on stage.
  3. Mastering Manual Mode: While the A7s has advanced auto modes, learning to shoot in manual mode gives you greater control over your exposure settings. Adjust your aperture, shutter speed, and ISO based on the specific lighting conditions of each concert venue. Manual mode ensures you capture the mood and atmosphere without the camera making unwanted exposure adjustments.
  4. Embrace High ISO Values: The Sony A7s is renowned for its exceptional low-light performance, so don’t hesitate to push the ISO values. Higher ISO settings allow you to maintain faster shutter speeds in low-light conditions, reducing the risk of motion blur in your shots. Experiment with different ISO levels during soundchecks or quieter moments to find the sweet spot for your camera.
  5. Shoot in RAW: Concert venues often have challenging lighting situations, with intense spotlights and dark shadows. Shooting in RAW format preserves more information in your images, providing greater flexibility during post-processing. This ensures you can salvage details from underexposed or overexposed areas, delivering professional-looking results.
  6. Focus on Autofocus: The A7s features reliable autofocus capabilities, but in the dynamic environment of a concert, it’s crucial to master your camera’s autofocus settings. Experiment with continuous autofocus modes and different focus area options to ensure your camera can track moving performers accurately.
  7. Capture the Atmosphere: Concert photography is not just about the artists; it’s about capturing the overall atmosphere. Include shots of the audience, the venue’s unique architecture, and the interplay of lights and shadows. These shots add depth to your collection and tell a more complete story of the concert experience.
  8. Positioning and Composition: Explore different vantage points to find the best angles for your shots. Get up close to the stage for intimate shots of performers, but also step back to capture wider scenes that showcase the entire stage and crowd. Experiment with framing and composition to create visually compelling images.


Owning a Sony A7s opens up a world of possibilities for concert photography. By understanding your camera, investing in the right lenses, and mastering the art of low-light shooting, you can increase your chances of getting lucky shots that truly capture the magic of live performances. So, gear up, familiarize yourself with your A7s, and get ready to document the energy, passion, and excitement of the next concert you attend.


Concert photography is an electrifying art form that allows photographers to encapsulate the essence of live music performances in a single frame. It’s a thrilling blend of technical skill, creativity, and the ability to capture fleeting moments of raw emotion. In this blog post, we’ll explore the most important aspects of concert photography, offering insights into the techniques, equipment, and mindset needed to excel in this captivating genre.

  1. Technical Proficiency

Concert photography demands technical proficiency, as it often involves capturing fast-moving subjects in challenging lighting conditions. A solid understanding of manual camera settings, such as aperture, shutter speed, and ISO, is crucial to adapt to varying stage lights and achieve stunning shots. Pre-concert preparation, including checking venue lighting and scouting for ideal shooting locations, can significantly enhance the quality of your work.

  1. Timing and Anticipation

Timing is everything in concert photography. Anticipating the peak moments of a performance allows photographers to immortalize the artists’ passion, the crowd’s excitement, and the synergy between them. Capturing an artist mid-leap or a guitarist shredding their instrument requires a keen eye and the ability to react quickly to the unfolding spectacle.

  1. Storytelling through Images

Concert photography is more than just capturing musicians on stage; it’s about telling a story. A series of photographs should reflect the energy of the concert, the connection between the performers and their audience, and the emotions shared during the event. A well-composed sequence of shots can transport viewers to the heart of the concert, even if they weren’t physically present.

  1. Respect for Artists and Audience

As a concert photographer, respect for the artists and the audience is paramount. Avoid being intrusive or disruptive during performances. Remember that you are capturing intimate moments of vulnerability, passion, and creativity. Building a rapport with the artists and the crew can also lead to unique opportunities and a deeper understanding of the music scene.

  1. Creativity and Style

Concert photography offers a canvas for photographers to infuse their artistic style and creativity. Experimenting with different angles, perspectives, and post-processing techniques can lead to unique and visually captivating images. However, it’s essential to maintain a balance between creativity and authenticity, ensuring that the images genuinely represent the essence of the performance.

  1. Equipment Essentials

While creativity is essential, having the right equipment is equally vital. A fast and reliable DSLR or mirrorless camera with good low-light performance and high ISO capabilities is a must. Fast lenses, such as a wide-aperture prime or zoom lens, enable capturing sharp images in low light. Additionally, spare batteries, memory cards, and a sturdy tripod are essential tools for any concert photographer.

  1. Managing Photo Rights and Etiquette

Understanding photo rights and etiquette is crucial when it comes to concert photography. Different venues and artists may have specific rules and restrictions regarding photography. Always seek permission and adhere to the guidelines to avoid any legal issues and maintain a positive relationship with the artists and their management.


Concert photography is a thrilling and demanding art form that requires technical expertise, creative vision, and a deep appreciation for music and performance. It’s about capturing the magic of live events, freezing moments of passion, and telling powerful stories through images. By mastering the technical aspects, embracing creativity, and respecting artists and audiences, concert photographers can create breathtaking photographs that transcend time and allow others to experience the euphoria of live music, one frame at a time.

The Sony A7s is a full-frame mirrorless camera that was released in 2014 and was known for its excellent low light performance and high sensitivity. It has a 12.2 megapixel resolution and is capable of capturing 4K video.

One of the key features of the Sony A7s is its low light capability, thanks to its high sensitivity and wide dynamic range. It is able to capture clean, noise-free images and video in very low light conditions, making it a popular choice for photographers and videographers who need to shoot in challenging lighting situations.

The Sony A7s also has a fast and accurate autofocus system, which is helpful for capturing fast-moving subjects. It has a wide range of features and customization options, including the ability to shoot in different color profiles and record in a variety of formats.

Overall, the Sony A7s is a highly capable camera that is well-suited for a wide range of photography and videography applications.

In concert photography, you’ll typically want to use a lens with a wide aperture (f/2.8 or wider) to allow more light into the camera and help you capture sharp, well-exposed images in low light conditions. A lens with a longer focal length (such as a 70-200mm or a 300mm) can also be useful for capturing close-up shots of performers.
In addition to a fast lens, it’s also a good idea to have a lens with a shorter focal length (such as a 24-70mm or a 50mm) to allow you to capture wider shots of the stage and the performers. This can be helpful for showing the context of the concert and the energy of the crowd.
It’s worth noting that the type of lens you’ll want to use will depend on the type of concert you’re photographing and the size of the venue. In general, it’s a good idea to have a variety of lenses on hand so that you can choose the one that’s best suited for the situation.
Finally, it’s also important to make sure that your lens is fast enough to capture sharp images in low light conditions. A lens with a fast aperture (f/2.8 or wider) is typically recommended for concert photography.

Concert photography can be a fun and rewarding hobby or profession, but it can also be challenging and fast-paced. Here are some steps to get started with concert photography:

  1. Learn the basics of photography: It’s important to have a solid understanding of photography principles such as composition, exposure, and lighting. Consider taking a photography course or workshop to learn the fundamentals.
  2. Invest in equipment: You’ll need a camera with a fast shutter speed and a lens with a wide aperture to capture sharp, well-exposed images in low light conditions. A telephoto lens can also be useful for capturing close-up shots of performers.
  3. Find concerts to photograph: Look for local concerts or events featuring bands or artists that you enjoy. Many smaller venues and local bands are happy to have photographers cover their shows.
  4. Get permission: Before you start taking photos, make sure you have permission from the venue and the performers. Some venues may require you to have a media pass or credential to photograph the show.
  5. Practice: The more you practice, the better you’ll get. Consider attending local concerts or events to hone your skills and get comfortable shooting in a live environment.
  6. Edit and share your photos: After the concert, edit and select your best shots and share them on social media or on your own website. You can also reach out to the bands or venue to see if they’re interested in using your photos.

The Best Camera Settings for Concerts

Today I’m going to explain the best camera settings for concert photography. Concert photography is one of the more challenging types of photography. You have very difficult lighting, a lot of moving subjects. One of the best things you can do to ensure your concert photos are as awesome as you want them to be is to make sure your camera settings are optimized for concerts. The first and most important thing you need to do is get your camera ready to focus and capture the action. First, let’s discuss the focus mode. There are two basic focusing methods that all cameras have, which are the default focusing action and then continuous focus. Single Shot focus is where you half-press the shutter button to acquire focus and then for as long as you hold the shutter button and half-press, the focus will not change regardless of whether or not the subject moves with a single shot if you want to readjust focus, shutter button and then half-press it again to reacquire focus. Single Shot focus is not good for concert photography. Therefore you need to use some form of continuous focus.

Continuous focus is exactly what it sounds like the camera instead of blocking focus on a point in space instead it looks at the subject in the scene. As the subject moves, the camera continuously adjusts the focus to keep the subject in focus. Most modern cameras have a few different continuous focus options. Typically a standard continuous tracking is continuous. Now I cannot tell you which one of these to use because how well they work will vary from camera to camera. Instead what you will need to do is a test for different continuous and tracking focus modes to see which one gives you the best performance with whatever continuous focus option you use. You still have to be sure that the camera is continuously focusing where you want to focus. This brings us to the next setting you want to set which is your focus point. This again will vary from camera to camera. But you typically have three options to use with continuous focus. Those options are a single focus point, a grouping of focus points, or face or eye focus. For Concerts, I recommend a single point or a group and I recommend you avoid face or eye protection. Here’s why. Face for eye detection can be great when say you’re tracking the lead singer and they are moving across the stage and passing in front of the performer’s face. The camera sees the bass player’s face and thinks it should track that face and in doing so, stops focusing on the lead singer which is the actual subject.

For those who are interested in nostalgia, old Shadows music or anything the New Zealand Variety Arts Club gets up to you may just find the odd snippet here.

In this case I have uploaded a video from a show in Auckland during 2015.

It features “The Shadz” another New Zealand band who rock the planet.



Hank Marvin, the guitarist from the original band “The Shadows” is pictured here performing at the latest Gypsy Jazz Festival on 2nd March 2019 at Drakesbrook Winery in Western Australia.

Hank Marvin

Hank Marvin

Blogs as well as Facebook provide a platform for airing views, whether it be what I classify as political BS, or how bad Starbucks Coffee happens to be etc.

This is a very rare rant for me but currently I am highly brassed off and it has NOTHING to do with photography. It is all to do with VALUE in the entertainment industry.

Over recent years there has been numerous posts on websites and social media by musicians who quite rightly complain about establishments and venues who are not prepared to pay reasonable fees for performances.

Yes it is extremely hard for musicians to get gigs now and get paid for what they are worth. I do my best to help, providing artists with high quality images at NO cost, to do with whatever they wish.


People who LISTEN to music like myself are always prepared to pay to see people we like and respect. We are blessed in New Zealand at the value we can normally find to see wonderful performers.

As an example, in 2018 Twenty dollars to see the great Roy Phillips (ex Peddlers).

Five dollars (members) and fifteen dollars public to see Ray Woolf sing his heart out at Auckland Jazz and Blues club. Plus many others PLUS those who perform free.

WELL, last night 22nd January four of us paid Six hundred and thirty four dollars and four cents to see Elaine Page at Bruce Mason Theatre in Takapuna.

Now here is the good and great:

  1. We did not know Elaine Page was performing there. We found out an hour earlier while at a restaurant nearby. Wow, we could not believe it, off to get the very best tickets we could, if there happened to be any left. It was beyond belief that someone like me did not know this world class performer was here in Auckland. I had been lucky enough to see her perform in London many years ago.
  2. The excitement was bubbling and we could not believe our luck to find out last minute and get what were without doubt, the best seats in the house.
  3. The opening act was a set performed by the “John G Smith” Band, the backing group for Elaine Paige. They were spectacular, wonderful musicians and YES they used real instruments. The opening number one of my favorites “Mountain Dance” written by the great Dave Grusin. No complaints at all, thirty minutes of great music by a superb group, in a nice theatre and at that stage a good atmosphere.
  4. The main act and second half was the great Elaine Paige backed by John G Smith and his group. This lady is still going strong, a wonderful voice with terrific repertoire of music. Songs written by people such as Jimmy Webb, Harry Nilsson and others. Her performance included most of the Beatles tunes found on the Sgt Pepper Album. The final song was “Memory” and yes no doubt the voice is still there. HOWEVER read the next bit:

Here is the bad:


There was virtually no dimming of lights after half time yet the first half was performed in darkness with a well lit stage. There was a row of spots along the ceiling directly above our seats which were too bright and reflected off our eye-wear making it difficult to see the stage which we could do in the first half.

There were many grumpy people including our friends who felt they had paid good money to be let down by a dumb decision to keep the lights on over the audience. The sad thing is Elaine Paige would have had a full view of the many empty rows of seats.

This show was badly promoted (if at all). For artists of this calibre and a woman who has led such a spectacular career over many years deserves an audience of more than just a few hundred people.

Despite me laying a complaint with the management on behalf of our friends and others around us nothing was done about the lights. In addition despite the most professional performance by a world acclaimed artist many people were expressing their dissatisfaction at the ned of the concert over the bad lighting.

In my opinion if there happened to be a request by the performer to leave the lights on (which is what I was told by management), was a bad decision.

All of a sudden the VALUE of our seats were diminished, it was not the same experience as the first half which was performed with the auditorium being in full darkness and a nicely lit stage.

There was no photography permitted which is OK, however at least I am able to show a copy of the ticket I paid for a great performance but disappointing experience.

After having had first hand experience promoting and marketing in my own career it requires work these days to please people, entertainers are meant to have people leave feeling happy.
Oh well I will just lay it on an promoters who I was were not even present, just a bunch of monkeys.

I am constantly being asked where to buy guitar gear. People want to know the most reliable source for online musical equipment.

To be honest the very best I can come up with it Amazon. They not only are the biggest online market place they have the biggest range of equipment you can imagine.

Great Guitars