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.

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.

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

Tommy Adderley was a well known singer and entertainer who sadly passed away on February 5th 1993. Tommy had immigrated to New Zealand many years earlier and become well known very quickly. His ability to sing and play the harp was unequaled in this country.
During 1985 during Queens birthday weekend Tommy along with others such as Roger Fox created the Southern Cross Jazz Festival. Many guests such as the great Midge Marsden, Jacqui Fitzgerald, Beaver, Frank Gibson’s Space Case, The Queen City Big Band, and many more appeared on the bill. The event that particular year was held at the old Mon Desir Hotel in Takapuna, Auckland New Zealand which is no longer there, having been replaced by apartments.

Here is a picture of Tommy, with Brian Smith on Saxophone and the sensational Billy Christian on Bass Guitar. The proceeds from this event were given to charity, and in this case it was the Wilson Home for crippled children.



Peter Caulton another sensational New Zealand entertainer was sadly farewelled today in Auckland.

One of the real great New Zealand artists who deserved far more recognition in this country passed away on March 13th 2018. A former member of Stage Door Trio, Country Flyers, and Good News, Peter Caulton performed regularly at local pubs and concerts. He was far better known in Germany where he spent many years entertaining troops and of course locals. He made many appearances on television shows as Happen Inn, Country Touch, and Studio One.

Glyn Tucker

Glyn Tucker is one of my oldest friends. We meet in the very early 1960’s when I worked for Concord Electronics in New Zealand. Glyn went on and created Mandrill Recording Studios in Parnell Auckland.

This photo of Glyn is one I took at the Monaco Diehards Reunion held in Auckland on December 10th 2017.

You can read more about what Glyn is up to here:


Glyn Tucker

Glyn Tucker