Stage Photography

Stage photography appeals to the eye instantly, but it comes with a whole lot of challenges. Here’s how you can overcome them and capture stage movement properly.

Stage photography appeals to the eye instantly. Yet, it comes with a whole lot of challenges. The constant movement and low lightning conditions can make any photographers’ head scratch. It requires a lot of experimentation, practice, and an eye for detail. Concert photography, dance photography, and theatre photography are some examples of stage photography. They all are really fun to photograph but for more insight, DU Beat brings to you, simple tricks and tips which can improve your stage game.

  • Camera Settings

Aperture and Shutter Speed
Every show has its own stage, backdrop, and lighting so it’s always better to keep experimenting with different apertures and shutter speed. It is always better to use the lowest f-number because it allows the light to enter your sensor. It is thus suitable when working under ultra low light stage conditions. Your f-number, depending on your lenses, can range anywhere from f 1.8 to f4.
When it comes to capturing a moment on stage where the artist is hyperactive, jumping, and dancing it’s important that we freeze the moment, and this where high shutter speed comes into the picture.

It should be set at 1/100 or more than that, depending upon the movement on stage. It will certainly lower the chances of a blurred photo.

Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat

ISO setting
The higher the ISO, the lesser is the light needed for a photo but it also adds more noise to our pictures and they become grainy. So it is advisable not to exceed the ISO over 1600, and to keep in mind the balance.

Use Manual mode
With so many settings to keep in mind, it’s impossible that we have versatility so it’s always preferable to shoot in Manual mode rather than Aperture or Shutter priority since it gives you a lot of flexibility. You can constantly check your settings on LCD and change them whenever it’s needed.

Shoot in RAW format
The RAW format gives you the advantage to process the picture later. You can change variables like white balance, exposure, contrast saturation, etc. which is not possible when you click on JPEG because it comes processed from your camera computer.

Gyanarjun Saroj for DU Beat

Some other things to keep in mind while you are doing Stage photography are-

  • Respect the artist

Avoid hovering too much, and try to make yourself invisible so that the artist is not distracted. Also, try and avoid using the flash and sounds of your camera as it can disturb both the artist and the audience.

  • Have different perspectives

Try and take pictures from various angles and perspectives. It will make a photograph more captivating and engaging.

Sarthak Singhal for DU Beat
Mayank Gulati for DU Beat
  • Composition

To convey best what’s going on the stage, good composition is a must. One needs to show the fun, the drama, and the tension of the performance.

The safest to use is the rule of thirds:

Manav Ahuja for DU Beat

You can always get a close-up shot

Deewanshi Vats for DU Beat

Capture expressions

Deewanshi Vats for DU Beat

Take wide-angle shots

Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat
  • Make the best use of Stage Effects

A puff of smoke, fireworks, and stage lights not only make the event extra entertaining and special, but they also add drama and mystic to your work. They will add that wow! factor to your pictures.

Manav Ahuja for DU Beat

And lastly don’t forget to enjoy the performance! It’s a once in the lifetime experience, and your pictures will only be as in-the-moment as you are.

Happy clicking!

Feature Image Credits: Surbhit Rastogi for DU Beat

Deewanshi Vats