How To Capture Great Images At A Festival

If you are getting ready to enjoy a music festival this summer (or even a festival of any kind), there are a number of things that you need to think about. You want to be festival ready with respect to your clothing, which means being ready for all kinds of weather, you want to know when the best bands are playing and you want to be ready to capture the best moments of the summer.

These are some tips that will help you to capture the best moments of your summer festival

Make sure you are prepared

If you are going to a festival, you want to make sure that you are prepared for anything. This will mainly apply to the weather but it should also apply to your camera and taking great pictures. If you use batteries, buy spare batteries and you will also find that an additional memory card or two, stored in separate places, will be of benefit. You will also want to conserve your batteries, so don’t take an endless number of shots and don’t continually review the snaps you have taken.

Be aware of the light

When it comes to taking great images at a festival, the light can be tricky. You often find yourself having to deal with deep shadows, a low-lying sun or overcast light. If you need to counter balance shadows, your White Balance should be set to Cloudy, as this will help to minimise the blue cast that can appear in shadows when snapping on Auto.

Think about creating a story or scene

While you may want to snap everything that is happening around you, why not try and create a story to focus on. This means that if there are locations or images that will work well together, you should try to create a series of images that help to tell the narrative of the festival for you. You will find that alternating between lenses and viewpoints can add flexibility while creating a flow to your work.

Focus on the crowd at times

There is a lot to be said for looking towards the bands but for many people, a festival is about the people in attendance as much, if not more so, than the bands. This means that you should focus on the crowds from time to time. You will find that many people at festivals are relaxed and will be quite approachable if you ask to take images of them.

While there is a great level of debate about what the best camera is, and there will never a definitive answer, a common answer is “the camera that you have with you.” This is because you often never know when the perfect shot or ideal moment is going to arise. This means that for many people, the perfect camera is the one that they have on them, and in the modern era, this would suggest that the smartphone, as opposed to a traditional camera, is the best type of camera.

As you can imagine though, this isn’t an opinion that many people agree with. There is a sense that the art of photography is dying, or at least waning with the masses. More and more photographs are being taken but so many aspects of photography are falling. The care and attention that goes into getting the perfect shot and the focus and attention that is showered on a great image are no longer present for many people. With selfies being the most common form of photography these days and social media sites providing a platform for people to dump images where they are forgotten about by the next day due to the next influx of images, it is easy to see why so many people are concerned about the current health of photography.

However, there is also going to be a need for the high-end and professional cameras that help direct news coverage and give the masses insight into the life of their favourite celebrities. This means that the cameras and style of photography most under threat these days are the point and shoot cameras. With filters and other elements of assistance helping inexperienced photographers to capture and frame images in a way that they would never have been able to before, there is a middle ground being removed from the camera industry.

Then again, are people who live their life and their most special moments through a view-finder or the other side of a lens really taking everything in? There have been studies into the fact over whether taking photographs of an image or a moment becomes the more predominant memory as opposed to the memory itself. It can be fun to look back on images of special occasions but people who spent the entire day or event behind a smartphone may find that they don’t recall too much of the engagement and interaction of the day.

Great news! The square format is no longer essential to the Instagram platform. It now allows Portrait and Landscape Orientation!

Since it was launched the square image format was strongly associated with the old Hasselblad cameras. However, users did find a around the forced square format. Examples were adding padding to their images and even using special apps to avoid the square shape. Instagram has now lifted this square-only image format and allows users to upload photos and videos in both portrait and landscape.

Here’s the official Instagram announcement: “Square format has been and always will be part of who we are. That said, the visual story you’re trying to tell should always come first, and we want to make it simple and fun for you to share moments just the way you want to.”

In addition to this change, users can now apply all filters to all types of media. Where previously only certain filters work on just images, these have now been expanded to videos too.

The reaction from Instagram users seems very positive, at this stage. Personally, I think this is a useful change for Instagram. Many photographers actually use this platform for showcasing their work and connecting with current and potential clients. Cropping images used to be one of the biggest issues for an IG users, but now this is all taken care of.

Not everyone is going to love this change. No doubt there will be a few Instagram purists who don’t approve of the change. They may claim that the square format was the reason for Instagram being so unique. However, I personally feel that most users will find this useful and beneficial.

So, what do you think? Are you a fan of the new changes?

Many photographers are finding themselves under pressure from the number of people who feel that they can adequately the happiest moments of their lives with smartphone cameras. There will always be some areas that require a professional touch though and this is definitely the case for wedding photography.

Here are some tips for taking the best images at a wedding:

Think about types and styles of shots

When it comes to developing a reputation as a wedding photographer, you need to know the looks and style of photographs people are looking for. It will be helpful to research wedding photographs and find the most common styles and then develop your skills in these areas. For each individual job, it is best to speak to the happy couple and ask what sort of shots they are looking for. Knowing what they have in mind will help you to tailor your work to their needs.

Learn the location

If you have time in advance, visit the location for the wedding (for the service, the party and for any local areas of beauty and interest). Knowing the layout and what is on offer in a local area will give you the best chance of finding the best settings for your images, and it will enable you to set yourself up to take the best shots. Doing all of this prior to the event saves time, stops you being flustered and will help to make the day run more smoothly.

Check the weather

The weather can impact on your shots, where you want people to stand and even the mood of the guests. Being prepared for changes in weather and different conditions will help you to take the best shots.

Always create checklists

Long before you head off to shoot a wedding, you need to create a list of all of the equipment that you need, including spare equipment. You then need to ensure that all of these items are stored in a bag or container that you will take to the wedding. If there are vital components, take spares stored somewhere else and be sure to check your list a couple of times.

Equipment you will need include:

  • Camera
  • Spare camera body
  • Lens
  • Long lens
  • Flash gun
  • Backup drive
  • Reflector
  • Memory card
  • Tripod / Stand

You should look to arrive early, so knowing the route is of benefit and while you should be forceful to ensure you take the shots that you have been hired to capture, you shouldn’t be over-bearing or negative to the guests.

If you are looking for a new digital SLR, more commonly referred to as a DSLR, you will know that there are many different options to choose from. Depending on your budget or what sort of photographs you want to take, there will be options that are better than others.

There is an extensive range of DSLR cameras to choose from but these are the best DSLR cameras of 2015 so far.

Canon EOS 750D

Priced at just under £500 for the body, the EOS 750D is a camera that is aimed at people upgrading from compact cameras and their smartphone who are looking for a greater degree of flexibility and control. This is an excellent choice for people taking their first steps into the world of DSLR photography.

The layout is simple, the controls are intuitive and the autofocus is of the highest standard. If you are new to DSLRs, this is a great first choice.

Nikon D5500

Priced at around £560 for the body, this is an entry level DSLR for people with a bit of experience or who are keen to push on with their photography skills. If you are looking to progress quickly and develop your skills with respect to noise control, white balance and metering, this is the sort of DSLR that will allow you to develop your skills. The live view focus speeds could be improved but on the whole this is a great camera for people who are keen to learn and want to develop quickly.

Pentax 645Z

Given that body only price for this camera is £4,925, this is clearly a class apart from the previous two cameras, and it is also a camera that is well beyond the reach of most photographers. However, it is still classed in the medium-format camera range and in that market, it is an affordable option.

You will find, as you would expect, to be able to take image with an astounding level of detail and this is exactly the sort of camera a professional should opt for if they are looking to capture in high detail.

Sony Alpha A77 Mark II

If you are keen to enjoy the very best technology, Sony will not let you down. This DSLR offers Wi-Fi, NFC technology, a 24.3MP APS-C CMOS sensor and a wide range of top level specifications.