Can You Use Your Phone?

So far, we’ve gone over tips and tricks that can help you take better photos of concerts, but what if you don’t have a DSLR or another high end, dedicated camera? What if you don’t want to take anything along but your smartphone? In this post, we’ll discuss whether you can shoot a concert with just your phone or not, and some tips to take better photos.  

You Can Use Your Phone, But Not Always  

It’s no secret that smartphone cameras have come a very, very long way in recent years. Manufacturers like Apple, Samsung, and Huawei are constantly making stellar improvements to their phone cameras to attract a broader market of serious photographers. It’s no surprise then that their flagship phones cost nearly, or more than, a thousand dollars.  

But not everyone has an expensive phone and even if you do, you may not be able to take amazing photos with it in every situation. However, provided that you have enough light, you can easily pull off some great concert photos with just your smartphone.  

If you’re set on taking mobile photos at a concert, here are some tips you should try out:  

  • Use Manual Mode 

Even if the automatic modes on cameras work well, they don’t always do what you need them to. So, try using the manual mode as most smartphones today offer it. Here, you can adjust the ISO, focus, white balance, and even shutter speed on some phones. With the manual mode, you have much more control over how your shot comes out.  

  • Use RAW Capabilities 

Many companies today have allowed users to shoot RAW photos from their phones. This can be hugely beneficial for you as you can have the full information captured by the camera at your disposal to process as you please. You can then use an auto photo editor for RAW images to quickly process your photos or take your time and delve into deeper editing.  

  • Use a Tripod 

If you’re taking videos or long exposure shots, use a tripod for your phone. A phone camera has a small sensor which is much more prone to introducing noise and blur in photos. To combat noise, you’ll have to use a slower shutter speed and a lower ISO value, and to combat motion blur because of the slower shutter speed, you’ll need a tripod.  

  • Use Creative Apps 

Sometimes, the best way to hide a camera’s imperfections is to take a more creative shot. There are a number of editing apps available for smartphones that can be used to creatively edit your photos. You can make them black and white, add color filters to them, or just use the apps to add effects like grunge or grain etc.  

  • Use Dual Lenses 

If you have one of those smartphones with dual, or more, camera lenses at the back, you can use them to really push your phone photography to the next level. Some phones come with telephoto lenses that will allow you to get much closer to the stage without cropping the photo. Some have wide-angle lenses that can help encapsulate the ambiance of the whole arena in one photo.  

  • Use Add-On Lenses 

If your phone doesn’t sport multiple lenses, try using add-on ones that many companies make. These attach to the back of your phone, covering the camera, and change the perspective of the built-in lens. You can make your camera lens behave like a telephoto lens, macro lens, wide angle lens, and even a fish-eye lens if you want.  


So, in short, yes you can use your phone to take photos at a concert if you don’t have a camera with you or just don’t want the extra weight and hassle. Just be sure to give the tips mentioned in this guide a consideration and you might just end up with great-looking photos.  

How a Monopod Can Help You on Your Music Adventure

We have previously mentioned that you should consider taking a compact camera with you when going to a music festival rather than carry your expensive and heavy DSLR. However, the problem with compact cameras is that they mostly don’t have image stabilization, and you can’t change lenses on them either to add a stabilized one.

So what do you do when you need to take handheld shots but the light isn’t great? You use a monopod.

Lightweight, Cheap, and Portable

Now one could argue that taking along a tripod could be much more useful than a monopod, and one would be correct. However, we are focusing here on something that is portable and doesn’t slow you down. Can you imagine yourself dancing to music and then pausing to deploy your three-legged friend in a crowd of thousands? We certainly can’t.

A monopod is lightweight, it’s not too expensive, and it’s easy to carry. You can just fit it in your backpack and not even notice it most of the time. It’s simple to use, and you don’t need a lot of space to prop it up on the ground for some added stability when taking photos. This stability is of great use when you are planning on taking on HDR photos (click here to learn more) or when you want to use slightly longer exposures. Even when taking normal shots, you’ll see the added benefit of the stability a monopod offers while out and about.

So before you take off for your next music festival, invest a little in a monopod of your choice if you’re planning on taking good photos. You won’t regret it.

How to Capture the Venue with your Camera

One of the most important elements of any musical concert is the actual venue where the event is being held. It’s not just about the music and the dancing. The stage, the stands, the setup, and the camps all collectively give meaning to a concert.

Therefore, it becomes important to capture the essence of the space before the concert starts. So take images of the venue before the people start piling in, before the stage is taken by the performers. Follow these tips to take great photos of the concert venue:

Use a wide angle lens to take in the whole stage in one photo. If you don’t have a wide angle lens then you can always make a panorama, but it won’t look as nice as a wide angle photo of the entire thing.

Take HDR photos to make sure that the bright sky doesn’t ruin your shot by getting blown out. This will let you take a photo that is evenly exposed from the shadows to the highlights. To learn more about HDR photography, follow this link.

Go monochrome to capture the true essence of the space in a creative way. Sometimes you need to take the color away from a photo to really emphasize on its presence. You can also use color splash effects to draw the viewers’ focus to one part of the image.

Try long exposures to get creative effects from the sky if it’s a windy and cloudy day. This will allow you to have the clouds blurred due to their motion over a short time, creating a very dynamic sky atop a static stage.

Try these tips when taking photos of a concert venue, and feel free to experiment with other styles and techniques as well. You’ll see how different a venue can look before the actual event starts.

How to Take Great Photos at a Music Festival

While it’s important to leave your gadgets home when you go to a music festival, it’s also important for many people to savor those memories in the form of photos.

Here are some of the ways in which you can be sure of capturing all those great memories while not having to sacrifice enjoying the actual music.

HDR is a Quick Fix

When the time comes to shoot photos of the venue, go HDR to save time adjusting exposure and getting the perfect amount of light in your photos. Just set your camera to take three brackets of the same shot at different exposures, and merge them all later in an HDR processor. Visit to learn more.

Go Compact

Lugging around a heavy DSLR is not going to be an ideal way to take photos at a music festival. You’ll always be worried about something happening to your gear and won’t be able to enjoy anything. Instead, take along a capable compact camera that you can walk around with.

Notice the Little Things

Another advantage of having a small camera is that you’ll have it with you at all time. So start noticing the little things that make music festivals so great. Take pictures of the food stalls and the face painting camps. Take portraits of people who look interesting to you, and take photos of what’s happening other than the music too. These are the things that matter when you look back at your experiences.