Music Photography Tips 5: Choosing a focus point

Concert Photography Tips episode 5 tells you how to get your moving subject in focus without any hassle!

Matthew James Oxlade
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Music Photography Tips episode 5 tells you how to get your moving subject in focus without any hassle!

Episode 5 is a quick and easy tip for nailing your focus. I often see beginner concert photographers asking how to get more in-focus shots when they shoot. It’s not easy, and it’s especially complicated when you don’t know an easy trick or two to simplify the process.

It’s all about the timing with music photography

If you’re subject is moving, it makes sense to lock your focus point on an inanimate object. This way you know that the movement that will affect your focus area is entirely up to you – because it will only change if you move! This way you just need to wait for the moving subject to move into your locked area of focus.

Here’s the dialogue of the episode:

“When you’re shooting a band like The Bennies who jump around a lot, you really need to anticipate where they’re going to be. In this example it was important that I got Anty’s synth in focus but to also make sure Anty was in focus himself.

I sat and timed him rocking back and forth to make sure I got as much of Anty in focus as possible. I focused on the keyboard itself and tried to time when he’d be leaning forward. This allowed the subject and the context of the subject to both be in focus.”

Last episode’s music photography tips shoutouts

Here are some of the kind words you shared about Concert Photography Tips Episode 4 over on Instagram:

These videos are excellent man. – @danstorkaudio

So glad you are doing this! – @nevenaa

I love these, thank you for sharing ❤️ – @Allybumz

This is great! I’m learning things I’ve never thought about. Thanks for this. – @tsikudo_

This is actually fantastic. – @buffy.clark.swift

I can’t tell you how much your feedback means to me. My concert photography tips are free, so hearing that they are useful to you means so much and keeps me motivated to make more!

What’s next

I’m heading out on The Smith Street Band’s tour for Death To The Lads (great single, check out the video) so there’s going to be heaps of Smith Street Band-related music photography tips coming your way soon!

There’s some cool new plans in the pipeline that I signed off on this week that will help you become a professional concert photographer much quicker than if you were to figure out the industry on your own. More about that soon!

Keep on shooting!