Concert Photography: Post Processing

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In-Camera Editing

In between sets, do some in-camera editing to save yourself time later. There have been times where I stood in the pit for 45 minutes waiting for the next act. So during that time, I spend it going through images and deleting the bad ones. Zoom in and make sure you’re not deleting the keepers. And if you’re worried that doing this will drain your battery, it really shouldn’t. I turn my LCD brightness all the way down during the day and turn it back up when I start deleting images so I can really see. (Though how much can you really see on a three-inch screen.) You can also save battery energy by turning off the image review setting. If this is really an issue, bring back up batteries. I always carry two extra Canon batteries for my camera just in case.

I think 200 images in a three song set is a lot and it’s especially a lot to edit so whenever I have the chance to do some in-camera editing, I take it. If you don’t want other people to see your photos on your screen, have fun sorting through those later! Like a normal human being, I like to sleep so in-camera editing saves me a butt-load of time that can be spent on those zzz’s.

Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop

Upload those RAW files into Lightroom and get editing! Lightroom is awesome for tweaking a photo’s exposure, clarity, contrast, etc. Star your favorite images and delete the blurry ones. Lightroom also allows you to rename the entire gallery of pictures so you don’t have to individually rename each image file! However on Windows, you can select all the images in a folder and rename it easily. Anyone know if Macs can do this?

To do this: Select all images >> Library >> Rename Photos >> Custom Name Sequence (click this for screenshot example)

And if you’re a Windows user who doesn’t have Photoshop, use Corel Paint Shop Pro. It’s a Windows only program that I will stand by until the day I die. I actually prefer it to Photoshop because it’s the program I learned graphic design on and it’s just as great for editing.

Choosing Your Final Photos

It’s obvious that your sharpest photos should have priority but I like to follow the idea that you should publish the photos you’d be proud to display in your own portfolio. I have a Jonathan Adler portfolio from Barnes & Noble that I use to display my resume, best photography, and writing samples. When I’m picking photos, I choose which to keep and which to delete by deciding if whether the image is worthy of something I’d show to potential employers.

Don’t Post Unflattering Photos

This should just be out of respect for the performer. Publishing embarrassing images of someone who approved you for a photo pass is just plain rude. In case you missed it, this reason is exactly why Beyonce banned outside photographers from her most recent tour. You’re there to make the performer look good, not to post images of them from unflattering angles.

One Last Thing:

Work quickly and on time. Make sure to always finish before deadlines and have your photos ready to send to your editor when they’re supposed to be sent in.

And also, if you’re one of those people that save your best images for your own personal use and send your editor the decent photos, you SUCK as a person. That’s fucking disrespectful.

Go to the next article in our Concert Photography Series: Photo Pit Etiquette
Follow Nancy Hoang:

Nancy Hoang created Hopeless Thunder in 2007. She conducts the interviews, writes the articles, photographs the concerts, and handles the site's coding & design. (Basically, she's a control freak.) Her work can also be seen on music publication, CMJ. Contact Nancy for image licensing, assignments, or just to say hi.

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