Festivals are a great time to photograph people, with loads of activity and people not so self conscious. When festival time is close at hand wherever you live, why not try your hand at some festival photography?
Here are a few tips to help you get started:
1. Panning Technique
Using zoom and pan should in ideal situations require the use of a tripod, but we do understand it is not always practical to use one in festivals. Use as high a shutter speed as you can to avoid shake on your photos. The idea behind panning it to move your camera WITH your subject so they are RELATIVELY not in motion, creating a blurred background but a sharp subject. This technique takes a lot of effort to perfect, especially in the absence of a tripod. Try using the burst mode as you pan your camera with the subject. This way you will get at least a couple of good shots.
2. Shooting a Stage Performance at Night
Shooting a stage performance is fun! Try and get to the side of the stage to avoid glare by straight-on lights. You will no doubt require high ISO levels and a tripod would definitely help. Further, you could even use a cable release to completely eliminate the possibility of camera shake even at low shutter speeds. If you are shooting a singer or a dancer, it helps if you know a little about the music being played. Not only would this help you anticipate the movements of the people on stage, it also helps you judge how coordinated stage lights could change with the music.
3. Shooting Street Life
Street photography is a rewarding pas time. However, it is not as easy as it sounds. Try and minimize clutter such as telephone cables leading into the sides of your composition. So zoom in as much as you possibly can, into your subject keeping in mind you need to create a mood with the rest of the space around the subject at the same time. Try and shoot street scenes from unusual angles such as rooftops and ladders! This gives a nice touch to street images.
4. Getting Up Close with Crowds
Again, if you want to get some unusual angles, get a little higher up than the rest of the crowd – use a ladder if you see one! Judge which side of the road is best to shoot from and perch yourself there. While shooting crowds, if you stay put in the same place for long enough, you will realize how much the scenes in front of you keeps changing. So get comfortable – and wait!
5. Shooting from Low Angles
If you feel its safe enough, try and get a few shots lying flat down on the ground! It is imperative that you get some unusual angles – high up or low down. Try a few lying down, a few sitting down, and a few on your knees, using one knee as camera support while the other provides body support in the kneeling position.