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Concert Photo Editing

Tips for Lightroom and beyond


Concert photography is a thrilling endeavor, capturing the raw energy and emotion of live performances. However, the journey doesn't end when you press the shutter button - post-production is where your photos truly come to life.


In this short guide, we'll explore techniques for editing concert photos in Lightroom and share general post-production tips to help you elevate your images to the next level.


Editing the keyboarder of the band Knaat, using the color mixer and increasing structure and clarity

Organize Your Workflow

Before diving into editing, it's crucial to organize your workflow. Import your photos into Lightroom and create a systematic approach to sorting and rating your images. This will streamline the editing process and ensure that you can easily locate and access your files when needed.


Selecting Graveworm pictures by using the flags to decide between using or not using the shot plus rating my favorites that probably make it as 'cover' shots on social media

Enhance Exposure and Contrast Start by adjusting the exposure and contrast of your photos to achieve the desired overall brightness and tonal range. Use Lightroom's Exposure and Contrast sliders to fine-tune the lighting and make your subjects pop against the backdrop of the stage.


Fine-Tune Colors and White Balance

Concert lighting can be challenging, often consisting of intense spotlights and vibrant stage effects. Use Lightroom's HSL/Color panel to selectively adjust the colors in your photos, balancing hues and correcting any color casts. Additionally, fine-tune the white balance to ensure accurate color representation and eliminate any unwanted color tints.


Enhance Details and Sharpness

To make your concert photos truly stand out, enhance details and sharpness using Lightroom's Sharpening and Clarity tools. Apply selective sharpening to key areas of interest, such as the musician's face or instrument, to add definition and clarity to your images.

Experiment with Creative Effects

Don't be afraid to experiment with creative effects to add a unique touch to your concert photos. Explore Lightroom presets, filters, and adjustment brushes to enhance mood, add drama, or evoke a specific atmosphere. Whether it's adding a touch of vintage warmth or creating a gritty black-and-white look, let your creativity run wild.


Over the years I created my own pre-sets for partly-colored and black and white style so I don't have to do basic adaptions on every single picture I edit. I do - however - edit every shot individually in the end but having a preset with basic settings like de-noise or up-clarity saves quite some time especially if you edit loads of bands at once like on a whole festival where everyone is waiting for your pictures to drop on social media asap.


Editing Vulvathrone and deciding against color grading and sticking to saturated black and white

In conclusion, I do like a pretty clean and crisp look to my pictures, I mainly just use a bit of color grading or go straight to black and white. I love editing the way I feel or how the performance made me feel like. So my editing style is completely free and up to me as I normally do concert shots under my own name/brand. If you work for a client or were contracted by a band/festival, and they have specific way of presenting themselves, ask for directions in editing. Truth is, the same raw picture can have multiple ways of end results.


Be patient finding your own style and try to stick with it over time (small adaptions and further development excluded of course). But this way your photographs will be recognized to be specifically yours over time.


PS: I only used Photoshop in the beginning of my shooting career, I do not use any photoshop on any of my photographs in the last decade. Some minor 'faults' like water bottles distracting the scene or whatever I edit out in Lightroom as well. Which editing program you use it also totally up to you and they are some cheaper or even freeware options available. I just find Lightroom super easy to use for my requirements in concert photo editing.


 

My name is Sonja Rodríguez, a concert photographer with over a decade of experience, specializing in the intense landscapes of Black and Death Metal.


If you enjoy my content, don't forget to tip me a coffee via Paypal.Me/sunnyshotmedown

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