Covering a concert with Fuji X-E2

Fuji X-E2, 18-55mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5, 1/80

Fujifilm X E-2 Firmware 2.00, XF 55-200mm Firmware 1.11

No Flash

First you will not be allowed in most venues to use a flash. For the most part if it is a decent venue then the lighting will look better than what we can do with a flash.

Here in this wide shot I captured the performers name and the concert tour name on the wall with the singer on stage. In general I find the super wide shots are seldom unless you are right up on the stage down front.

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 6400, ƒ/5, 1/200, 57mm

You are most likely going to be in the audience and a ways from the stage. I recommend a longer zoom lens like the Fujinon 55-200mm lens. Even in this photo I am not as tight as I normally like to shoot. The wide shots if they have a cool light setup can capture that, but for the most part the stage lights just shift colors.

White Balance

The biggest mistake you can make shooting a concert is AWB when it comes to color. The stage lighting will be every color you can imagine, but on AWB your color when it comes to skin tones will be very rarely on target.

Fuji X-E2, 55-200mm, ISO 2500, ƒ/4.8, 1/200

There are a few things you can do that gives you a good skin tone. I would love to go onto the stage and get a white balance reading using the ExpoDisc and when I am hired to shoot the concert by the promoters this is exactly what I do.

In this case we just had tickets like everyone else in the room. So no way were they going to let me on stage. This is where some of the presets your camera has will give you a really close white balance that will not be shifting all around due to them changing the color gels on the lights.

There are two places to start. I normally start with the Tungsten setting. In the Quick Menu it is to the top far right corner and looks like a light bulb. This is what I used for this concert.

Occasionally the setting is the daylight setting. There are a few occasions where you might find that setting the Kelvin to a color temperature might work. The color temperature for the LED lights tends to be 2,700 to 10,000 range. If you are doing this from your seat I can tell you a great place to see if your light is close.

Photo is heavily cropped

Zoom in until you see a microphone. Many of the microphones are really close to 18% gray. If the microphone looks good then you are pretty close.

It is very important that you set the color temperature and then leave it through the show. As the lighting guys change the color temperature of the lights to create different moods, so too will your images be very close to the color they were trying to achieve.

I love the Fujinon XF 55-200mm lens for shooting a concert. I can keep mainly this lens on the camera for most of the shooting and occasionally get some overall shots with a wider lens like the Fujinon XF 18-55mm.

Here are my Quick Menu Settings that I use for the concert:

I am shooting RAW and Fine JPEG for a reason. First I love to use the Wi-Fi on the Fuji X-E2 and send a few photos while I am shooting to my phone and up to social media like Facebook or Twitter and you can only do this when you shoot JPEG. I prefer working with a RAW file when I edit in Lightroom and this is what I am really wanting later to use for anything beyond a quick Facebook post.

Here you can see a more detailed setup of my AUTO ISO for the concert. I have the range of ISO 200 to 6400 and the minimum shutter speed of 1/200 selected. The only time the camera will drop below 1/200 is if the ISO of 6400 is used and there still is not enough light it will go below the 1/200. This was the case with the first picture on top here. The camera dropped to 1/80 to capture the light in the whole theater.

Big Plus of Fuji X-E2

When shooting a concert like this with my Nikon D4 I must shoot a shot and then look at the photo to see if the results are what I am looking for in the final image. I may use the histogram, but the LCD will let me see a good ballpark idea of if the performers face is overexposed or not.

With the Fuji X-E2 I am seeing for the most part exactly what the final image will look like with the viewfinder since it is an Electronic ViewFinder EVF.

As I look through the viewfinder I am turning the Exposure Compensation Dial usually down to -1 EV and sometimes I was down to -2 EV.

Here are more photos for you with the settings listed below each photo from the concert.