Heavy Metal Photography Tips

metal guitarist on stage

Capturing the raw power and energy of a heavy metal concert is a ton of fun and one of my favorite types of concert photography. And with the right gear, technique and tips you can take epic heavy metal photos.

Heavy Metal Photographer Guide

When you’re photographing metal shows, you want to get close to the action. Of course, getting past security is a whole other story. To make it easier for you, I’ve created an in depth heavy metal photographer guide that will give you all of the info that you need to get started shooting metal gigs and concerts.

Metal Photographing Gear

There are a few pieces of gear that are unique for heavy metal concert photography. You need a fast and wide lens with an f-stop of 2.8 or greater at concert venues. This will be crucial to get the wide shots that you want.

For a great concert camera, I recommend the Canon EOS 7D. It’s a full frame DSLR camera and is capable of shooting up to 8fps (frames per second). I like this DSLR because it has a great balance and is very easy to shoot with.

But if you want a Nikon or lower cost model check out our concert camera guide.

Metal Photographing Settings

When shooting heavy metal concerts, you need to make sure that your shutter speed is fast and your ISO is low. If you shoot in JPG format, make sure to turn off all of the noise reduction.

This will ensure that all of the details in your images are preserved and will provide you with bright photos. For the most professional photos, I recommend shooting in RAW format which will give you a much larger file size.

Metal Photography Tips

There are certain techniques that work well at metal concerts. You want to make sure that there are no strobing lights in your image, this will cause a greenish hue to show up on the photo. Also, if it’s a darker venue, you want to shoot your photos with a low ISO so that you don’t get any noise and grain.

If you’re going to shoot in RAW, I like to shoot in RAW+ format so that I have access to extra editing features later. When shooting RAW+RAW, your camera will give you three additional options. If you’re shooting RAW+ JPG, you will only get two extra options.

When shooting metal you will want to get close. If you shoot at a concert venue, ask the promoter if you can shoot in front of the stage.

If your shooting concerts with light shows, it’s particularly important to get a great location. The less light you have to work with, the more detailed your final photo will be.

And lastly, when shooting photos of musicians, be sure to point your camera at them from above if possible to avoid any shadows or reflections on their faces.

Bottom Line

Once you get the right gear, the right settings and the right techniques, shooting heavy metal concerts will be a breeze. I’ve created all of this Metal Photography information for you so that you can learn how to take professional heavy metal photos and become a better photographer.

Now get out there and shoot some live photos!