Warantee @ Explosiv Graz – How to film a band live

Once again Warantee perform at Explosiv Graz. The rock punk sound reminiscence of the Dead Kennedys with a touch of Ramones throw in. Playing their out homegrown tracks and finally finishing over to an encore of Motorhead’s – God Was Never On Your Side.

Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz

How to film your favourite local band

  • Turn up early to get yourself into position in front of the stage. Now here is the key to get some exceptional images and look professional at the same time.
  • Choose a small event on a weeknight if possible. Why, these events tend to be less crowded and more intimate. You have a much better chance of getting more interesting shots. Ones which are closer and close up.
  • There’s also a good chance you’ll get to chat with the band and let them know what you’re doing. Most bands are happy enough once you let them do their job on stage. So feel the environment, how things are going.
  • Get into the music, don’t photograph or video each solid song. Leave at least half of the set to enjoy the gig. This is also out of respect to the artist(s) and for yourself to have a freaking good time. Drink a beer or two. The band needs to see you’re enjoying yourself too!
  • Note not every location is suitable to record a video, so some use your common sense.  Also check if you have permission too!
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz

My band which I”m going to film and photograph are based in Graz, Austria. They’re a punk/rock band called Warantee. I’ve photograph them before in colour. This time around I wish to do make a more grittier look in B&W. The videoing I wish to make will be handheld and close.

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Top Tips

But before I go into the filming. Here are my top tips!


  • One Lens
    One lens – keep things as simple as possible you going to use your legs as the zoom. Turn on the rear LCD display and film in live view.
  • Extra Batteries
    Video is demanding for any camera so at least bring two or better three batteries. Keep them close at hand. In your pocket just ensure the battery is protected. So it’s not in contact with any metal objects such as keys, coins or condom wrappers, – I bet you’re awake now!
  • Plenty Memory Cards
    You don’t want to run out hald way through filming. So ensure you have enough storage.
  • Fast lens
    If you’re going to photograph or make a video of your favourite local band. One thing straight off the bat you’ll need is a damn fast lens something like f/2.0 or faster. A nice big piece of glass. This is the most important piece of gear you’ll need for such nocturnal activities. Any DSLR or mirrorless camera will do as along as it has 1080p or better.
  • Good Low Light Camera Performance
    The camera to use should be well able to shot without too much noise at 3200 ISO or higher.
  • About Lens
    Most camera makers have what’s call the “niffy fifty”. The 50mm lens goes for under 100 euros or bucks. These lens are great for starting off and using through out your entire photographic life. I like 24mm it’s my favourite lens to boot. 35mm is also sweet too. (If you’re far from the stage 135mm f/2.0 is you’re only man but it will cost you at least a kidney!)


  • Lock-in the ISO
    Now that your batteries, camera and lens are sorted. It’s time to set things up. Once the band gets on stage and you’ve positioned yourself. Get an idea of the lighting arrangement. Normally you’re going set in your exposure. Bring your ISO high enough at least 3200 is always a good start to begin with.
  • Manual Shutter Speed
    Ok next, dial in your shutter speed while having your lens wide open. Ensure the speed is at least 1/50s or higher. For longer lens such as 135mm you’ll need 1/160s or higher otherwise your images won’t be sharper enough. If you don’t have enough speed bump up the ISO.
  • Manual Exposure
    With the shutter speed and ISO set for your situation and lens. It time to shot off some test shots while the band gets going. Check if the main characters of your band are lookin’ good. Are there facial expressions clear enough to make out in your test images?Video is a little harder to fix in post than say images are so get the exposure set correctly. Don’t mind blowing highlights for stage lighting that you can’t control that anyway. For images, shot raw so you can recover shadows and control highlights back at base.

    Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
    Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz

Get the Shot

  • Position Yourself
    Now to the gig! choose a side from the lead singer as they tend to be where the action is happening. The side where the lead singer and lead guitar is a good place to capture the show. Then video or photograph between them. It’s important not to irritate your favourite local band remember to enjoy yourself – don’t be a nob!
  • Get Close
    Get both tight shots and entire band shots. A few audience shots too.
  • The Gig
    Wait until the band warms up towards the end of their set to get the really good stuff. At this point they should be in full swing of things. Making shapes and facial rarities!
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz


Once you are back home it’s time to post process everything. I use Capture One and DaVinci Resolve to do the filming side of things. DaVinci is free for most usage which is so great especially for colour grading too. Capture One Express is free for Sony and Fujifilm camera I definitely recommend using it.

So I hope my little guide to filming or photographing you favourite band a little easier to do.

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Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz
Warantee Band @ X-plosive Graz

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