Festivals are a good chance to shoot a variety of photographs – from portraits and candid images to performances and long exposure photographs. Read this article for tips to shoot festivals with Canon EOS 5D Mark IV!

Prepare pre-event

Pre-event planning is important to know what you will be shooting and when you can shoot it. Most, if not all, festivals have a schedule for performances and key events. Check out the events schedule beforehand to know the highlights of the festival to plan your route.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF400mm f/5.6L USM | f/5.6 | ISO 250 | 1/4000s

Pre-event planning also involves planning your gear in advance. The must-have gear is a tripod for photographing long exposure shots at night – fireworks and performances. Additionally, a zoom lens is useful in capturing performances from afar without causing disruption.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF200mm f/2.8L USM | f/2.8L | ISO 1600 | 1/250s

Choose your subject

How do you choose what to shoot at a festival with so much going on? Shoot everything – from the setup to the live performances and even the surrounding landscapes! Always be on alert and capture many photographs or a single powerful moment before the moment passes.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM | f/2.8 | ISO 1000 | 1/200s

Choosing the subject of your photograph also depends on the message you wish to convey. Set the scene by shooting the small details and panoramas or share moments by photographing events, performances and people.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF200mm f/2.8L USM | f/8 | ISO 1600 | 1/800s

Compose your shot

For photographing long exposure shots at night such as fireworks and performances, a tripod is essential. Research for good vantage points or accessible locations to photograph which will help in shot composition. EOS 5D Mark IV is the perfect choice for event photography as it is lightweight, making it convenient to bring around especially during long events. Furthermore, it’s improved ISO sensitivity means a decrease in the noise and increase in the photo quality!

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF24-70mm f/2.8L II USM | f/11 | ISO 100 | 2.7s

Checking out the surroundings and learning about your subject goes a long way in helping to frame and compose the shot. Keep shooting at different angles and looking out for interesting compositions to get that unique shot! In this case, a wide-angle lens or telephoto lens can help capture interesting perspectives.

Canon EOS 5D Mark IV | EF200mm f/2.8L USM | f/2.8L | f/2.8 | ISO 200 | 1/640s

Festivals may follow a schedule but it is impossible to predict the exact moment for an opportune shot. So always be prepared to capture and seize the moment!

Photos by Swee Meng.