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Coachella: How To Take Great Photos

How to Take Great Photos at Coachella 2007

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Difficulty: Easy
Coachella is a very photogenic music festival. For both amateur and professional photographers, there's no shortage of interesting subjects to snap photos of. The beautiful landscape, the artwork, your friends and fellow fans, and of course the performers themselves. There are hundreds of Coachella photo albums fans have posted online for the public to view, just do a search on or Google images and you'll see a ton of great photos.

Coachella's rules state that camera's are allowed, as long as they're not "professional" I'm not sure where they draw the distinction, but it seems that your basic point-and-shoot cameras are fine, while SLR cameras (digital or film) are not. But I'd guess that if you brought an SLR, they'd probably still let you bring it in as long as you didn't have some big telephoto lens attached to it.

You can capture some great photos at Coachella by following these tips:

Things You'll Need

  • Camera
  • A camera case (to protect your camera)
  • Extra film / memory cards
  • Extra batteries


  • STEP 1: KEEP IT SIMPLE. Basic point and shoot cameras have advanced in quality in recent years, and take great pics. Don't try to get too complicated with lighting techniques.
  • STEP 2: KEEP IT CANDID. Pics of people posing for the camera are nice, but kinda boring. Candid, action shots are much more interesting. Get some pics of people dancing, rockin' out, etc. Coachella's a public place, so feel free to take pics of strangers, unless they object.
  • STEP 3: ZOOM IN. Zoom as close in as you can. Closeups are more revealing, and zooming allows you to stand further away from your subject.
  • STEP 4: USE A FAST SHUTTER SPEED. Change your camera's ISO setting to something like 400, to capture images if your subject (or you) are moving.
  • STEP 5: KEEP YOUR CAMERA HANDY. You never know when an opportunity for a great shot will happen. And if you have a digital camera, take a lot of shots, then go back and delete the ones that didn't turn out so great. Keep only the really interesting shots.
  • STEP 6: BRING EXTRA FILM (MEMORY) AND BATTERIES. You'll need them. And bring your battery chargers too, so you can recharge in the hotel room.
  • STEP 7: BACKS ARE BORING. Many Coachella pics show a sea of peoples' backs, and a tiny stage a mile away. These shots are boring. Get people's faces in the shots, that's what's interesting.
  • STEP 8: EXPERIMENT. Try different angles. Shoot from down low, by the ground. Or hold you camera high over your head for an overhead view. Mix it up and keep it interesting.