Documenting anything live requires 100% concentration to capture powerful, crisp moments as they happen. Having a good camera is not enough.
When working with theatre productions specifically, there is the temptation, if in full rehearsal, to perhaps set up shots and situations (they are actors of course!) but to capture still performance moments “live” in a fast-moving and variable lit situation is an enjoyable, if not intense, creative process.
Full House Theatre are a highly successful creative company who are known for their innovative and exciting original productions, aimed at engaging children in the magic of theatre.
Each year we deliver their Christmas production imagery from a single, full run-through dress rehearsal. But for 2015, due to diary constraints, this had to be done during a live audience performance giving an added, but even more real dimension with less places to shoot from.
With a small cast, many evolutions of set and creative lighting techniques, Full House successfully create changing scenes with real visual effect. As I don’t get to see any of the production until the shoot there is no time to plan where to be and what to photograph (or what the lighting will be like) before that moment takes place. Zen takes over.
Of course with digital photography there is also the temptation to shoot many images at high-speed and pick the best afterwards. I don’t do this as not only does this “cheat” give a massive amount of boring post-production work, a camera shooting an image at 1/200th of a second means there are at least 194 shots a second you don’t capture! And that’s just for one second from one perspective.
Choosing the location and moment by thought, observation and technique works much better.
All images here and across our Documenting services, whether theatre or anything reportage related are shot on this real-time basis.