Friday, 28 May 2010

John Alexander Theatre Photography

I had the pleasure of shooting Atlas Theatre's production called 'The House of Cards' a few days ago. I had a really great time and I think we got some great results to put into their portfolio.

Photography-wise it was hugely difficult and very challenging. I was shooting around 1/30 of a second and as you will see in the photos there was not much light to play with. I had to use my slow-shutter technique whereby I use various parts of my body to act as a tripod to achieve an acceptably sharp shot- adopting a lot of them from my rifle shooting days.
Even with these 'Heath Robinson' techniques it was very difficult to get a sharp shot. Even if I could manage to have zero movement when taking the photograph, the movement of the actors within that 1/30 of a second would blur the shot. Therefore I had to be very particular about the timing of my shots to capture the action, expressions and atmosphere but when they were more static.

Why not Flash? - It wouldn't have been feasible to use flash as it would compromise the dark atmosphere created by the stage-lighting. Therefore I was using the very VERY low ambient light available at the scene.

Thanks to my 50mm f1.4 and my 85mm f1.8 lenses I was able to shoot at these shutter-speeds otherwise I really don't know what I would have done. The only other option would have been a tripod which would have been too cumbersome and slow.

I hope you think we have been successful and got some shots that capture the dark atmosphere of the play.
Enjoy the shots!

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