Why Theater Lights give me Nightmares

Before the set was built, I shot some publicity images using a single flash (with a Gary Fong Lightsphere diffuser). Later, the producers asked me to shoot during a performance. That's when the trouble started.

This coming weekend, the Elite Theatre Company in Oxnard, California, completes its run of Neil Simon’s The Sunshine Boys. It’s a fun play in a funky theater.

I’m sharing some images to illustrate one of the biggest challenges I face when shooting theater, but I also want to promote the show, which is much better than the photographs. Go see it this weekend, but only if you like to laugh.

Multiple lights on the actors produce multiple, distracting shadows whenever the action moves close to a wall. On a small stage, that might be most of the show.

During the performance, the audience doesn't notice these shadows at all, because they are watching the actors. In a still photograph, the errant shadows draw the eye and dominate the image.

A few feet from the wall, shadows are not a problem.

I prefer to control the light myself, but you can't always get what you want.

2 Comments

Filed under Uncategorized

2 responses to “Why Theater Lights give me Nightmares

  1. Gotta say, this is when Photoshop comes in handy. It wouldn’t take much skill or time to blur those shadows in post.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s