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.