I’m a pretty dispassionate, slow-moving guy; so one challenge of High School Theater for me is the general excitability of the participants. WATCH OUT FOR FLYING TEENAGERS!
I always arrive early and resign myself to practice patience, because it’s hard to get people’s attention and it’s hard to keep it. Fortunately, on this occasion the director had mapped out the shots he wanted (HOORAY!), and exhibited remarkable command of the cast.
Because the director had a lot of set-ups and not much time, I decided to use the theater lights rather than my flash units. Looking at the images afterwards, I realized that just because I wasn’t going to light the scenes myself, I should not have put my lights away. The bright theater lights were a lot like daylight, producing heavy shadows (lots of raccoon-eye action). I should have used one of my flashes – even on camera – as a fill light.
Relying on staged poses under fixed lights allowed me to lock in ISO and manual exposure, resulting in lower noise and more consistent exposures. Had I photographed an actual rehearsal or performance, I’d have employed auto-ISO to accommodate the changing light.
We got the publicity shots and portraits we needed, but one can always do better, right? I’m big on learning from my mistakes. Two posts ago, I wrote about wishing I had the presence of mind to move a subject’s hair when it was out of place. At this shoot, I did!
If you like, you can check out the Charley’s Aunt photos at my smugmug page.