Wrestling with Shadows, Boxing with Sets

I faced some interesting challenges during a recent theater shoot. Senga Classic Stage Company‘s production of Playboy of the Western World takes place at Ojai’s Grange Hall, which features a very small stage. I was lighting the scenes with my two electronic flash units. To get the angles I wanted, compromises were needed, as described in the captions.

This ground-level confrontation seemed like a great opportunity for a wide-angle lens shot from a low angle. Unfortunately, I couldn't figure out how to capture the spectators without also capturing the top of the set. Strange how the sky comes to an abrupt end, eh?

I got up on a ladder to keep this group within the frame of the set, but couldn't figure out how to light the group without the "stone" structure throwing a shadow on the mountains and sky. A third flash would have solved this, but I didn't have a third flash.

Even when I got in close, shadows from the set affected the final image.

Of course, sometimes the action draws attention away from the set, but the shadow still bothers me.

I'm still happy with the results, because the photos have looked fine in the local paper, as was intended. Next week I'll shoot the same set and cast under stage lighting, which will solve all the shadow problems for me.

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Filed under Dance and Theater, Lighting

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