Shoulda Woulda Coulda

I always enjoy Kimberly Demmarys work onstage, and I think shes going to knock the audience dead as Sylvia, the golden retriever that turns a marriage into a war of wills. A shoot-through umbrella on the left did not fire, which is a common occurrence for me in black-walled theaters. Even so, Im happy with the lighting. I just wish Id thought of a better way to obscure the background. I also wish Id thought to have Kimberly take the leash in her teeth. I used softer light on Sylvia; harder light on her owner's critical companion.

Next month, Ojai’s Art Center Theater will present Sylvia, by A.R. Gurney. Sylvia is a dog, played by a woman. The photographic opportunities are endless, but the time for our first photo session was not. At this early stage of rehearsal, there are no costumes, and the set from The Odd Couple is still on stage. Reviewing the images, I played the shoulda-coulda-woulda game.

As I’ve mentioned before, theater publicity photos are always rushed because I’m taking up valuable rehearsal time. I’m pleased with how quickly I can get to almost-what-I-want, but I have no idea how long it would take to get what I really want, because every set, cast, and director creates a unique dynamic during the shoot. But everyone depends on me to get the shot, so I need to be more assertive in real-time: moving furniture, people and lights to get shots that are better than good enough.

The eternal triangle: woman, man, dog. Soft fill and key on the foreground subjects; hard accent light on the angry wife. Too much spill on the background, but with such a wide angle lens, I couldnt figure out how to move the lights closer to the subjects. Naturally, when I got home, I thought of several ways to do this. (Yes, I could spend hours burning the background in Photoshop, but I dont do that.)

The nice thing about getting called to do early publicity shots is the fact that I’ll have additional chances to shoot more. With this cast and a chance to plan ahead, I’m really excited for the next session.

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Filed under Camera Settings, Dance and Theater, Lighting

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