Picture of the Week 7

Canon EOS 5D ,Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM
1/125s f/3.2 at 42.0mm iso1600

A Little Piece of Heaven

The next play by the Village Church Community Theater is a new gem called “A Little Piece of Heaven”. The play was first produced in Texas in 2008. When I picked up the script, I almost couldn’t put it down. It’s funny, yet thought provoking, and has a lot of suspense. Last Saturday, I photographed the first full run-through of the play. I had gotten the script just the night before, so fortunately I didn’t have have to go in cold.

Every play I photograph has its unique challenges. This one has perhaps the least amount of action of the 15 or so productions I’ve documented. Almost all of it is in the dialogue. On top of that, it’s set in the present, so the actors will be wearing contemporary dress. No colorful Victorian costumes to “pretty up” the picture. There’s just a touch of drama in this scene, but for the most part, I will have to focus on facial expressions.

Theater photography has a lot of challenges and perils, and this photo is a good example. I had noticed too late that some of the stage lights had color filters on, red and blue in particular. I imagine they might have been left from the last show. They sure gave me some headaches in post-processing, and even with the flexibility that shooting raw provides, I wasn’t able to fully compensate for the red and violet color casts.

One piece of photographic advice that this image illustrates well is to watch the background of the composition. It’s so easy to focus on the main element(s) when you look through the viewfinder, and neglect what’s in the background. Here, I’ve positioned myself carefully relative to the two close actors so that the other six actors in the background are visible as much as possible. Move around a bit on your feet before you click the shutter. Sometimes, as in this shot, just a few inches can make all the difference.

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One Response to Picture of the Week 7

  1. Marsha Sinkevich says:

    Nice visual demonstrating tension in the scene. The man in the background with the bowed head heightens the suggestion of apparent conflict.

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