Assignment 1 – Introductory ideas and research

The initial idea that I put to my tutor for assignment 1 is a photo essay about  the amateur players group at my local Arts Centre. I will produce a series of photographs showing the narrative of my involvement with the production of a stage version of the popular TV comedy “Up Pompeii”. My main job is to assist with the construction and painting of the set.

My first task was to search the net for technical tips and to look for visual ideas of what I could achieve. I failed to find any essays of the type I was proposing but did find technical help and plenty of commercial examples of theatre and stage photographs.

http://www.theguardian.com/stage/theatreblog/2009/nov/26/stage-theatre-photography-celebrity

http://www.theatre-photography.co.uk/home.php

http://gavtrain.blogspot.co.uk/2010/02/7-theatre-photography-tips.html

http://houlker.co.uk/theatre/theatre-photography-tips/

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I want to include the following ideas and events in my essay:

  • The Phoenix Theatre and Arts centre as part of the community
  • Personalities involved in the various aspects of the production
  • Work on set construction and painting
  • Rehearsals and direction
  • Technical rehearsal
  • Dress rehearsal
  • Performance and the audience

I shall be using my Nikon DSLR with a prime 35mm f1.8 lens.

As the short run of this show ends on 24th May and my assignment deadline is 6th July I have started immediately to gather material that I can edit down into a 10 image narrative. I can foresee a lot of technical problems photographing the rehearsals as the stage lighting is not being used and the black painted stage area is lit only by fluorescent light. I am experimenting with camera settings for low light, my initial reaction was that using flash is too harsh and produces deep shadows.

As I progress with the project and work through my editing, I will make further posts at regular intervals.

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