One aspect about theatre that is always fun to take is the back-stage pre-show preparations, such as costume and make-up shots. The cast are filled with pre-nerves jitters, excitement and energy. Many will joke and muck about to help ease the tension, and when you are doing a piece of comedy, even more so. Everyone also has their own little warm up routines which include things like;
- Lip Exercises, including Oooos, Aaaaaahs, Bbbbbbbbrs, and other weird noises.
- Tongue Twisters and short, quickly spoken poems.
- Breathing exercises.
- Running Lines
For me, it was always about quiet reflection and achieving a focus. My vocals were always warmed up through singing in the car before I arrived, so I just needed to get “in-the-zone” so to speak.
This shot shows a costume lady, two actors in prep, and a very cluttered bench. Taken back-stage before a performance for A Servant to Two Masters, it is a rather classic use of the Mirror Lights so associated with Theatre. Even with all that light, the is still a need for a higher ISO setting and therefore a certain level of noise. However, when I took this and other pictures during this show, I learnt another technique to counter noise: Black and White. There are two pros to using Black and White imagery when taking low-light images and the first is that the grey tones tend to hide some of the noise that would be far more apparent in colour photos. The second is that a little bit of noise looks very nice in a Black and White image.
For that reason, I don’t tend to dispose of too many noisy pictures until I have tried applying sepia, two-tone, colour overlays or straight black and white conversions to them. Sometimes an image that you may have otherwise deleted turn in to something rather special.