My daughter’s school does a major play production every two years now. They used to do smaller shows every year until two years ago, when they did Romeo & Juliet.
The director was able to wrangle a deal with some larger theatre companies and get the cast real Shakespearean costumes. The additional work required to put on such a major production led to the decision to stage these larger, more ambitious productions every two years.
This year’s production was A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
Over 200 hours of work went in to this play. Costumes from major Shakespearean theatres again, a multi-level thrust added to the stage, lunch practices, after school practices, and more.
All-in-all, a great effort from everyone that resulted in a memorable event for all involved.
What’s this got to do with me? Well, what’s a guy with new camera gear gonna do when his little girl gets to play Queen Titania in Grade 7? Take pictures, of course!
I spoke with the director and the principal, and they were quite helpful and enthusiastic about me photographing the play. Since my schedule is fairly open right now, I was able to attend all three performances and shoot from different vantage points each time.
After the first two shows I reviewed my photos and was not entirely happy with the results. Blurry, blown out, too dark. Not very many keepers, in my opinion. So, I did some research into theatre photography, found out what settings I could try to improve the quality of the photos, and tried again. Definite improvement. And based on what I had read, I was able to tweak my settings a little bit during the show and adjust so some of the lighting variances caused by where the cast stood. Fortunately all the lights were in a fixed position and did not change at all during the play, but they did cause some interesting shadows.
Overall I shot over 1500 pictures between the three shows. I’m currently working through a shortlist of about 300 shots that have promise. This was definitely a learning experience, and I’m kind of thinking about trying it again.
Today’s photo is of my daughter as Queen Titania expressing her love for Bottom.