The day before the last performance, we arranged to spend some time on the stage working on some suspensions and taking photos. I’d imagined the stage would be empty as it is at the end of Act III, and open to the auditorium. Just before going through the scene door, I thought, “Oh, it’s going to have Act I here, isn’t it?” And so the void of the space, gold and red of the auditorium was replaced by a forest.
We set up on one side, not so much light, but a Can from above giving enough to make it possible. Gala and Dasniya swapped their figures, and first one then the other hoisted themselves onto the single ring.
The complete change in colour and atmosphere was a jump for me, as I’d already imagined much of how I’d photograph with the stage in Act III setup. I wandered around, trying from different views, spending more time where the light was better, sometimes closer, sometimes further. It was nice for all of us to have time to try things, as well as to spend time in the theatre outside the rush of the performance.
These photos have a different feel to what we’ve done so far; perhaps if we’d shown something like this in the first rehearsals, we’d have been hanging in a very different way.
Some technical stuff. I shot in RAW for a change, as the light was very difficult. The amount of detail I got out of the shadows and what seems to be blackness is impressive. Mostly I was shooting on Shutter Priority at 1/10 to 1/15 sec, ISO200 on around f/2. I probably could have gone to ISO400, but find it a bit problematic with chroma noise (even though it’s easy-ish to fix in post). The RAW setting handles noise reduction much better, with hair not suffering from soft mushiness, this is something I need to mess about with. I did some post in Aperture, mostly just colour balancing, as the light tended to give everything a subtle yet eye-watering green cast.