First XV: Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2008)

Comment

First XV: Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2008)

If you've visited my website at all in recent years, you've probably seen this one already! Taken at a rehearsal for Fabulous Beast Dance Theatre's production of Giselle at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, it's been one of my all-time favourites for almost a decade now.

As with so many of my favourite images, it doesn't explain itself - but with a graphic shape and strong colour (if not quite clean lines), it lures you into wanting to know more...

Comment

First XV: Dead Letters (2005)

Comment

First XV: Dead Letters (2005)

I've written about the short film Dead Letters before (here, here, and here) - but I couldn't go past this image of Yvette Reid when I was looking through some of the work I'd done in 2005.

I hadn't worked on-set as a stills photographer before (though I'd been an extra on Lord Of The Rings and a few TV series & commercials before that, so I had at least some idea how it would work); but I really wanted to commit to this production, to see what full days on set would be like and whether I could both stay out of the way of the crew, and get what the producers needed...

Comment

First XV: Te Matarae I Orehu at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2004)

Comment

First XV: Te Matarae I Orehu at the New Zealand International Arts Festival (2004)

2004 was the year of my first New Zealand International Arts Festival as the official photographer (I'd been a box office manager, followspot operator & lighting technician in previous years); and while there were a number of images I really like from that Festival, this one still grabs me the most, I think.

This was also my first time photographing traditional Maori Kapa Haka performance...

Comment

First XV: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King premiere (2003)

Comment

First XV: The Lord Of The Rings: The Return Of The King premiere (2003)

I wrote a few months ago about the first Lord Of The Rings premiere at the Embassy Theatre in Wellington, and I'm sure I'll be looking at the Two Towers one again in December; but this image, as much for what it represents to me as anything else, has made it into my First XV list - celebrating fifteen years of my career, photographing the arts.

I'd photographed the previous two premieres by the time of the third one, and seen the crowds on the street (and in the media pen) grow exponentially each time; but I think, perhaps because I was still fairly new to the industry, I was still a bit shy, a bit hesitant about being elbow-to-elbow with the world's press in a tiny fenced area.

Don't get me wrong, I planned ahead and got there early, to make sure I got a good spot! But this time was different...

Comment

I Love You Now at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Sydney

Comment

I Love You Now at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, Sydney

Last time I was over at Darlinghurst Theatre Company, it was for a surrealist door-slamming farce; this time, it was a bit less farcical - but doors were slammed nonetheless...

Jeanette Cronin (who I photographed last year in The Shadow Box at the Old Fitz, also directed by Kim Hardwick) is this time both writer and co-star in I Love You Now - not so much a farce as a series of overlapping stories about modern love, lust, relationships and death, all played out in a single hotel room. Punctuated with live music, and tango...!

Comment

First XV: Dave Douglas Quintet at the Wellington Jazz Festival (2002)

Comment

First XV: Dave Douglas Quintet at the Wellington Jazz Festival (2002)

I realised recently that I had an anniversary coming up - not one of the obvious ones, but a quiet anniversary that I'd likely to be the only person to notice.

At the end of May 2002, I took the decision to give up my other work - I was doing about three different jobs at the time, working with a lighting company in theatre and events, helping the local film office, and doing a bit of consulting as a former box office manager as well - to concentrate completely on my photography career, which was starting to occupy more of my time.

Fifteen years later, I'm still at it - so to celebrate, I thought I'd look back and pick one image from each year along the way. And let's not underestimate how hard that is, to go through an entire year's work and choose just ONE image - but sometimes tough choices are needed...

Comment

Photographing the arts: turning a 3D stage into a 2D image

Comment

Photographing the arts: turning a 3D stage into a 2D image

I was back at Darlinghurst Theatre Company recently for their production of Hysteria, by English playwright Terry Johnson. It's a tough one to sum up quickly, but let's just call it a door-slamming French farce starring Freud & Dali, and leave it at that for the moment!

After my last entry into the Photographing The Arts series of essays, about how to create depth in a production image on stage, I was watching myself work and once again analysing the decisions I make on the fly - how I choose my point of view, both in terms of camera position and lens choice; and it reminded me of something I learned early on as a photographer, from a workshop by Freeman Patterson.

The trick to photography is to translate a three-dimensional space onto a two-dimensional page, on the fly. And make it compelling...

Comment

Photographing the arts: creating depth in production images

Comment

Photographing the arts: creating depth in production images

I've worked with the good folks at Critical Stages a couple of times recently, and I was happy to hear from them again late last year about a new tour of Stones In His Pockets - a marvellous, funny Irish script I'd seen performed some years ago in New Zealand.

We did a studio shoot for the poster & promotional images, and then a couple of months later (due to a last-minute cast change) we did it again; then recently I was out at the Riverside Theatre in Parramatta for the dress rehearsal, and something about the way the stage was set up got me thinking while I was editing the images.

Comment

Photographing the arts: working with a traverse stage

Comment

Photographing the arts: working with a traverse stage

"A fox called Scruffilitis."

I knew there'd be something different about this show, from that description alone.

"This is the tale of Jonah, Sophie, and a fox called Scruffilitis. It’s a true story, and it’s a love story. A quirky, dysfunctional, voyeuristic love story, but a love story all the same."

I don't usually take much convincing to photograph theatre, as it's one of my favourite things to work on - but when I started talking to director Luke Rogers from Stories Like These about working on this production, a couple of things caught my interest. The fox, for one - and the stage itself for another...

Comment

A Few Of My Favourite Things (2016 Year In Review Edition)

Comment

A Few Of My Favourite Things (2016 Year In Review Edition)

I know a lot of things happened in 2016, and many of them weren't that fabulous (to say the least); but when I went back into my archives, I started to realise there'd been some really great things that happened, too - so here's a few that I was involved in along the way, along with some images that might not have been seen elsewhere...

Comment

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Wellington Premiere - 15 years on

Comment

The Lord Of The Rings: The Fellowship Of The Ring Wellington Premiere - 15 years on

Has it really been fifteen years?

When I moved to Wellington in the late nineties, a lot was happening. When the announcement came that Peter Jackson would be filming the Lord Of The Rings all over New Zealand, he started right in our neighbourhood of Seatoun, where I was living at the time. 

By the end of filming, some 300 days later, I would have been an Elf, an Orc, a Gondorian and a Rohan - most of them dead, if I'm honest. By the time the first film came out, I was also a photographer...

Comment

Carols by Cabaret at the Hayes Theatre, Sydney

Comment

Carols by Cabaret at the Hayes Theatre, Sydney

The Hayes Theatre here in Sydney is a smaller space in musical theatre terms, but one where some super-talented people have been working hard for the past few years to mount shows that might not otherwise get seen here.

But beyond that, they're also part of the community - and so the artists who perform there work together to help in the best way they can, by putting on a show to raise funds for the Wayside Chapel in nearby Potts Point.

And so, Carols by Cabaret was back again this year - and I offered to help the producers in the best way I know how, by photographing the show...

Comment

Last Night Of The Proms with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Comment

Last Night Of The Proms with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra

Earlier this year, I was working with the Sydney Symphony Orchestra on their Last Night Of The Proms concert at the Sydney Opera House - and now that they've announced the Queen's Birthday concert again for 2017, I thought I'd put together a few images from the night!

The guest soloist was Greta Bradman (and yes, she's The Don's granddaughter) along with the Sydney Philharmonia Choirs; but of course, audience participation is as much the part of a show like this as anything that's happening on stage...between the confetti cannons, the streamers, and of course the many sing-alongs, it's an all-action sort of event...

Comment

Linden Furnell wins the Rob Guest Endowment at the Lyric Theatre, Sydney

Comment

Linden Furnell wins the Rob Guest Endowment at the Lyric Theatre, Sydney

From a pool of over 300 applicants who auditioned, six performers were chosen to perform at the Rob Guest Endowment Gala this past Monday - and I was there once again as their official photographer to document the night.

Last year was my first time at the gala event, and I have to say I was impressed - the quality of performances from guest artists from shows currently playing in Sydney, and from the six finalists, were absolutely top notch. Considering there's very little opportunity to rehearse with the band before the event (much less have technical rehearsals, on the borrowed set of Dream Lover for the night), it's an incredibly smooth & slick production they put on.

So I knew, going back this year, that it'd be something to see once again; and it certainly didn't disappoint...

Comment

Kage Collective October Issue: Surfaces

Comment

Kage Collective October Issue: Surfaces

This month's issue at the Kage Collective is bigger than usual, as our collective is augmented with six 'temporary members' - participants in the very first Kage workshop held recently in Belgium with Patrick La Roque and Bert Stephani.

I've got an essay called Meetings & Collisions - part of our theme this month, Surfaces - and here's a bonus image that didn't wind up fitting in the essay quite the way I'd wanted it to.

Enjoy!

Comment

September Kage Collective issue out now

Comment

September Kage Collective issue out now

Just a quick note that the latest series of essays from all of us at the Kage Collective are up now - and this month is a little different, in that we're relying entirely on the images. No words to our essays this time - apart from a quick introduction from Patrick LaRoque, we're all about silent contemplation this time.

Comment