[#11 in a series of my favourite images, from my first 15 years as a professional photographer.]

Once in a while, an image comes along that doesn't fit my usual ideals, but still works, and suits the show. This one - of Irish company Pan Pan's production The Rehearsal, Playing The Dane at the New Zealand International Arts Festival - was a matter of being ready for the unexpected.

Judith Roddy, playing Ophelia in a version of Hamlet, came tearing towards me across the stage (I was sitting in the front row) - and just before she ran into me, veered off again to my right. I hadn't known it was going to happen, hadn't seen her coming, just turned towards her with the camera in my hand and took three images as quickly as I could, panning the camera with her as she ran.

The Rehearsal, Playing The Dane by Pan Pan Theatre at the New Zealand International Arts Festival, 2010 (click the image to embiggen)

In the first she's completely out of focus, and by the third she's already gone (apart from her shoulder); but, in the second photo, there's speed, emotion, action, a dead body...it's chaotic - but so was the show.

And sometimes, that's just right - once in a while, an imperfect image is exactly what's needed to capture the energy of a production. It's not carefully composed, perfectly framed, ideally sharp - but, it's how it felt.

Next week, another year - 2013!