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 - was a matter of being ready for the unexpected...Read More
It's always tough to choose a single image from a New Zealand International Arts Festival - after all, I photographed for 24 days straight, usually working 17h days; so there are a few to choose from!
And 2010 was a particularly good year, between visiting companies and New Zealand works; but somehow I come back to Red Leap Theatre's production of The Arrival often, when I'm thinking about that festival. It caught me by surprise, I think - in the same way Giselle did two years earlier, I came into rehearsal not knowing much about the show, and came out a fan of the company...Read More
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...Read More
It's strange to have a photo where I'm actually IN it, along with the subjects - that's not usually what I'm aiming for! But this time, I didn't mind - I was just part of the audience in the concert, and I'd preset the camera on stage at interval, with a wireless trigger and my sound blimp...Read More
To me, there's a lot to like in this week's image, from Tan Dun's opera Tea: A Mirror of Soul at the New Zealand International Arts Festival in 2006; it's simple, clean, and graphic.
And yet, at the same time, there's something mysterious about it. Like the best production images for promoting the arts, it raises more questions than it answers...Read More
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...Read More
One of the longest & proudest associations I've had as a photographer - and as a person, really - is my work over fifteen years with the New Zealand International Arts Festival. I moved to Wellington in 1997, working as a box office manager at the time, in part lured by the fact that the venue I'd be working on was the primary ticketing agency for the Festival, and moreover that Wellington would be the last place ever to see Robert Lepage's Seven Streams Of The River Ota in 1998...Read More
When I was studying drama at university, I went for an interview to spend the summer at the Banff Centre For The Arts. I'd been focussing on the technical side of theatre at that point, including a bit of stage management, and thought this might be an interesting way to spend a few months between school terms.
The question was asked: did I read music? And frankly, it had never occurred to me that this might be a useful skill - our university programme was pure theatre, not even musicals, much less opera or dance; so it had never come up, and of course I didn't. So, I didn't go to Banff, and I didn't become a stage manager...Read More
In my previous essay on photographing the arts, I was talking about selecting images from a shoot; now, we're on to the conversion and correction of the files themselves, taking a RAW file and turning it into a beautiful, finished image.
RAW files are the original camera files, which contain far more image data than an in-camera .jpg, so as a result there's a lot you can do in the RAW conversion process - and, there are a lot of choices that need to be made for each image that gets worked on. Sometimes, it's possible to take settings and copy them from one image to the rest, and get consistent results that way - but that's rare in the performing arts, as the light usually changes from scene to scene, or from one part of the stage to another. Having been a lighting designer, I know how hard it is to get an even, smooth spread of light across a stage, if that's what the aim is - but often, it's not!Read More
The work I've been doing recently with Apocalypse Theatre and Pinchgut Opera got me thinking about what I try to achieve in production stills photography; so I thought I'd have a look at a show that epitomises my favourite kind of images from this sort of work - New Theatre of Riga's production, The Sound Of Silence, which I photographed for the New Zealand International Arts Festival in 2010...Read More
Our major draw card in 2011 was a one-off concert with Sonny Rollins and his band at the Michael Fowler Centre. He may have been 81 (REALLY!?) at the time, but he put on a heck of a show - and as you'd expect from someone of his calibre, the band were top notch as well...Read More
The Wellington Jazz Festival of 2009 was quite a different beast from the previous festivals I've mentioned in the last couple of Lost & Found posts - this time, the management of the New Zealand International Arts Festival took on the programming and running of it, so the scale of production and calibre of performers was substantially different...Read More
I was very sorry to hear yesterday of Jack Body's passing, in Wellington; he was a New Zealand composer of great talent (though he'd never admit to it himself), but also boundless energy and irresistible enthusiasm. Whenever I saw him, he always had a project on the go currently, and invariable one or two more waiting in the wings for when he had a free moment. (I honestly have no idea how he found time to write music, as well!)Read More