I haven’t updated my phone in four years, my iPhone 6S was starting to drive me nuts with some app or other draining the battery life, it was time; and being a photographer, of course I went for the one with the best / most cameras available. So, am I happy with it? Let’s have a look at some images…Read More
There’s an inherent irony to photographing performance, I think - and, at times, to designing for the stage, especially for drama.
The ideal is, sometimes, not to be noticed; for your work, however complex or difficult it may have been to complete, to just be accepted as part of the production; not showy, or calling attention to itself, and jolting the audience out of the experience. If someone thinks ‘wow, what a great lighting cue that was!’ then it possibly wasn’t, because they noticed it. A truly great cue would be subtle, almost subliminal; and it would have the emotional impact that moment required, without necessarily being detected by the audience.
And so it is with photography - the ideal is for the camera, and the photographer, to be completely invisible - both to the performers on stage, and equally to the person viewing the photos later - and for the images to be a clear portal into the production, in a sense.
So, ironically, the better I am at not being noticed in the construction or design elements of an image, the more successful that image usually is…Read More
I’ve written before about the range of different ways a photographer can be involved in creating images for a production; and in my other essays on photographing the arts I’ve tended to focus on the actual production stills taken on stage, so it’s about time I looked at the poster / promotional image side of things.
There are a thousand different ways to go about creating a ‘teaser’ or promotional image for a show, so this is just an example of what we did in this particular case; but for me, the overall approach is usually the same: get to know the script, the characters and their relationships, find out about the design & directorial concepts for the production, come up with some visual ideas that underscore elements of what’s being created, and (if necessary) scout for locations that will work for what we want to achieve.
In this case, for the Darlinghurst Theatre Company production of Once, my feeling was that connection lay at the heart of the story - the relationship between Guy and Girl (as the characters are known), supported by the community of musicians they encounter through the course of their story…Read More
“It was a matter of the best you could do between now and Tuesday.” However, he was quick to add, “the best you could do between now and Tuesday is still a kind of best you can do...”
I first heard this quote from cinematographer Alex Funke, at the time a neighbour of mine in New Zealand - who worked for many years in the offices of Charles & Ray Eames - and it stuck with me as being something that applies to all creative work, especially in performing arts.Read More
I had a chat recently with hosts Nate Edmondson and Suzy Wrong at the Closing Night: Theatre Therapy podcast, along with photographer Clare Hawley, about what’s involved in theatre photography - the business, as well as the art - and that episode has just been released over the weekend.
We talk about a lot of different elements of what we do, so I though I’d put together a few links here to some of my blog posts that overlap with the discussion, in case anyone wants to read more about a certain subject - or if I make more sense in writing than I do on the radio!Read More
Six characters in search of a voice, Small Mouth Sounds is a near-silent play featuring a group of individuals sharing a silent retreat, the quiet broken only by the pronouncements of the self-declared guru they’ve come to learn from. But will they learn anything from him, or each other?
The play is as much about the baggage the characters bring with them to the retreat, and how each of them handles their own failures and weaknesses - or, completely fails to - over the course of a few days together. In silence…Read More
I wouldn’t describe myself as a massive fan of horror films, but I’ve seen my share. So when I was contacted about photographing Alice In Slasherland for Last One Standing, I was certainly interested - the idea of doing horror-comedy on stage is something that doesn’t get explored that often; apart from Evil Dead: The Musical I’d seen in Toronto years ago, I couldn’t think of another example off the top of my head.
Of course, theatre lighting is an interesting challenge at the best of times for a photographer; add in saturated colours, strobe lighting during action sequences, and fast movement in low light…well, it’s tricky!Read More
I’ve been working with director Dino Dimitriadis from Apocalypse Theatre for several years now, on shows around Sydney; in fact, I think Angels In America is our tenth production together! So it’s only natural that we’ve gotten to know each other’s methods of working, over that time.
It’s interesting to have an ongoing working relationship like ours; it’s not something that happens all that often, as a freelance photographer in the arts. Often we’re not contacted until quite close to production, with the result being that whoever’s available on the day is the person who does the work…Read More
I’m really pleased to be spending time with Darlinghurst Theatre Company this year - their whole mainstage season, in fact - not only because they do good work, but they’re also really lovely to work with. So it’s great to be ducking over to the Eternity Playhouse on a regular basis, all through 2019!
Our first production in this collaboration, which is on through 24 February at the Eternity Playhouse, is The Rise And Fall Of Little Voice - starring the amazing Caroline O’Connor as Mari, and the wonderful Geraldine Hakewill as her daughter “LV”.Read More