The local community theatre group is in full rehearsal for a production of Shakespear’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream. I used to be involved in plays myself before my life became too unpredictable to commit to a rehearsal schedule. It’s always a lot of fun.
I snapped about 300 exposures in an hour maybe as the actors are just beginning the process of discovering who their characters and where to stand at any given moment. This is one of my favorites from the evening.
It leaves a lot to be desired in many respects. It isn’t sharply in focus, and the depth of field is too narrow. But the expressions on these two young people makes up for an awful lot of photographer’s deficiencies. The rehearsal space is a dimly-lit affair and I don’t have any real flash equipment to help me compensate. There’s always a lot of movement in these rehearsals so hoping for people to be absolutely still for me so I can slow down the shutter is really not an option. Plus, the rehearsal space is very narrow, so I am not able to get far enough away from the subject to lengthen DOF.
My only option, really, was to open up the aperture and hope for the best. Many of the photos came out much better than I expected. This one is not the best technical example of the evening, but it does go to show that if the subject is interesting, the technical perfection needed for a successful photograph is minimized significantly. Not that I’m suggesting you shouldn’t strive for both.
In post-processing I dialed down the intensity of the oranges significantly, as that was the predominant color from the available lighting and everyone looked terribly orange. I fiddled with the light controls to some extent to add a little contrast. At such a high ISO, I bumped the noise reduction to about 40 or so and nudged sharpness a little around the edges. Finally, I added my trademark -10 vignette.
Later I did actually pop up flash and dialed down its intensity as much as the camera would allow. This helped me get a little better stop motion and DOF, and the lower intensity meant I didn’t get the ugly shadows on the wall behind. But it also did nevertheless tend to flatten out the subjects’ faces. One of these days I really need to get an external flash.