A gallery of "EVITA" images from the dress rehearsal. Shot with the Olympus EM5.2

EVITA at Zach Theatre is amazing. From a photographer's point of view the lighting was a nightmare. Lots and lots of range and scenes where the follow spot seems twenty stops brighter than the wonderful scenery in the background. It's the kind of light that makes photographers and cameras have to work harder to capture the magic but at the same time the lighting is much more dramatic and emotionally immersive for the audiences. And the human eye can see into the shadows and savor the highlights without the slightest problem. 

I was focused on focusing and getting a good compromise between the shadows and highlights, all while trying to follow the action but I want to go back and see EVITA again, unencumbered by a camera, so I can really enjoy the power of this set, the bold and nuanced lighting and the great choreography. Here are my favorite 20 or so images from my work. I wish we had the chance to photograph each show three or four times. Then the photographer could get everything figured out and be ready to catch the best moments with the highest degree of awareness. 

This is a big, dramatic production with really inspired choreography and lighting. I think photographers and filmmakers would benefit from experiencing it. So would most other people. 

I used an Olympus EM5.2 and the Olympus 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 lens to make the majority of the shots at the rehearsal and all but one of the shots here on the blog. Zach Theatre. Very cool.

ACL Fest Bricks My Printer. Bastards.

I don't really know if it was the rock music profiteers who tear up our public parks every year but the timing was suspicious. I was writing invoices this morning and I turned on my Canon Pixma Pro 9000 printer to get ready to (archaically) print out invoices for clients. Don't know why I still send them paper invoices in the mail when I'm already sending them .pdfs but it seems like a nicely redundant reminder that they should pay me for my work and image licenses.

At any rate I went into the house to get a cup of coffee and as I'm trying to decide whether or not to put cream in my coffee all the lights, AC, etc. goes off. Ten seconds later it clicks back on and thirty seconds after that I hear the warm up music at the Austin City Limits Festival for the first time this week. The two weekend festival starts today. It's a mile from my house.

I can only conjecture that the Austin Power people needed to shut down the power for a few moments in order to incorporate the gigantic power sucking festival into our portion of the grid. I later found out that the schools in the neighborhood also went black for a few minutes, etc.

Well, when I came back out into the studio the computers were re-booting and the music and lights were back on but the Canon inkjet printer sat there being dark. Totally dark. I hit the power button. Nothing. I unplugged and replugged. Nothing. I changed outlets to a known, working source. Nothing. The tech part of my brain diagnosed a failed internal power supply, even though the device was plugged into a protection device. The MBA side of my brain (very atrophied) weighed the repair versus replacement costs and the advantages of a nearly decade newer printing device. It also ran a sub-routine about depreciation and cost of ownership. All indications pointed to the spiritual side::::: the universe was telling me that it was past time to get a new printer.

The acquisitive gear-y side of me already had a

The Answer to my EVITA quiz.

The answer to the camera and lens question: The Olympus EM5.2 camera and the
Olympus 50-200mm f2.8-3.5 4:3 lens. Big and heavy but nice and sharp...


Well. It's a wrap. Another fun, yearly conference has come, been photographed, and gone. How did it go?

September was "life in the fast lane" for me. I was booked on a project or chained to post production every single day of the month, except for a couple of Sundays. I worked for international bio-chem companies from Switzerland, local tech companies, industrial concerns, commercial construction companies, the Theatre, a collection of health care practices and two law firms. Oh yeah, and one conference. I could stop on the first of October and coast through the quarter but....I would begin accruing a Karmic Debt for the first quarter of 2016. 

But what I want to write about today is a re-cap of the last week. The nuts and bolts of a high end event. How high end was the high end? Well, at the last session of the day, on Monday, they served everyone Moet Champagne. We drank our way through a discussion of securitizing something. I'm not really sure what we were securitizing but it doesn't matter. The actual attendees learned stuff and had fun. 

This is a conference about finance and real estate. But it's not a "workshop" about how to buy and flip houses on a "one off" scale. It's for bankers, federal regulators, investors and others who buy thousands of properties, provide access to financing and also securitize the assets for the investment community at large. Attendance at this conference is by invitation only and all attendees are required to agree not to disclose any quotes or proprietary information they discover at the conference. From high executives in the federal government to executive V.P.s at Goldman Sachs, it really is an audience of heavy hitters. At one point I looked up at a panel on the stage and counted 6 CEOs of billion dollar+ companies. Not bad. 

The conference started on Sunday evening and went through Weds. This is the sixth year that I've covered the conference and I don't think it violates my N.D.A. to tell you that I did wear a coat and tie for every session. Along with nice shoes. (Yes, I wore pants...). 

But my intention here is not to describe the conference in more detail than I need to in order to tell you the story of the photographic coverage. 

When I shoot conferences like this one I need to take into consideration that I'll be covering keynote speakers, moderators, participants in panels and emcees. I want to shoot multiple angles on the stage and include wide shots of the stage and tight close ups of every speaker and panelist.  I also need to shoot break out sessions and coffee and refreshment breaks. Signage shots and venue shots are also appreciated. It's like a long, three and a half day wedding with multiple brides. But unlike wedding photographers my brief is to be discrete, never use flash during a stage session, and never call attention to myself or try to direct the action. There is no posing and no "do overs."  All this means that I shoot lots and lots of frame, not only to cover my ass but also to give my clients lots of choices. Different angles and different expressions.

I really thought a lot about

Evita Part Two: Which lens was this?

Evita Still Photo. ©2015 Kirk Tuck, for Zach Theatre.