The Piano Series from Sophisticated Ladies at Zach Theatre. In the red dress? Afra Hines, incredible dancer!

I had much fun photographing the final dress rehearsal of Zach Theatre's rendition of "Sophisticated Ladies." As usual, the sheer quality of the actors, the stage sets, the lighting and the music were as good as the best anywhere. For a photographer who loves to photograph people there is a little that beats an evening spent in a comfortable seat, watching incredibly talented people move through space with grace and precision. Add to that great songs written by Duke Ellington and performed by a live orchestra. And finally, I get to experience it all with two really cool cameras and two of my new favorite lenses. 

I blocked off the seats on either side of me and the seats in front of me so the noise of the shutters wouldn't disturb people. I generally had the Nikon D810 in my hands, coupled with the older 80-200mm ff2.8 ED push pull lens. When a dance scene with a large ensemble spread across the stage I reached for the D610 sitting on top of the Domke camera bag in the seat next to me. That camera had the 24-120mm f4 lens on the
front of it.

Every once in a while I wanted to get a closer framing on an actor and I did something I would have not done before the D810 ---- I used the DX and 1.2X crop modes to get me the framing I wanted to present today. Why not crop in post? There's no time to dig through and crop a selection of the 1900 images from the show. It's also doubtful that I'd remember which ones I wanted to crop out of a sea of images, all of which would look fine even if uncropped. By doing it at the time of shooting, in camera, I'm a couple steps ahead in post and I'm responding organically, in the moment, to what I am seeing live. 

Of the many images on the little hard drive I'll be delivering as soon as the progress bar gets fully extended, these photos from the piano stuck out. Afra Hines is the actor in the red dress and in addition to being quite beautiful she is a wonderful dancer. 

I'll have more time to dig through images later. There's a lot of good blog material in the folders.  But first and foremost I have to remind myself that this is a job with a deadline. That's what comes first.  

All images shot as large, fine Jpegs. All shot near wide open with both cameras set to ISO 1600. 
Cleaning up the studio as my color tweaks and minor adjustments write out to the little hard drive. 

One last observation: The D810 is quieter than the D610 but with a full orchestra......who will hear them?

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