9.12.2015

Behind the Scenes at Zach Theatre. A first day's sampling...


I had fun in Houston last week. We got lots and lots of good work done and I was happy with my images as I uploaded 8.4 gigabytes of high res files to Smugmug.com in order to send them to my client. Smugmug now allows it's pro users to upload and transfer big folders full of images and it's very easy to do. Yay! The only downside of my Houston high tech/bio-medical assignment was having to drive home at rush hour in a torrential rain storm --- but I can hardly blame that on a client, right?

Just before I left town to go on that photography spree I started a project for Zach Theatre here in Austin. We (me, the marketing team and the in-house graphic designer) wanted to do an extensive behind the scenes reportage to show all the hard work that goes into a show. We always see the actors, and sometimes the band or orchestra, but there is always a large crew that builds the sets, makes the props, designs the audio and the stage lighting, creates costumes, does make-up and supports the actors. We wanted to be able to share a visual story about that side of the theatre. People seem to be very interested in out of the ordinary careers...

I'm using the Olympus cameras for this project. Why? Because I love photographs that look like the one just above and just below and it seems that the Olympus OMD EM5.2 and I work well together to get images like this. On Tues. I used a hand full of lenses and one body. Everything fit in one small, brown Domke camera bag. I leaned heavily on the Panasonic 42.5 f1.8 and also the Sigma 60mm f2.8 but the Pana/Leica 25mm Summilux and the 12-35mm f2.8 zoom also got some camera time. This kind of project is fun because it is all enterprise. No tight schedule and no big shot list. We discussed what we wanted to see and established a future date for a deadline and, for the most part, the Theatre just lets me roam around and shoot. 

I've given up worrying about ISO and noise for this project. I am happy to shoot at ISO 200 and equally happy to shoot at ISO 3200, if that's what it takes to get an image. I'm shooting raw and am also amazed at what a good job these cameras do in hitting correct white balance without my constant  supervision. It's amazing how far small sensor cameras have come and how close the overall image quality is to my D810 (matching maximum image sizes = native pixels). 

If you can't do good work with the current generation of m4:3 cameras you need to work on your chops, not your camera inventory.

I am happy to be back in Austin and had a marvelous swim in the crystal clear water of the Western Hills Athletic Club's pool this morning. Our masters coach, Kristen, was good at motivating us to crank out some yards while still having a great time. 

I'm heading back to the theater now for a different project. A behind the scenes look at the rehearsal for our upcoming show, EVITA. I was there earlier this afternoon with the principal actors but this evening well have the entire cast together and I think we can get some great ensemble shots. 

But I'm rationing my time. I'm giving them a couple of hours and then Belinda and I are heading over to Cantine for some wonderful food and wine. The reward for the "tough" life of a working photographer. 




















7 comments:

Max Rottersman said...

Nice shots! I especially like the girl at the desk. Which full frame Olympus are you using again? ;)

Kirk Tuck said...

Hey Max. Just an EM5.2 and some good lenses....

Anthony J. Bridges said...

I really dig these photos. The use of color in the sound engineer / Yamaha photo is great as well as the composition overall.

Max Rottersman said...

Impossible!!!! I know a full-frame shot when I see one ;)

Michael Matthews said...

The three shots of the sound guy appear significantly different from the rest. One specific lens?

Kirk Tuck said...

Hi Michael, Everything else was shot without the need for much or any lighting support. The sound booth was either pitch black or lit by one nasty ceiling fixture. I used one small LED panel on a stand to light Craig (sound engineer) with. I tried to balance the need for a certain amount of light with the need to make it workable. All I had to work with was distance and angle, not even a modifier in the bag...

Same selection of lenses though on this one we're wide open.

Michael Matthews said...

See there -- even a loyal and frequent reader leaps to the conclusion the difference seen relates to gear: that is, the lens.

Obviously the difference seen is wholly related to the skill of the photographer.

Shame.