10.02.2015

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.





























11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nice images. Manual focus?

Kirk Tuck said...

Yes. All manual focus. Amazing to me....

William Beebe said...

All excellent as usual. However, ...

There's a few photos in there that have severe artifacts in the deep shadows. Here's the links:

http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-2m720eogqRY/Vg3CyotvM3I/AAAAAAAAXk0/oNOOqtvgrHY/s1600/P9290130_Snapseed.jpg
http://4.bp.blogspot.com/-5L7hQqRU5pA/Vg3C4eeWI9I/AAAAAAAAXmM/HPrExtTfRqw/s1600/P9290633_Snapseed.jpg

I'm not pixel peeping. It's just that noticeable even on the web page. It's the one lone issue I have with my OM-D's sensors, how it handles deep shadows. I just wish it went to total black like Kodachrome.

John Krumm said...

Those look great. One of my favorite, most used lenses for the past 7 years. I will occasionally use it in manual focus too, but I'm not nearly as good at it as you are.

Penfan2010 said...

I was just about to ask about this. I use the 50-200 as well on my Mk1 E-M5, and as you know the lens hunts quite a bit on AF, so I use it on manual when shooting action. A gorgeously sharp lens, for sure, and worth reverting back to pre AF focusing skills. Great shots, Kirk.

Anonymous said...

Interesting - I was going to make a similar point to William, but with the opposite conclusion.
I like the way that the olympus cameras render the shadows. It seems almost painterly to me avoiding the fussy precision of some more technically adept cameras that grab more data.

The patterns remind me of the tones I get with pro400h.

I get different results on the Ep5 when I switch to monotone, and then the shadow patterning seems to resemble tmax...

Horses for courses I guess.

Mark

Ted Phillips said...

I bought the 50-200 about a year ago to use on my OMD EM5. I use manual focus & have been happy with the results but find it best to prefocus if possible & to use a monopod. I use to use a ball head until you mentioned the Monfrotto 234 which works nicely with this lens because of the rotating collar. Very sharp & fast for a lens this long & also quite large but for the price you can buy one it is a bargain. Waiting for the next novel & thanking you for the wonderful writing on your blog.

Mark Davidson said...

I pixel peeped. I calibrated my monitor. I see nothing.

Beautiful images that completely overshadow any imagined technical shortcomings.
I would gladly deliver these to my client and use them in my portfolio.

Robert said...

What ISOs, may I ask?

Kirk Tuck said...

1600 to 3200.

Robert said...

Of course it's hard to really tell without seeing the images at full size, but based on what I CAN see, the Olympus sensor is performing pretty well in those more trying low light conditions, I'd say. From my own experience with the E-M1 I've always found that by 3200 in difficult light that the files start to degrade and get a bit mushy, while the color gets a bit hinky, too.

Overall, compared to my Fuji X-T1, the Olympus files seem a bit "thinner", except when the light is really good, and then the differences become far less noticeable and more subjective.

What is your preferred developer for the Olympus files, Kirk? I've read that Olympus Viewer 3 is perhaps the best for RAW to jpeg file quality, but it has a horrendous interface, plus it's slow and clunky. I've also heard very good things about DXO Optics Pro.