6.04.2018

Portrait of Jill Blackwood as "Dot" in the Stephen Sondheim play, "Sundays in the Park with George." From the production at Zach Theatre in Austin, Texas.


We were doing marketing photographs for the new play and we were warming up with with some individual portraits. Jill was my first subject of the day and she stood patiently as I fine-tuned the camera and lighting settings.  I've photographed Jill many times over the years and really admire her acting talent. And her tolerance of photographers who fiddle with their cameras too much.

We were doing a shoot within a shoot on that rainy Friday. I was photographing the principal actors while a photographer from the local newspaper was photographing me photographing the models  and a video crew was also filming the actors, me and any other other B-roll they thought they might need in order to complete their production.

Since we had a three camera video crew in tow I decided to light the stage and the set with continuous lighting to make the motion shooting easier. If I had used flash on the dark stage there's no way my skimpy modeling lights would have provided the right illumination for noise free video, and the video is a big part of ourmarketing push.

I set up a bunch of Aputure LightStorm LS-1 and LS-1/2  LED panel lights, some shooting through a six by six diffusion scrim on Jill's right and several more bouncing off multiple 48 inch reflectors on Jill's left side. There is also a "wink" light on the top of the camera just to add a little catchlight to her eyes.  Just a small and inexpensive LED panel...

The video crew did their jobs well and we are closing in on 20,000 views of their opus: Zach Sundays in the Park. Here is more information from Zach about their production: http://zachtheatre.org/shows/main-stage/sunday-park-george/

This is not one of the frames the marketing team chose. I use it here because it's one of the quiet moments in a shoot that is a photo of the transition to the next moment. It's just a quiet moment.

I used a Nikon D800 and the 24-120mm f4.0 VR lens to take the series of images and I used an Gitzo tripod for system support.


1 comment:

  1. This is a really interesting photo. While I sometimes like dramatic lighting, this softer flow from highlight to shadow is very nice. But what I find intriguing is that my first impression is of the strong 3-D look of Ms. Blackwood against the background that I don't always sense in other photos. It makes me think that this is a good lens for portraits.
    Also, kudos for the "bokeh" that the lens displays on the out of focus background :-).

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