Friday, 20 January 2012

3rd Rehearsal

I had two ideas for yesterday's rehearsal:

1 - to see and hopefully depict a continuation of steady progress with the cast and the developing directors

2 - to use blur (out of focus) as an allegory to the development of the production development both in terms of the actors and the directors.

As it happened only one of the joint directors attended last night, which whilst a disappointment in terms of capturing their developing relationship, made it easier for me to compose!

Viewing these photographs in this post might be done best by "clicking" on an image and seeing them in series as a manual slide show

The general move in an upward direction of the heads of both players and the director is a good sign, I was impressed by the level of line learning that has been achieved and the growing confidence of the players in all aspects of their on-stage time. With words "going-in" they are starting to deliver some of the "physicals" that will help them deliver their performances. Moving and talking at the same time is a good sign, moving and talking without a script is an excellent sign. Moving and talking without a script and asking the director for guidance shows a demonstrable confidence; and if the director is able to answer then the team is starting to show real promise. I saw signs of all this last night and we are only at the 3rd rehearsal. Ken has his script is his back pocket, it is usual to have the script with you in the transition to word confidence and even when you are "word perfect" - it's a comforter! This shot shows that Ken has transitioned, whilst Jeff is probably reading his script, when he delivers he is not using his script and the solidity of the pose emphasises his confidence.
Left Nikon D3 18-300mm set at 52mm (78 equivalent),  f4.8, 1/10th sec, ISO 3200. Right Nikon D3 85mm f4.0, 1/80th sec, ISO 3200

The next section is an experiment. I had used depth of focus as a metaphor in the first rehearsal post and I wanted to return to it. These initial two shots were meant to portray a solid base in the auditorium whilst the stage was unsteady. These two Nikon D200 85mm (127mm equivalent), f1.4, 1/125th sec ISO 1600

 Whereas now I have moved to a completely abstract depiction. These two don't offer much in the way of narrative description, being too far out of focus to "deliver" any meaningful value. After reviewing in camera I decided to swap camera body and try different levels of "out of focus" to see if there was any value in the exercise. These two Nikon D200 85mm (127mm equivalent), f1.4, 1/250th sec ISO 1600

These two have interesting opatterns and shapes but are "too disconnected" to carry any narrative. These twoNikon D3 85mm, f1.4, 1/200th sec, ISO 3200

 I then decided, with these three to work the "focus" further and tried to get a series with varying degrees of de-focus. I think the context , which is reasonably discernible in the third feeds back into the earlier two? First shot Nikon D3, 85mm , f1.4, 1/320th sec, ISO 3200. Second two shots Nikon D3, 85mm , f1.4, 1/250th sec, ISO 3200

These next four are from the "other way around" as compared to the set of three above i.e. clearest first

These last two of the four have a high degree of abstraction, but I am starting to enjoy the level of visual chaos. The reason I left this post in colour as I am sure the additional level of monochrome abstraction would be one step too many. Maybe I'll check that sometime.
All five shots Nikon D3, 85mm, f4.0, 1/50th sec, ISO 3200

 These last five are a set - with a consistent level of "de-focus" through a piece of dialogue of all three characters at a table. The three actors all engage with the script physically and I tried to depict that as they engage with the plot and interact with eachother

A couple of additional photographs to depict progress. Kevin, authoritatively taking charge. Dave and Ken discussing their roles and finally Karen stage left where I tried to depict the isolation of the player, when the action is elsewhere on stage. Our stage isn't very large and so it is difficult to isolate, but getting the audience to suspend belief is part of the job of the players and director. Left Nikon D3, 85mm, f1.4, 1/400th sec, ISO 3200. Shot right Nikon D3, 85mm, f2.5, 1/160th sec, ISO 3200. Shot below Nikon D200, 18 - 2--mm set at 48mm (72mm equivalent), f5.0, 1/50th sec, ISO 2500.


  1. Very creative idea to have the slowly decreasing blur as everything comes into focus. I agree with you about the disconnection of two of them. Made me think as well of films where you have two people one nearer, and the camera blurs on each one as it focusses on the other. It seems to add tension to the scene.


  2. Thanks Catherine. I'm not sure it has worked that well and will continue with it for a few more rehearsals, I wish I had been more courageous in the "out of focus" from the outset. Nevertheless it's all about the learning process. I think the "focus cut" shot you refer should work if I can get close enough to a couple of the players in dialogue, but far enough away to be able to have a separation between them. So far I've only used focus to differentiate "us" the non-players and "them" the players; I'll need a decent length telephoto to do that and then once they've finished the blocking.

    1. It's all so technical isn't it - the play as well as the photography. Your insider knowledge is really coming through though in terms of how you're approaching all this.