Tonight is the dress rehearsal at Zach Theatre for the blockbuster opera/musical: Les Miserables.
I'm doing photographs tonight for press releases and initial marketing of the show so I'll be camped out dead center of the orchestra nursing an armful of cameras and trying to capture the fast moving action and the even faster changing lights. But I hate to be unprepared or surprised when I'm doing a job for a client so I dropped by the Theatre on Sunday evening to catch the first half of the show in a technical rehearsal. No audience, no photos (Equity rules...) and no stress. I wanted to sit quietly and watch how the overall lighting design worked and how the choreography looked. The actors were great and the play was well polished. I stayed for a couple of hours and now have kind of a running mental inventory of how the cast comes together for little finales, little group shots just before the lights dim to change a scene. Those are the signature shots that papers and websites love to run.
When I walk into the theater this evening I'll have a good idea of which cameras and lenses to use to cover the wide shots and the tight close ups. I'll probably go with two Sony a99's and a wide to slight telephoto zoom plus a standard 70-200mm 2.8. I like shooting the a99's at ISO 1600 but I'll probably go up to 3200 on the wider zoom just to add more depth of field. The show is darker than some of the recent, upbeat musicals and I'll be watchful about dipping below 1/125th of a second. I do like to keep it all sharp.
Tomorrow I travel. I'm headed to Denver, CO. to spend a week with my friends at Craftsy.com. We're doing two video programs this time for their website. Both have to do with portraits, lighting, posing and family photojournalism. I've done five solid phone meetings to flesh out the details and we've revised the outlines a few times.
To be clear, I'm actually appearing in the programs I'm not part of the crew or in charge of the direction. I'll be teaching, on camera, and as nervous as any of the talent I've worked with over the years. It's a whole different thing to be on the other side of the lens. I warmed up to it last time and I don't have nearly the trepidation this time. I'm actually looking forward to ten hour days on camera since I don't have to haul lights or make sure technical stuff works right. Someone else will be stringing the extension cords and tugging on sand bags.
I've got my laundry list of things to do today. I need to make time for a haircut, I need to go over the packing and make sure I have the right cables to connect my cameras and my laptop to Craftsy's video equipment. I have to find that great little can of shaving cream I discovered last time I traveled. I have a couple of hours of post production to do on an ongoing job and, of course, I'll need to turn the Zach Scott rehearsal images around by the end of the night tonight. One more swim workout before the sun comes up tomorrow and then wheels up. There's so much to do when you are a one person business. If there's a detail that makes a difference it's up to me to see that it gets done. But I like it that way. I like it because when I finish a big project there isn't the feeling that I have to jump right into something else to keep the payroll flowing. If I want to chill for a few days or a week that's my call too.
I suspect the blog entries will either be less frequent or shorter or both for the next week. If Samsung gets me a new camera today I'll have some stuff to report on the newest version of the Galaxy NX. If they don't then the big Sony's will have all the fun. I guess it all hinges on that one Fed Ex truck....
I am turning into an instructor. I'll have to think about this for while and decide if I like this direction. I can see where it would interfere with my goal of being a fully eccentric artist......Sounds like it's time for a little meditation when I get back.
Swim well. See well. Speak well. And enjoy the arrival of Fall.