Monday, March 30, 2009

Field Testing the Studio Gear

I made or acquired gear over the past weeks that theoretically allow me to take my studio photography capabilities out into the field. I was really anticipating studio shots of performers at tech rehearsals or just prior to show time, but my first test proved to be much more difficult. I took photos for the upcoming spring show by Cycropia Area Dance. The goal was to get the performers, in costume and perhaps simple makeup, to use as promotional images. As is frequently the case, theory was a bit different than reality!

Field Testing Portable Studio
Low Flying Nataraj

The first challenge was that I am in one of the pieces we needed shot. So, I set up the backdrop - which is desperately needed because the gym we are using has harsh lights, garish walls strewn with posters, notices, basketball hoops, scoreboards, etc. - and lights, then got in the shot and remotely triggered the camera. In some cases, a helper did the actual remote shutter release, and in others I just relied on the 10-second timer.

Field Testing Portable Studio
Harness Flyers

The next significant challenge was that the 10x24 foot muslin backdrop that seems HUGE in my studio was inadequate to the task in a large space when trying to mask the walls, floor, and sides of a performer on an apparatus. Group shots were tough when performers were both on the ground and on an apparatus. What ended up working better was tighter shots, though that provides less information about what is actually going on.

Field Testing Portable Studio
Poster Girl!

The end result is a reasonable batch of photos, but less than I hoped to deliver to Cycropia for promotional images. I have things to ponder.

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