ratpack_composite-1000x504One of the many advantages of being a member of Crewe Photographic Society is that you get opportunities to try different types of photography. When members were invited to a free visit of Crewe theatre on 15th.April to photograph a professional performance of the ‘Rat Pack’ with a live audience four of us jumped at the chance. More members wanted to attend, but unfortunately it clashed with our AGM so they were unable to do both.
Our brief was simple. Try not to annoy the audience and get some shots of the whole stage as well as some individuals. The photography was not so simple. In fact it was quite challenging as the light wasn’t nearly as bright as it appeared to the eye and it was constantly changing in colour and brightness. To get a result it needed a very high ISO. I was using ISO 1600 and aperture priority set to f5.6. I used Canon’s partial metering so the exposure wouldn’t get to influenced by the dark background. Using this technique my shutter speed kept changing with the light between 1/250 down to 1/60. So I had to time my photographs when there wasn’t much movement.
For the stage shots I used my 24-105 lens set to about 70mm and for the close-up shot I switched to a heavy zoom lens set around 300mm. To keep it steady I rested it on the back of a chair which gave me the audience as a foreground.
I stayed at the back of the ground floor, but the other three of us were more adventurous and moved around a bit so we all got different angles. We all found it an enjoyable, interesting, but a challenging night and we all learned a lot about theatre photography. As a thank you we’ve sent the organiser a copy of the photographs on a CD. – Peter Robinson.