JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Rogue Swan Vaudeville Rehearsals Update

Apr 10, 2019

Just a couple more images from Rogue Swan's rehearsal sessions for their upcoming Vaudeville performances at the Opera House. I've been sworn to secrecy on penalty of bodily harm, so some things are off limits. I'll have more in a couple of days, but these are all I managed to make time for today. The shot above is the final shot of five hours of rehearsal. I couldn't tell whether the stance was part of the performance or shear exhaustion. Heck, I was worn out from watching and shooting.

Below is a pair of "portraits". I put that in quotes because my favorite way to do portraits is from the sidelines. An explanation of that is below the images. For the first, Jessy Gordon, I switched to a telephoto and took a few shots as she was dancing with the others. I loved combination of flowing hair, great eyes and serious expression. I hope she's ok with it. I wish I had the zoom on for the second portrait, Jess Langely. I spotted the expression later and had to crop the living daylights out of the file. It son't print larger than maybe 6x8 (hence the smaller size here,, but I like the combination of sultry eyes, dark hair and expression. The number they were practicing calls for the look.

My goal is to get a good portrait of everyone… Again, images are in their album on the Havre de Grace Street page, o black background, larger (some) and downloadable.

Note on portraits

     I always hated doing portraits in any kind of formal, or even semiformal, sitting. Capturing people, in spite of issues with background and lighting, is primarily about those moments of expression that happen naturally and fleetingly. Eschewing the angst and torture on both sides when trying to achieve this artificially, I prefer working from the sidelines, not putting myself into the image by posing, choosing a setting, etc. It can be challenging and frustrating, but when it works – it works.

Beyond concentration, persistence and patience, this demands a spot-on sense of timing and often a great deal of luck. In the old film days a power-winder came in handy. Today, with digital cameras, the ability to hold the shutter down and fire off three to eleven shots a second goes that one notch better. That elusive moment, expression you are looking for can often be picked out of a series of almosts.

Of course this leads to a huge number of throw-away exposures. When I'm shooting people, I'll trash maybe 50% in an initial go-thru even before putting them into my image catalog. Obviously this is required in order to not take up a lot of excess space.