Its always a big event when Theatre Complicite returns to London with their latest show. Simon McBurney has directed The Master and Margarita which opens at The Barbican Theatre tomorrow.
Last week I was able to take some photographs of the show which I have now uploaded to my archival website at
Photographing with stage lighting has always been a challenge but with the latest Nikon digital cameras I am able to work away comfortably in even the lowest levels compared with the days of film, which due to its sensitivity, had its limits. I can usually work away with sensitivity of the camera's sensor set to 1600 or 3200 asa. Even then only the fastest lenses are mandatory and quite often used wide open. Although stopping down a stop or two can increase depth of field and the quality of the image which is preferable. I tend to use 2 or 3 Nikon cameras with a combination of a telephoto zoom, the 70-200mm/f2.8 and a wide angle zoom, 24-70mm/f2.8 for a shoot like this .
I may use other lenses as required, such as a 14-24 mm/f2.8 for wider images or a faster prime lens such as a 50mm/f1.4 or 85mm/1.8 in extremely dark scenes.
I always shoot with the camera set to Raw mode which gives me many more choices during the post production of the images regarding colour balance, highlight and shadow detail , sharpening levels and much more to get the result I am looking for. I never understood the wisdom of shooting jpegs straight out of the camera.
Friday, 2 March 2012
Here is an interview with me from Writer Pictures
|Zadie Smith portrait by Geraint Lewis|
Geraint Lewis is one of our most prolific contributing photographers
and his work is requested internationally. Known for his arts and
theatre coverage what started as a small collection of images has
grown into a huge catalogue and he is now one of our largest selling
photographers. We caught up with Geraint to ask him about his
What attracted you to specialising in the arts in the first place?
I have always had a passion for cinema which attracted me to Theatre
which I still photograph today. It also gives me the chance to meet
and photograph a lot of interesting people which is all I ever wanted
In this age of increasing general competition do you think it
important to specialise?
I never really wanted to pigeon hole myself. I like fresh challenges
but yes, it is important for clients looking for something to know
where to come. I do specialise to a degree with my portraits and
theatre photographs but I also do a lot of corporate photography .
|Simon Callow photographed at the Edinburgh International Book Festival|
What keeps you coming back to the Edinburgh International Book Festival?
Meeting old friends and its fun and as Edinburgh is the biggest
arts festival on the planet why not ? I suppose it's in my blood.
How do you keep your pictures fresh faced with that same green/blue background?
You have to remember photography at The Edinburgh Book Festival has
evolved over the years. We started doing what we could amongst a load
of tents then moved on to gaffer taping black or red velvet onto
anything . Eventually the book festival kindly erected 'The Carpet'
to shoot on . The lighting developed from daylight, on camera flash
to off camera flash to the now highly sophisticated portable studio
lighting I use. Trying to keep the pictures fresh is a challenge, so
its all about how I work and I apply this to all my work. I try and
get the author to give something of them selves, without this you are
sunk, by communicating and talking to them ,trying to build up
something whatever that is . Also by varying the lighting with
modifiers , lighting or not lighting the carpet , standing ,sitting
Why do you use boutique agencies over larger more general ones?
Boutique agencies will get larger fees for quality work. So if the
rewards are there it makes the whole effort worthwhile.
|David Starkey photographed in 2011|