Christmas Panto photoshoot for ‘Peter Pan’, at the Pavilions Teignmouth, Devon.

My last Theatre photoshoot for 2021 and what a good way to end it, with a Christmas Panto no less! Let’s have a look at how it all went.

I received a message from Teignmouth Players asking if I would come and do some theatre photography for their Panto dress rehearsal at the Pavilions Teignmouth. Could I turn down a Christmas Panto? ‘Oh no I couldn’t!’ 🙂

Let’s take a look at a few of the 600 photos I delivered for them in under 24 hours…

The performance went really well and I was chuckling throughout. You could tell everyone had put in a lot of effort. I just want to say that I was really impressed!

It was obvious that they had rehearsed a lot. There were only a couple of minor position issues through the rehearsal.

It’s really good when the cast looks into the lens. You have to be fast to catch it but as you can see from the above, I caught it every time they looked at the camera. It really makes the photos have that little extra magic.

I hadn’t covered a Teignmouth players show before but I hope to be asked back again, I really enjoyed working with them.

Photography Talk

This Theatre photo shoot was a first, in that the lighting was made up of only LED lights. Will Tippett was the lighting designer for this show.

LEDs can play havoc with cameras. They cause flickering and very strange shenanigans with each photo. All the usual solutions are not allowed in Theatres. It was a case of setting what I can in-camera and then waiting for the performance to start, to see what issues it may cause.

The flickering before the show started was really bad but once the panto was underway the professional stage LEDs produced nice light with few issues. The usual ‘purple beam of doom’ was on (A purple light that creates ‘blotches’ of purple so very difficult/impossible to correct in-post). No person stood under it for long, so it never caused any major problems.

The main plus to the LED lighting was it allowed me to shoot with fast shutter speeds and lower ISO’s. I usually shoot in theatres between 1/500 to 1/1000 shutter speed, with ISO’s between 800 and 3,200. On these lights, I was shooting 1/1000 to 1/1600, with ISO’s between 160 and 400. I’ve not been able to shoot with those settings before, it was lovely 🙂

I had my son with me. I opted to use the Sony 85mm F1.4 and the 24mm F1.4 on my cameras. William just had one camera and was using the Sony 70-200 F2.8 on his. Having two different perspectives really helped tell the story of the rehearsal. I’d love to do that two people shoot again.

If you have a need for a Theatre Photographer, please let me know.

Simon Day

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