Jazz at the Electric Theatre
Last month I had the pleasure and the privilege of photographing a band promo for the Will Todd Trio in the Electric Theatre, Guildford. I love working with bands and this one was no exception. The best part was I got to work with them during their rehearsal so had my very own, private gig. They’re very, very good too. If you have the chance to see them live you will not be disappointed.
On Assignment – Photographing The Will Todd Trio
The slide show above and the images in this post are a small sample of the shots that we made that day. It goes to show how important it is to be creative and apply a little lateral thinking. Theatres don’t make good environments unless you have free access to roam around which won’t happen during a live performance. If you’re stuck at the back of the auditorium with a long lens the success of the photo-shoot will be compromised. Movement will be difficult so you only really have one shot.
Bands are all about angles and feeling. You have to get different shots. That means different angles and getting the camera into places others cannot. You’ll see what I mean from some of the other images in this page.
They were all taken with just the available light and although the stage lighting is bright, it is nowhere near as bright as flash. Flash brings with it too many issues to deal with for this kind of shoot:
- the musicians won’t be able to see their music if I’ve nuked their eyeballs
- the colours will be all wrong
The first point is a big no, no. I have to get the shot but I also have to respect the client. They were going on stage for a live performance shortly after their rehearsal. Flash, be it on camera or off camera, would have been far too intrusive. If they can’t read their music, they can’t rehearse.
As for the colours, the stage lights were all over the place as you an see from some of the images. Fundamentally warm tungsten lights with gels and a few LED lights as well*. Making a white balance reading was an interesting challenge. Correcting for it would remove the effects of the gel and move all the other colours around the colour wheel, completely destroying the integrity of the image. I might post a more technical article about that on theLightMatters Blog as it’s an interesting problem to solve. Introducing daylight balanced flash into the mix would have been disastrous, even had I corrected it with a CTO gel.
(* The LED lights where a real nuisance. Their construction makes it very difficult to create a natural starburst)
I really enjoyed this shoot. It was great fun and I had my very own private gig with a fantastic band. Don’t take my word for it though, here’s what the client said…
Singer, Will Todd Trio
Hope you enjoy the images.