Last week we spent the day with the wonderful people at Scene II Performing Arts Academy taking photos at their annual graduation show, Segundo, at Leicester Square Theatre, a show they spend three years working towards and 6 months preparing extensively for!
The day started at 6.30am with Jordan and Sam both getting a coach to London with the academy students. At least it wasn't dark!
We all arrived at the theatre just before 9am so there was plenty of time for a dress and tech rehearsal before the show at 2pm. The students went full out with fantastic dance routines, hysterical drama pieces and of course some superb vocal numbers. Throughout the dress rehearsal we ran around taking all kinds of pictures for the college, we wanted a mixture of close-up photos and wide, deep pictures as both serve a different promotional value.
I'd love to tell that you everything ran smoothly from a photography point of view but that isn't quite true. Getting the correct settings on the camera was so crucial in this low light, dry ice environment to try and prevent having grainy images. We decided on a low aperture to allow more light through the lens, this also created some great soft focus photos. Also we needed the shutter speed low to allow for the lighting but had to maintain it at 60 or higher to avoid blurry photos in the dance routines. We pushed the ISO up but tried to keep below 4000 so to avoid too much graininess.
The show was a huge success with over 200 people arriving to support the college and part-time school in Segundo. By the end of the show at 4pm Jordan and Sam had collectively taken over 4500 photos. Now the fun begins with the editing process. Using Lightroom we ruthlessly went through the photos increasing the contrast and clarity, using the highlights and decreasing the shadows to create sharp, structured photos. Colour balance was sometime an issue as the lights used were often very red or very blue. We countered this using white balance techniques creating more natural light looking photos. Another problem when editing was the use of dry ice as this sometimes made the photos look grainy. The tool Luminance on Lightroom came in handy here; smoothing the photos over to create a cleaner finish all round.
It was a fantastic day had by all and the team at Capture House wish those graduating the best of luck in the future in whatever they do!
Thanks for reading,