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“BLISS is Replay returning to working within the special school sector for the first time in 10 years and follows the two-year RE:FOCUS consultation project.

BLISS is a performance installation created by a very broad-ranging and experienced range of artists comprising a sound artist, a video artist, a choreographer, a writer, a composer, a designer, a director and performers mentored by Tim Webb of the Oily Cart who have been making work for this audience for many years.”

I love working in and with the Arts sector. I would love to do it more but i am grateful for the interaction that i do have. Replay are such a special company in that think the work they do with the younger generations is fantastic. This show bliss was something even more exceptional. Working with children who are mentally and physically disabled the crew guide the kids along a sensory journey inside one of the most fantastic sets i have seen in recent years.

Technically this was a very challenging photo shoot and very unconventional.

Usually with drama performances there is a stage and a seating arrangement facing the front.  With this performance it was very different.  Designed by Ciaran Bagnall the audience (in this case the school children) would be seated in specially made boat seats around the inside of the blue tent.  This meant that i had to hover around the performance and stay constantly on the move as i had no one place i could sit.

Technically this was a tough shoot.  The ambient lighting inside the tent was mostly blue and red, which DSLRs find very difficult to handle.  Rather than let the camera automatically control the white balance i had to set it myself.  Thankfully the D3s has a dedicated button for this function which makes it fairly easy to change on the fly.

Even though the set was in the school gym space it was quite dark inside the tent.  Usually for theatre production stills i set the ISO value to at least 1600 to make sure i have a fast enough shutter speed to freeze the action.  For this how ever even with an aperture value of F2.8 i had to get the ISO up to at least 6400.  This in itself provides another problem, noise.  As the ISO value of any camera is turned up the increased sensitivity introduces noise in to the image.  Thankfully the D3s is very adept at handling this.  I did have to do a little noise reduction during the post processing stage but nothing that Lightroom 4 couldn’t handle.

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