Production Stills at The Lyric Theatre

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Production Stills

“The final element of the Open Stages project is a new and exciting collaboration between the Lyric and amateur theatre makers. A cast entirely made up of amateur performers will beworking with our professional creative and production teams. The production process aims to share skills, practice and resources between amateur and professional theatre makers, celebrating the idea that Shakespeare belongs to everyone to perform as well as to watch.” – The Lyric Theatre Belfast Production Stills at The Lyric Theatre

I met Patrick J O’Reilly several years ago after he asked if i would take his headshots.  I like working with Patrick as he produces and directs very physical performances.  Which whilst challenging at times really pushes my skills to the max! Production Stills at The Lyric Theatre

I have talked quite a bit in the past about the techinical aspects of theatre production stills.  In short here are the main four points to make sure you get great production stills. Production Stills at The Lyric Theatre

1. Increase your ISO

2. Increase your shutter speed

3. Widen your aperture

4. Control camera body movement


Increase your ISO means that the camera is more sensitive to light.  As theatre performance areas are usually dark or un-naturally lit an increase in ISO up to around 3200 is required.  Dont forget, the higher the ISO the greater the ‘noise’ in the picture.

Increasing the shutter speed was definitely required as the start of this performance was quite fast.  Increasing the shutter speed ensures sharp images.

Having a lens with a fixed aperture through out the range is important.  For theatre work both of my main lenses (the 24-70 and 70-200) are F2.8 through out their zoom ranges.  This lets as much light in to the camera as possible which in turns means bright images.  Be careful of where you focus due to shallow depth of field.  Production Stills at The Lyric Theatre

The last one is really important.  At shorter zoom lengths (around 24-30) you dont need to remain as stable.  But when using a lens such as the 70-200 were shake is more prominent you have to control your body movement, even with lens VR.

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