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Beauty and the Beast Shoot
Murfreesboro Center for the Arts (www.boroarts.org)
I recently had the privilege to photograph the final dress rehearsal for a production of Beauty and the Beast at the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts. The mission of the Murfreesboro Center for the Arts is to enhance the quality of the Murfreesboro community by providing a variety of arts and opportunities that will educate and entertain people of all ethnicity, ages, and income levels. Clearly a noble mission by any measure and a treasure in our town!
This probono shoot presented extreme challenges. To help out, I brought in a second shooter, Anthony Redferin of Murfreesboro (Anthony shoots primarily real estate). Anthony would help out by covering wider angles while I focussed on more narrow angles and portraits. This was mainly necessary due to the limited stage access, positioning ourselves at either corner near the front of the stage in plain view of the audience and actors. Along with access limitations, we faced the typical indoor lighting challenges associated with theatre. For example, a mix of stage lighting temperatures and color gels, steep light dropoff beyond the curtain, a colorful set reflecting strong mixed lighting, and yes, a smoke machine to top it off. Since it was a final dress rehearsal, we were graciously permitted to use flash. However, my plan to either setup light stands or Manfrotto 175f Clamps with light modifiers was quickly foiled for safety reasons, forcing Anthony to go with on an on Camera SB-700 with Lumiquest Quick Bounce modifier and me with a Nikon SB-900 set atop a Custom Bracket CB Junior Bracket. Originally, I intended to shoot with a Nikon SB-900 and Lumiquest Softbox III. However, due to distance to subject, I simply could not get the light on target I needed unless I used ISO 800 or higher, which was something I wanted to avoid. Ultimately, I went with the OEM Nikon Diffuser dome.
Needless to say, this shoot was typical event photography with all the expected compromises (most people do not understand there is a difference between fashion/glamour and event photography and that it's all the same with a "big camera"). We definitely made some great images however. Altogether, we shot over 800 images between us. In post processing, I estimate we maintained a "keeper ratio" of at least 70%. However, that still yielded far too many images and I culled the final number to about 120 images as I found most people start losing interest in viewing online galleries with more than 100 images (one of the reasons I do not do proof galleries for non-commercial clients anymore).
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