Dance Performance Photography – Caught at LangLab

Reiterated confession: I’m a live performance & visual media junkie.

The anticipation, nervous energy before the stage comes to life, and one-shot no retakes atmosphere gets my creativity charged up. I absolutely love the countdown to go time. Troubleshooting in a pinch to make it work and look flawless. Fast paced action all around! (These all translate just fine to wedding photography moments too… but that’s another post.)

Caught performance at LangLab December 2010

Earlier this month I joined the production of Caught – a senior thesis turned full out dance production by Hannabeth Fischer. A brief excerpt from the show’s event page goes like this:

Artistically acclaimed “mesmerizing”, “enthralling”, and “beautiful the whole way through,” Caught is up for it’s second run in South Bend, IN. Choreography and film: Hannahbeth Fischer. After a highly successful debut at Saint Mary’s College in November, Caught has grown. Adding two musicians to the original sound artist, Patrick Quigley, the Analecta trio is complete. Analecta is a group of rising local musicians: indie, progressive, classical. http://www.myspace.com/analectaband

Experience a cross-platform performance with digital film and dance, playing on the borders of Dance Theater. Live sound engulfs the entire audience, the entire building. This performance, while beautiful on camera, cannot be experienced anywhere but live. Fischer’s statements about movement, duality, tension, architecture, desire, and interaction permeate the multiple channels.

Audience members should look forward to an exciting new space at LangLab. The truly unique space, conducive to incubation and artist musings, will shock many that it exists in South Bend.

Fischer shot some of the film for the projection in the space, adding a unique parallelism to this run of the piece. This is LangLab’s first full length dance performance. Neither South Bend nor LL have experienced a full kinesphere performance such as Caught, and should make it out to LangLab on December 10. Fischer and collaborators welcome conversation in the post-show hang time.

Aside from the usual available light performance photography I also worked with a great crew to provide video and multitrack audio recording for the performance portfolio DVD project. This was a first to go a huge step past mics-mixer-camera to allow for precise audio postproduction mixing of the single-take recording. Translation: geeking out.

Caught LangLab Dance Photography

Shots made with Nikon D700 and Nikkor 85mm f/1.8 lens in existing light / video projection.

Technical challenges outside of the recording side included adapting a theatrical stage performance at Saint Mary’s College to the LangLab warehouse art venue (very cool feel!). Full theatrical lighting and dimming control was simplified to fit the intimate space. I do enjoy a good brainstorm and improvisation!

Congrats Hannabeth and the cast of Caught on a wonderful 2nd performance! Glad to have been part of it!

 

UPDATE! Jan 2011 – Check out the LIVE recording album the band made from the audio tracks from the show.

Low light concert photography: Analecta at Generic Store

Last night I dropped by Generic in downtown South Bend to catch Analecta play a live set. Decided to play with my Nikon D700’s high ISO settings in low light. I positioned myself in an open spot across from most of the moving lighting where pretty much all the light was above and behind the bassist up front. It would make your eyes crazy after a few minutes, not to mention mess with a camera’s autofocus. Perfect spot for test shots. The D700 locked focus excellently even in very harsh backlight on top of all the less-than-ideal setings. Seriously – concert lighting is rarely rigged for photography, which makes it all the more fun to find and make good shots in dodgy lighting.

Analecta at Generic store South Bend Indiana live music

Nikon D700 with 24mm lens. ISO 3200, 1/25th sec @ f/2.8

Analecta at Generic store South Bend Indiana live music

10.5mm f/2.8 fisheye lens – 1/4 sec exposure at f/3.5 to burn in some of the color. Not even the black ceiling is that dark any more.

Analecta at Generic store South Bend Indiana live music

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