Saturday, May 12, 2012

Kirk R. Tuck on Capturing An Epic Moment in Zach's Laramie Project, Visual Science Lab blog, May 12

Jaston Williams in the Laramie Project, Zach Theatre, Austin Texas, 2012 (image: Kirk R. Tuck)

Austin-based photographer Kirk R. Tuck writes and illustrates an article at his blog The Visual Science Lab about capturing an epic moment in the Zach Theatre's March-May 2012 production of The Laramie Project by Mois├ęs and the Tectonic Theatre Project:

An interesting job with mixed light sources. On the stage.

I had several assignments during the course of the day this past Friday but this set of images for Zachary Scott Theatre was the most interesting to photograph. There's a scene at the end of the play, The Laramie Project, where one of the actors (Jaston Williams, of Greater Tuna and Tuna Texas fame) stands on a square riser covered in grass and is pelted by rain as he stretches his hands out from his side.  In the context of the play it's a very powerful moment.

I saw the scene the first time ten years ago during a dress rehearsal shoot and we captured it on film.  The shot was okay but not quite what we wanted.  Then, ten years later, I shot the scene again, during a recent dress rehearsal.  Technical issues kept me from getting the shot the marketing director and I both wanted.  The spot light on the actor was too contrasty (for the camera...just right for the audience) and the letters across the back were not bright enough.  The slow shutter speed we needed in order to dig into the darkness meant that we didn't get any sort of frozen motion on the rain drops.  We knew we'd have to light the shot to get the image that we both could visualize in our heads.

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