The blog of photographer Kim Ayres

When The Rehearsal is Better Than The Performance

With portrait photography, you control the lighting, the background and the camera angles, and work with the subject to create the desired expressions and postures.

You are the director creating a story that conforms to your vision, for the viewer to consume.

With performance photography, you have no control over any of these things. You have to make do with the existing background and lighting, and usually only have one or 2 possible places you can take a photograph from, while having no interaction with the subjects.

You are the observer, capturing images to document and reflect the experience of being there.

I've done both these styles of photography on many occasions, but when capturing images of the Fedorova Ensemble for Absolute Classics I was also given the opportunity to photograph the rehearsals, which is a strange in-between world.

For an hour or so before the doors opened to the public, this quintet of world class classical musicians rehearsed on stage at the Theatre Royal in Dumfries.

While I couldn't start posing them or ask them to adopt particular expressions, so long as I didn't get in their way I could set up my own lights and move among them with my camera.

I created a 3-light set up, so pretty much whatever angle I was at there was light on the musicians, and a backlight behind them. This allowed for more dramatic shadows and light than the standard stage lighting.

But the real fun was that I could place myself only a few feet away from them and create photos that give an embedded sense of intimacy, where you can almost feel what it would be like to be up there in among them rather than watching from the stalls.

And of course, throughout it all I was treated to the most astonishing quality of musicianship, as though it were my own private concert.

Don't get me wrong, the actual performance was amazing, but as a photographer, the rehearsal was a much more enjoyable experience.

Absolute Classics
Piano - Anna Fedorova -
Double bass - Nicholas Schwartz -
Viola - Georgy Kovalev -
Violin - Eldbjørg Hemsing -
Cello - Benedict Kloeckner -


viji suresh said...

Absolutely stunning. Especially the last photograph. Man holding Cello.. Divine

Kim Ayres said...

Many thanks, Viji :)

All content copyright of Kim Ayres. Powered by Blogger.