ADC Evolution: Behind the scenes

Yesterday was the last day of Evolution, which has been running this past week at the ADC Theatre. Tania Nicole asked if I wanted to come and photograph again, this time from behind the scenes. At first I was a bit sceptical, as shooting from the side is not the best of angles, but something pulled me there, and I am really glad that I ended up going. You see, it is not what was happening on stage that captured my attention, but what was going on just out of view. After a week the dancers had got to know each other, and were having a bit of extra fun while waiting for their turn. The side of the stage was a staging area, and the next groups in line would be there warming up. The best bit was when they were dancing along with the performers on stage. With all the different styles of dancing, there was a lot of comedy and opportunity for fun photos. Here is a little glimpse.

The show begins. I wanted to capture the anticipation as the dancers walk on stage.
Some of the dancers mimicked the group on stage while waiting for their turn. I had just put the 85 mm lens on my camera which gave a narrower field of view, and was trying to fit everything in the frame, the dancers on stage, and the dancers in the foreground.
Some of the imitators were quite good. I am sure it was not their first time.
Emily Davey in the dressing room preparing for act 2.


Alys Williams and Hao Feng. I like the skirt that flows, but I wish I had their feet in the shot also.

My new camera has an exposure measuring mode called highlight protection, which makes sure the highlights are not blown. During the tech rehearsal I switched from the matrix mode to highlight protection. Since I am shooting fully manual it did not affect my exposure, but the exposure indicator’s value was modified. However, today by accident while switching ISO I must have turned the wrong dial, and turned on the auto-ISO mode. I spotted it after a few shots, since the ISO indication in the histogram is shown as red if the ISO has been increased. The thing is, it seemed to be doing quite a good job, so I left it on and almost wished I had made the mistake earlier.

Lucrezia Baldo in the foreground. What caught my attention was that her hand pokes out on the other side.
Bodyworks choreography was tricky for me to get a good shot, so much was going on at the same time. Here I like the flying hair on one of the dancers.
Alys Williams doing a jump for me. The dark vertical pillars in the back were distracting, so I have selectively decreased the contrast in the entire photo, except Alys, to make her stand out more.
Hao Feng doing a spontaneous jump.
I like the character interactions. Anything that tells a story that I can capture draws me in.
I like the long shadows leading up to the dancers.
Sometimes you do not need to have the dancers in the photo. Instead of shooting them from the back I moved to the side so that the pillar thingy would obscure them and give me only the shadow.
Tania Nicole Clarke’s solo number. I love the light coming from behind her. The blue light in the background is usually quite distracting but works quite well here.
Naomi Stewart with her little friend.
At the end of the show the dancers came out, did a little routine and then moved back to the end of the stage.
Emily Larcombe, stage manager of the show.

This concludes Evolution. I hope you had a chance to see the show! Huge thanks to all the dancers and the crew!

You can find all blog posts linked on this page.

– Johannes


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