Coppelia dress rehearsal

This week the Cambridge University Ballet Society is performing Coppelia at the Mumford Theatre in Cambridge. Back in January I did a photo shoot with the Coppelia cast for the poster and profile photos (blog post). Since then they have been working hard and yesterday night was the big dress rehearsal for the show. It premiers tonight, and as I am writing this the girls are on stage performing. Here are my photos from the dress rehearsal.

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Here Leora Amy Taratula-Lyons. For part of the performance she was sitting in the front row taking notes, and enjoying the performance of her peers.
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Lara Wendy and the Merry Maids in the background. I had the 50 mm and the 85 mm lens with me, but as usual I ended up only using the 50 mm, and shooting from the front of the stage.
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Ellie Sian Morgan, Frances Myatt, Emily Louise White and Charlotte Dunn. I am trying to find different ways to frame the dancers, also the reflections in the floor are simply gorgeous.
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Cherise Glodowski, Emily Louise White and Frances Myatt. There were little acting bits between the dance numbers that I thoroughly enjoyed.
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Frances Myatt, Cherise Glodowski and Emily Louise White with the big key to the secret door.
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Luciana Boon and her toys.
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Charlie Schoonman and Leora Amy Taratula-Lyons.
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Naomi Stewart, Leora Amy Taratula-Lyons and Charlie Schoonman. Sassy!
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Emily Louise White, Luciana Boon and Charlie Byers. Playing with placing the people at different distances to create a bit of depth.
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Lara Wendy and Luciana Boon. The dolls kept breaking down and Luciana kept having to run around and fix them. Her different expressions were very colourful and fun to watch.
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I like that only one of the ballerinas was facing the camera.
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Naomi Stewart. This photo received a bit of photoshopping, since I really liked Naomi’s pose, but there were some odd arms and legs coming in from the sides. Content aware fill and clone stamp to the rescue. Leora’s leg was overlapping with the fourth dancer’s head in the background, so if you look closely you can probably see that it has been cloned from one of the other dancers. There is a thin halo which I was too tired to notice when I edited the photo last night.
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Anna Gawedzka, Katarzyna Kmiecik, Ellie Dobbs and friends.
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Vinciane Jones and Karoline Oakes. I like this pose, I imagine Vinciane picking flowers and Karoline reaching for an apple.
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Joanna Lobl, Fernanda Ostrovski, Kara Phang, Hanneke ‘Hamish’ Reijnierse-Salisbury and Connie Benjamin.
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Emily Louise White and Charlie Byers. Just out on an evening stroll.
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Ellie Sian Morgan, Cherise Glodowski, Charlotte Dunn and Frances Myatt.
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Frances Myatt, Lara Wendy, Luciana Boon, Emily Louise White, Charlie Byers, Cherise Glodowski and Charlotte Dunn. One last photo before the curtain closes completely.

During the third act I took the leap and turned on auto-ISO on my camera. It was after talking to Tom Attridge, who also photographed the dress rehearsal, that I decided to give auto-ISO another go. What tipped the scale was his comment that I could use it together with exposure compensation, to slightly underexpose the photo. I have dabbled a bit with auto-ISO before but never really felt comfortable with relying on it. I must say that I am pleasantly surprised this time. It did a pretty good job with the highlight protection setting turned on. By having the camera select a slightly higher ISO than I would choose I did not have to push the exposure as much in Photoshop during post processing, leading to a final photo with less noise.

Enough about technical details, go see the ballet! You can find your tickets here. Many thanks for a wonderful ballet evening, and special thanks to Naomi Stewart and Leora Amy Taratula-Lyons for inviting me.

– Johannes

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