A badass friend of mine who’s been a performer in Los Angeles for as long as I’ve known her recently formed a technomagical performance troupe called Wilderbe. It’s a little hard to capture what Wilderbe is on stills due to the technological aspect of its performance – the dancers perform various interactive acts via 3d-mapping in which a special projector digitally ‘maps’ the dancers’ movements either in realtime or predubbed, creating a neat visual effect (dancers dancing with a ‘liquid’ shadow or fighting with a 2-D enemy, etc.)
For their first performance at Cinespace in Hollywood I asked Lisa if I could tag along to grab some photos of the dancers getting ready, performing, etc. I hadn’t seen Wilderbe before but knowing Lisa and her involvement with other troupes I know, I was sure there would be some interesting photos coming out of it. Growing up in the theater I loved the ritual of pre-show: makeup, the laying out of the costumes, the thin sense of anticipation mixed with excitement, etc. so I got there early to try to capture the look of what it felt like. This goes back to trying to capture a sense of emotion which I am even just now trying to recognize, let alone define it within the frame.
As a DJ for a long time in what you could call “the scene”, I experienced nights like this differently (and far more negatively.) As someone who just wanted to take a few photos, it was more removed (and thus far more enjoyable.)
Plus, this was a great way for me to take more photos of people, which you know I’ve talked about if you read this blog from time to time. I was off to the right of the stage during the performance so the shots aren’t the best angle, but I’m happy with the ones taken before the show.
During the performance I tried to keep the ISO as low as possible while maintaining the highest shutter speed (I shot on S mostly) but the light was at such an odd angle and the dancers were moving so quickly a lot of these had to have some post work done to remove the grain. They aren’t as sharp as I wanted them to be. Overall it was nice to see a few of the folks I’ve fallen out of touch with since I have mostly stopped DJing, but as far as this blog is concerned I am pretty pleased with my approach to shooting in the dark conditions. Six months ago I’d have been completely lost in the dark so I consider this a triumph.