Kings Hall – Taunton
It’s always a pleasure for me to shoot at my local independent schools and Kings Hall is one of my favourites. The school always has a lovely warm friendly feel and the staff are always pleased to see me. A couple times a year I get to photograph the school’s nativity play and on occasions I get to shoot the dress rehearsals of their summer and winter stage productions. It never ceases to amaze me the quality of Kings Hall’s productions from the fantastic student acting, costumes, the stage creations, stage lighting ( crucial for theatre images), the sound (each student has a radio mic) and of course the stage production and management itself, the staff really do work tirelessly.
School productions have changed a huge amount since I was at school, when had the lead part on the school triangle! Things have become obviously more technical but from a subtle perspective the children seem to be so much more confident and able to annunciate so much better than I ever remember. I’ve shared with you below a number of images I shot during the rehearsal at Kings Hall of their production of Peter Pan. From a technical aspect theatre photography is always a tricky one. You are very reliant on good stage lighting as using on camera & off camera flash would be very distracting for the actors and irritating for the audience. This is where your professional equipment really earns its price tag. In my opinion entry DSLR cameras and lenses really don’t have the range to cope with the actors speed of movement and low lighting situations.
For any theatre work, particularly child actors, it’s important not to compromise the production in anyway, therefore you have to shoot as candidly as you can, without interrupting the actors flow. Having a camera system that can operate at very high ISO (International Standards Organization) levels (cameras sensitivity to light) is crucial if not the most important aspect. I often shoot inside a theatre as high as 20,000 ISO and the quality of the image is more than printable. Incidentally I use Canon’s 1DX for poor lighting situations. With a fast 50mm 1.2 L Series attached the 1dx is simply an awesome piece of kit. With a £5k price tag means a lot of theatre productions to recoup your spend.
I hope you enjoy the Kings Hall images and if you wish to know more about the school then follow this LINK If you feel your theatre production would benefit from some great photography or indeed filming, I’d love to HEAR FROM YOU.
Kings Hall Images