Theatre Rehearsal Photography in Leeds….

Destination Holbeck…

Driving around Holbeck (Leeds) slowly caused a few long, suspicious looks…  parts used to be the red light district and it’s not improved much in the last few years.

The road I was after didn’t seem to have a name on it… there were just lock ups and arches with mechanics tinkering away.

Eventually caving in and asking directions, I find myself outside the venue after all, it just doesn’t look like I expected – HUB it’s called, Holbeck Urban Ballroom I think.

The job was to get some shots of rehearsals for Chelle and Katie, who run production company Twisted Avenue” – so went in armed with the strobist kit and camera, not knowing what to expect.

Aladdin’s Cave

A labyrinthine array of tunnels – with fat, soft sofas, a piano, speakers, costumes, trinkets and a strange little chandelier. Very odd. I like it.

So to the play rehearsals… quick look around the room  - white walls, black drapes around the ceiling, speakers and pipes on the walls, heater on (in the summer – it was boiling!!!), actors in their civvies with the scripts in hand and a few people watching. So it’s just a case of set up and do what the hell you like really – my kinda job; fly on the wall… the decisive moment…. unposed…. candid….

So set the lights up in a few positions through the night, used about every lens in the bag, all pretty much wide open to blur away the muddled backgrounds – mixed lighting temperatures giving nice blue rim lighting from one angle, edgy cool faces from another…

Don’t stop for me folks…. :-)

At first you’ve no idea what they’re doing, talking about or where they’re going to look – just as you’re about to get the shot and arm gets in the way, a head turns, a laugh breaks the moment…

Then you get the jist – you know how the action unfolds as the hone their lines. Get into position for Ellen’s crazed Italian Mama character, quickly move to get Tom and Simon’s scene – change the lights around for Susan’s bits as she’s always looking stage left….

Sorted – 345 shots in the bag, lots of colour/contrast/clarity in lightroom – job done!