Theatre Rehearsal Photography in Leeds….
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.
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!