Aerial performances at the 2017 Sideshow Fringe Festival
Oz Arts hosted FALL in June 2017 for “A Bending of Its Own Kind”, and here are some of my favorite photographs from that performance.
I was fortunate to be the Sideshow Fringe Festival 2015 photographer, and as always there were many incredible sessions of theater, aerialists, puppets, and music. There are many, many, many tactics one can utilize when photographing performances. Long exposures, high-ISO captures, processed images to highlight the performer — all are good options. Another option on engaging the subject: shoot once, process none. Shoot film, process, and take what develops.
In addition to the actual live performances, I was also invited to check out some rehearsals, including the work of the FALL company. It was pretty incredible to listen in and hear some of their process as they rehearsed through the work, and to try and unobtrusively capture some of the discussionsÂ in photos. Below are three of those images next to one of the performers during the rehearsal set.
Giving up some control with the medium lets me work in the available lighting and motion without stressing over the upcoming post-processing. A chance to photograph the mood and ambience in the unpolished environment. A bit of a looser, yet more focused, feeling from the performers seems to come out in rehearsals. When the dancers are continuing the commitment of their work to muscle memory it’s almost like a photo critique. People are looking for input, looking for encouragement, but also anything that helps rise the level of the work is welcome.
Many thanks to FALL for allowing me to shoot the rehearsals!
Aerialists are incredible. Flat out, hands down — some of the most entertaining performers combined with incredible physical abilities. Twisting, pulling, turning, falling — it’s amazing. Seeing an aerial performance is great. Always, always, always go if you have the chance. The photo below is from the 2014Â Sideshow Fringe Festival. This session wasÂ with the FALL dance company and Aerial Fabricators.
It’s been a long time since the last photo exploration post. The fall and winter were a productive time, just not for updating this part of the website. So let’s dig in one a photo taken around the time of the last photo exploration!
Long exposures a great. They are easy to do, fun to share, and usually provide some very interesting results. Almost every photographer I know has gone through a waterfall period, which usually involves considerations for ND filters, low-as-possible-ISO, stopping down the lens and looking for the shadiest spot possible to get a good image of creamy water over still rocks. For that matter, I still do those shots when the opportunity arises!
However, when working in a black box theater with high contrast spot lights, it’s much easier to do long exposures than anything else. The question is, just HOW long should that exposure be? 1 second? 5? 1/2″? It’s trial and error at the start, and with performances you might not get a second chance. Pro tip: auto-bracketing helps tremendously in this situation. But once you get the settings dialed in for the scene, some fantastic work can be captured.
I remember the piece being incredible. Bursts of motion overlaid on still and gentle crossings of the stage. When the performers were climbing, it seemed like they could have stayed aloft forever. When one came down, it was like a bird emerging from the egg and immediately taking flight. Enthralling, to say the least!