ViPA is CBC Fremantle's annual performing arts festival, and this was the second year that I was asked to capture the event. It's always a challenge because the lighting isn't great, and trying to freeze the action, especially the drama performances, can be very difficult. Luckily, I was able to attend rehearsals this year, meaning I could get a feel for the lighting, making the night much easier.
A major concern when I was shooting was noise. The settings that I chose were really all about balancing a low enough ISO, and freezing the action without the need for a tripod. I did have a tripod set up at the back of the hall, but to get the best shots I needed to go handheld and get close to the stage.
As a rule of thumb, my ISO didn't go above 1600, requiring a wide aperture and a slow shutter speed. For the shot above, I had an f-stop of f/5.6, and the shutterspeed was 1/100th of a second. Luckily, the actor was sitting to the side of the stage, allowing me to capture a close up without getting in the way of the audience.
Another advantage of having attended rehearsals was that I knew what the actors would be doing and when. This meant I was able to position myself in anticipation for a pose that I wanted to capture.
As I mentioned earlier, the lighting in the hall is far from optimal. This photo is a good example of this, with the musicians in the back row blending into the background. Unfortunately, there wasn't much I could do. I couldn't use flash, and by exposing for the back row, I would have blown out the other musicians.
Perhaps my favourite part of the venue that the performance took place in is the fact that there is a balcony. This creates some flexibility in angles, leading to photos like this.
After a combined six hours and over 1,700 photos, ViPA continues to be one of my biggest events of the year.