Playing to the camera

Posted on 27 Mar ’11 by Earl Moore

Earl Moore
Cast - Stealing Away, Livingstone College
Earl Moore
Individual shot of a cast member

I was honored to be asked to make photographs of the cast and rehearsal for the production of the play, “Stealing Away,” by the theater group at Livingstone College. I joined their rehearsal on Thursday evening and had great fun! I found I enjoy photographing actors — they’re natural performers, especially when it’s an all female cast. You don’t have to coax them to connect with the camera, you simply need to be ready to capture the moment they do.

I didn’t want to take them out of the moment with a flash, so I worked with low-level stage lighting — using my Nikon D700 at 3600-4000 ISO. I was able to shoot even at continuous low speeds with my 24-70mm f/2.8 lens keeping tight focus during the scenes. There was some noise at these higher ISO levels but it took only a few minutes to remove it in Lightroom/Photoshop.

Earl Moore
Cast and director

Part of this weekends was spent processing three sets of the photos — color, black and white and antique look. I’d promised them for Monday.

What Others Are Saying

  1. Alan M. Collopy 27 Mar ’11 at 6:39 pm


    Yes, an honor for you, but for them also. Stunning photos, I love the color and details, and variety of shots. VERY well done Earl.


    • Earl 28 Mar ’11 at 7:11 am

      Hi Alan, Thanks. As I posted it was a lot of fun and I’d happily do it again.

  2. Martina Egli 28 Mar ’11 at 8:23 am

    Marvellous images, I love the joy and happiness you captured. The colours are wonderful and I particularly like the feel of your portrait shot, it transports me to a warm summers day in another time.

    • Earl 28 Mar ’11 at 1:03 pm

      Thanks. I had so much fun doing this one. I was laughing and smiling so much I could hardly make the shots. I’m definitely going back to see the play when it opens.

  3. Ove 28 Mar ’11 at 4:25 pm

    These images came out impressively good, although those high iso numbers. Sounds like great fun, photographing a theatre group. Really nice images, Earl.

    • Earl 30 Mar ’11 at 9:39 am

      Ove, it was probably the most fun I’ve ever had photographing people. I was pleased at how well the D700 handled those high ISO numbers, although a close examination certainly reveals noise. Thanks!

  4. Ken Bello 28 Mar ’11 at 4:59 pm

    A nice set of photos, Earl. Stage actors have a lot of presence for photo ops and you took good advantage of it.

    • Earl 30 Mar ’11 at 9:41 am

      Ken, yes they naturally loved being in the spotlight or the viewfinder as it may be. It was fast paced but so much fun, the time seemed to fly. Thanks.

  5. Anita Jesse 29 Mar ’11 at 8:20 pm

    Those high ISO’s certainly didn’t hold you back. I hope this cast realizes how fortunate they were to have you there with your camera. Fine stills for publicity.

    • Earl 30 Mar ’11 at 9:45 am

      Anita, I was nervous at shooting at such a high ISO but I knew the D700 was a good low light performer. There was certainly noise but nothing I couldn’t work with. They were very pleased and grateful with the results…I’ve got a couple of free tickets for my wife and I to attend the performance. Thanks!

  6. Monte Stevens 3 Apr ’11 at 9:55 am

    Congratulations, my friend, and another job well done. It seems as though you are getting more opportunities for shooting projects, people are liking the work you do.

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