Cutting The Right Color

Internationally renown poet Nikki Giovanni performs at West Side Theatre in Gary, Indiana. A special technique was used to gel the fixtures that front-lit the podium.

When the West Side Theatre Guild booked internationally renown poet Nikki Giovanni to headline a speaking engagement, I was asked to create a classy, clean lighting design that would not overpower the artist, yet still stand on its own as a visually attractive element of the production. After kicking around some ideas with assistant director Rashaad Cherry, we quickly agreed that using the theater’s white Austrian curtain as a backdrop was the way to go (it’s kind of hard to beat the look of a well-lit Austrian curtain when you’re looking for classy).

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Posted in Lighting Design, Tips And Tricks on September 19th, 2011. No Comments.

Details Unforgotten

A cast-iron rosette surrounds a light fixture in the ceiling of the auditorium at Roosevelt Career and Technical Academy in Gary, Ind., Wednesday, September 14, 2011. The auditorium, constructed with the school in 1923, remains largely unchanged from its original design and decor.

There’s a dangerous recipe for distraction for me as a photographer, one that will almost certainly result in me hanging around a location for way longer than I should. Give me a straightforward, visually uninteresting event (say, people speaking before an audience into a microphone). Add in a historic venue with interesting architecture, and before long, I’ll often be found crawling around on the floor or climbing to the highest reaches of the room for interesting angles to excite my visual senses. Of course, this is after I’ve made those “safe and clean” photos of what I was actually assigned to shoot in the first place. This happened to me tonight while on assignment at the Roosevelt Career and Technical Academy in Gary, Indiana. The auditorium and the surrounding hallway in the school, built in 1923, provided a few artsy-escapes from the microphone meeting masters.

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Posted in Photography, Photojournalism on September 14th, 2011. 2 Comments.