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Andrew Billington Photographyon

Tuesday, 9 December 2008

Another Theatre Week

Looking forward to another week of Theatre Photography. Hoorah!

Three shows to do this week and I think a couple of headshots for actors at the New Vic Theatre.

I'll post details of the shoots later but I have to go and make my lamb curry for tomorrow's dinner - I've posted a photo above from one of the shoots that happen this afternoon. Being a soft touch I did a good deal for some students who wanted their final projects photographed - I did one today and I'll do a second on Thursday.

Off to the kitchen....

Thursday, 4 December 2008

That Was The Week That Was

I had a very busy week last week PLUS the flu so it was all a bit of a blur.
Wednesday night I had some performance photography across at Staffs University for a show called 'The Knotty' - it's that small studio space but as the shots were going up at The New Vic Theatre I had to try to shoot close so it looked like a larger space.
That was followeed on Friday by a bit of 'papping' for a Gala performance across at The New Vic. Honoured guests, VIPs etc.
And then on Saturday it was across to Telford to do a shoot with a model called Amypetal. That was the most fun! She wanted some portfolio shots doing and I took a selection of props and my portastudio over and we mucked about for about 3 hours.
I was really pleased with the results - as was she - and for a very simple set up I think we achieved some good results.
As I have said it's really a different approach for me to be in charge of creating the image rather than capturing what it unfolding in front of me, and I like it. I shall try to push this further.
As we move towards Christmas work slows down a bit, which is nice, and I shall recharge my batteries for te New Year.

Tuesday, 25 November 2008

Still got a virus....

I'm still feeling bad. I have been laid up in bed for the past two days - doing a bit of photo processing on the laptop - and the doctor this morning said it would go away in it's own time. I wanted huge drugs!

Here's a couple of shots from this weekend.

I'm going to get myself together emough to shoot a show this evening - 'The Knotty'.

I want to do this and I have to turn around prints for the next day as Front of House pics. Wish me luck...

Sunday, 23 November 2008

British Open Dance Championships

Blackpool Winter Gardens yesterday for the 'British Open Dance Championships'.

I will write more about the really interesting day and post more pictures at a later date because I'm heavily flued up today. Needless to say it was sequins, fake tan, smiles, great dancing, excitement and disappointment in equal measures.

Plus I'll be putting up some photos of 'Arabian Nights' at The New Vic Theatre which I took on Friday night.

I'm off to my duvet...

Wednesday, 19 November 2008

'Don Juan' in Studio One

I have another show shoot this evening in Studio One at Staffs University.
It's 'Don Juan' and should be fun.

I was lecturing at the University this morning and found out that they hadlost an actress from the show - so were having to rehearse someone in at thelast minute. I hope that having a photographer there as well as doing thefirst dress isn't going to the straw that breaks the camel's back - but I'mvery discreet and not 'off-putting'. It's about capturing the action - not where has the photographer got himself and why is he in the way! Twentyyears of working in theatre has taught me not to be a distraction.

I'm also off to Blackpool this weekend for the British Open DanceChampionships at the Winter Gardens. A whole day of shooting on the Saturday- followed by a day of processing on the Sunday. My only worry is gettingall the correct names of the dancers so I can properly title and keywordphotos. Watch this space.

(Added after the Dress)

Shoot went OK apart from the moment when I tripped over a step, staggered into the second row and plonked myself heavily onto a vacant seat. What was I saying about not being a distraction.

Boastfulness comes before a fall.

Sunday, 16 November 2008

New Model Shoot

Interesting day yesterday.

I did a fashion and portrait shoot for an aspiring model from Stoke.

It was interesting because I'm used to capturing images as they play out before me - in performances, weddings or workshops - but I don't often have to construct the image from scratch.

The brief was easy - to come up with photos for the models portfolio that would show her looking attractive, adept at modelling and in a variety of styles - but we were photographing at her house and used just the one location, the front room. Three changes of frock, two contrasting colour walls and one key light. I had brought my studio flash lighting set up but ended up just using available light and one remote softbox with my Canon 580EX flash.

In the end I think we came up with some useful images and it is really interesting and exciting being in control of the whole image for once - I'll definately look forward to another shoot like it.

Wednesday, 12 November 2008

Very Last Minute Job

Had a phone call from Paul Jones, the Head of the Drama Department at Staffordshire University, at 6.25 tonight wondering if I could photograph the Dress Rehearsal of a production they were doing of 'Fen' by Caryl Churchill. The Dress was at 7.30.

Luckily was free and scooted over there by 7.10 to check out the space.

Small studio space but I'd brought both my Canon 5D with a telephoto lens and my Canon 50D with a wide angle lens. Great lighting, interesting staging and an enjoyable evening all round.

Show finished just after 9.00 so back home to sort through the files and shortlist about 80 shots for colour correction and processing. Should be through by 12.00....

Will drop a disc of images off tomorrow morning.

Monday, 10 November 2008

New Vic Exhibition

It's the last week that my photographic exhibition is up at the New Vic Theatre in Stoke-on-Trent.

I've had some very good feedback and it has been a nice opportunity to show some shots that I have taken over the course of the last year around the theatre that would necessarily have been obvious 'publicity' shots.

It's been great that it has been there for 5 weeks and I hope that I can show it elsewhere around the city - I'll have to try AirSpace....

Sunday, 9 November 2008

It's been a while since I set this up and I thought I should actually take it seriously.... so here goes.

Did the RNCM gig for First Stage Theatre Company and I really enjoyed it. It was hard work shooting the Dress Rehearsal at 2.30 and turning around Front of House prints by 7.00pm but I did it (8 prints run off on my large format printer I lugged up with me). See the shot on the left....
I was at a seminar yesterday talking about how to present your work portfolio presented by Rhubarb-Rhubarb, what a great company helping photographers connect with galleries, dealers and editors. Very useful.

As well as doing the Wedding Photography and Performance Photography I am trying to branch out and looking to explore the world of Portraiture and Fashion shoots - not because I think I'm capable of doing everything but to try to expand the style of work I have experienced and feed that into my regular work. We'll see how it goes - I've registered with a couple of online Model Agencies and am talking to models about doing some test shoots. I'll put up the results here....