Tech notes from C-show 2008

I didn't light this one, I was invited to come see the show and offered to try and do pictures for the groups. It was all shot on a Canon G9 from the back of the hall, under what was often low-light conditions, requiring a fair bit of postprocessing to try and reduce the noise but also deal with the softness from the point-n-shoot optics. And of course dancers rarely stop MOVING, so in many cases their final "freeze" was about the only time for any hope of a good shot -- if I didn't screw up on the focus, which also happened in a few of them. The full-size pictures are generally 768 high but left very long horizontally in the interest of maintaining detail across the larger groups.

The cyc light bleeding to white where brightest is generally an artifact of camera dynamic range, not the lighting itself. I stayed in full manual and tried to strike the best balance on the fly by hawking the histogram. Most shutter speeds were between 1/10 and 1/20, depending on visibility [which was frequently problematic, as was color contrast between performers and the backdrop].

My viewing angle was also fairly high -- the rest of the audience would have seen the dancers higher up relative to the screen behind them. You'll have to extrapolate that in your own mind.

I didn't manage to get the intro slide for every group -- in some cases there wasn't one due to video difficulties. I've just inserted names where needed.

Here is the most likely reason for the persistent dimness of the stage. The front light plot appears to be a group of red, a group of blue, and a batch of open white all from the front-of-house rail. I don't think I ever saw anything on the side-house ladders, which I've traditionally relied heavily on to get enough photons on stage and from more dance-show-appropriate angles, come on at all until somewhat randomly during the last act.
Some pieces had evidently asked for some bit of flash-n-trash enhancement, which was generally provided by bumping the over-stage downlight here and there. Bhangra had a lot of this but also at the expense of their main light, leading to what you see in 434bhangra.jpg.

At one point I noticed that the organ pipes had an interesting look to them from the stage splash.

Note to self: When changing batteries, do not hold this end of one of them in your mouth while juggling equipment. Ow.

_H* 080510