Our House

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Mr Pressman & 'Black' Joe Casey
Houses have kept me busy for a few weeks, so I’ve struggled to find the time to write my Blog.

My own house that I’m selling has caused me a few headaches in the last couple of weeks, but hopefully will soon be sorted.

The other house that has been taking up my time has been “Our House” the Madness Musical that Mossley Amateur Operatic & Dramatic Society has been putting on this week at the George Lawton Hall. I say it is a house taking up my time but more specifically it was the painting of a Morris Minor for the “Driving In My Car” number that absorbed my attention. Having painted an old American pick-up truck for “Footloose” a few years ago, I was requested to paint the car for this production, not that I’ve been typecast. I had to paint the front and back of the Morris. First I had to paint in the light and shade of the bodywork, then put in the detail ; It’s amazing how much there is on such a simple car, lights, bumpers & ornaments. Once the front and back were fixed to a truck I was then told it car needed the sides painting in. Having taken several weeks to paint the front and rear, with time running out, I then had to paint the sides without a template in two hours on the final night available.

The car was finally completed in at the George Lawton Hall on Sunday as were prepared the stage for the production. I touched up little bits and pieces, here and there, added a bracket to support the flash pot and painted black any bits on the interior that I’d missed. It took most of the day to prepare the stage but after a brief technical rehearsal, we ran through the dress rehearsal.

In the second act my role changing scenery back stage was almost non-existent, or so it said on my queue sheet so I went to the front of the stage and started shooting a few photos of the production. Theatre photography is a lot like Wedding Photography. You only have the one opportunity to shoot it as you cannot stop the action and ask the cast to go back and repeat a moment you missed. Despite the stage being bombarded with thousands of watts of light, the lighting is still tricky so you have to contend with that. Its about telling a story through single moment pictures rather than through the whole play. Its all about relationships and emotions as they continually evolve. And just like weddings it is all about catching that special moment; action and reaction ; a look between the two stars, or maybe just the rest of the cast members as they complement the narrative. The photographer has to anticipate the movement of the principles and be in the right place at the right time to be ready for that moment. But even then framing is still critical, what to leave in, what to leave out and be alert to anything that may detract from what you are trying to achieve in the photograph.

My photos from “Our House” can be viewed on the Sentient Photo Facebook page :


Although these are a small selection from a small section of the production, have a look and let me know if you think I’ve captured the moment, and what you can deduce from the characters. (A lot of that will from the actors talents rather than mine).
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