A “Director’s Cut” of a movie is the Director’s own preferred edit. “Dances With Wolves,” one of my all-time favorite movies, has a Director’s Cut. So this got me to thinking–since I am a still photographer why not create my own version of the “Director’s Cut” from my photo galleries?
My creative thinking was based on two reasons. First, on any photo shoot, I have my personal favorite shots that I prefer for one reason or another. It might be the lighting, the composition, the expression on a face, or any other reason why I just like some of my photographs. Second, I create very large photo galleries after a photo shoot. For example, at the recent Pleasant Valley High School musical, “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!” I produced over 9,000 photos! Even once the photos are edited and the bad ones removed, this results in some extremely large galleries. So my second reason was to offer more manageable photo galleries for visitors on my website to view.
I am calling these preferred photographs from a photo shoot “Pcuts.” They represent this photographer’s personal favorites for one reason or another.
I just posted my newest Pcuts of the first performance of “You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown!” on my website. If you care to view these Pcuts (my personal favorites), you can view them here. The photographs you see here are just a few of the Pcuts from Friday’s performance.
This past weekend I photographed a Christmas musical that my daughter had a role in as Holly Moss. I find stage light to be difficult and un-user friendly much of the time. The problem is that many different colored lights create all kinds of light casts on the actors and have a way of tinting skin and hair to amazingly unhuman qualities. It can get quite funky!
I choose to go without flash for two reasons: first, most of the time flash is not allowed in these situations, and second, I want to portray the lighting as we see it in the actual performance. These seem like pretty good reasons to me.
I have found that dark, black backgrounds are the best in these conditions. Other backgrounds not only can get busy looking, but they can reflect a lot of different colors that come from the stage lights. Black is predictable more so than any other background and it seems to swallow up some of the ambient light colors that reek havoc on skin tones.
The next time you are out on a photo shoot think more about the backgrounds and try a black one if possible. It works beautifully at times when nothing else seems to work at all.
If you had predicted that I would some day be photographing portraits and headshots I would not have ever believed you. Funny how our children bring us into things we never even dreamed of doing!
Our daughter, Lydia, is very much into musicals, singing, acting, dancing, and performing. She sings in our church, performs in many community plays and musicals and does the same in her school. Just as our son, James, gives me opportunities to photograph baseball games, Lydia gives me the privilege of photographing plays and musicals. Moreover, she sometimes needs a headshot for an audition and enjoys sitting in as my model as I learn how to do this more effectively.
Headshots and portraits were never high up on my list of photographic interests until Lydia started with all of this. Now I am finding the challenge to be invigorating and rewarding! I am learning more and more how to make better portraits and headshots these days!