Opera by Candlelight

Opera by Candlelight is an annual event in Canberra at which some of the most talented and promising young musicians in the local region and interstate showcase many of the best-loved arias and classical solo pieces in a beautiful outdoor setting, made even more enchanting by the romance of candlelight.  It was lovely to go as a spectator, but I also brought along the camera to practice some stage photography skills and managed to get a few nice shots (despite consciously staying well back so as not to annoy other audience members or distract the cast!)

Don Escamillo (performed by Philip Barton) brags of his exploits in the bullring.

Don Escamillo (performed by Philip Barton) brags of his exploits in the bullring.

Because of my love of the Arts, I made the images freely available to Opera by Candlelight, and I’ve received some very nice feedback from some of the people involved which was very kind of them.  One of the favourite images is this panorama of the stage, created by hand-stitching two images together.  The time between captures was a couple of minutes, which means there was time for a couple of people to move on stage, creating sets of identical twins!

Kate Rafferty performs her sensitive and moving rendition of Caro nome

Kate Rafferty performs her sensitive and moving rendition of 'Caro nome'

Technical details: images were shot at 21.1 megapixels in RAW on a Canon 5DmkII, mostly with a professional 24-105mm f/4 L IS USM lens.  My 580EXmkII Speedlite was attached, but not used for most shots (as the stage lights provided adequate, and more atmospheric, lighting).  Exposures metered in Spot Metering mode and exposed at -1EV to compensate for the harshness of the stage lights, which can so easily burn out important highlights on the performers’ faces and costumes; and as an added bonus, -1EV in Aperture Priority makes the shutter speed twice as fast so there’s less chance of motion blurring and shots come out crisper.

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~ by Q on February 11, 2010.

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