It’s always good to get a repeat job, and to be asked back to cover another Hitchin Symphony Orchestra concert gives the added bonus of the chance to listen to some fantastic classical music.
In order to provide promotional photos for the orchestra, conductor Paul Adrian Rooke asked me to come along to the orchestra’s St Cecilia’s Day 85th Anniversary Gala Concert, to shoot informal pictures of the musicians during rehearsal, formal pictures of the orchestra’s guests in the half time break and individual portraits for the musicians.
Although beautiful, shooting in St Mary’s church can often be challenging due to poor light within the church. Even making use of the orchestra’s own lighting a dull rainy Saturday didn’t help matters, however I’ve recently been experimenting with shooting at high ISO and hence I was able to put the techniques I’d learnt to good use to recover the situation.
During the afternoon rehearsal I was able to move around the orchestra as they fine tuned their performance, and got a series of informal shots which really show the musicians at work.
For the performance itself, my role was quite straight forward simply waiting for the right moments and my cues. Having covered previous concerts I knew that it simply wasn’t acceptable to move around and take photos during the concert so I was forced to sit and simply enjoy the music (I always find one of the perks of being a photographer is the opportunities it affords, the places it gets me into and the chance to often have a ring side seat). Although not a classical music fan I really enjoyed the 3 pieces the orchestra played;
- Malcolm Arnold’s Anniversary Overture
- Edward Elgar’s violin concerto, with the extremely talented Shulah Oliver as guest soloist (another of my customers)
- Edmund Rubbra’s Symphony number 3
At the half time break I quickly sprung into action to photograph the orchestra and soloist taking their bows, before the posed shots of the orchestra’s guests.
As the second half of the concern started I was able to get into the bell ringers’ gallery which has a great view down the church and certainly gave me a different perspective for a few shots.
Finally at the end of the evening I took some more photos of orchestra taking their bows, before setting up a mini studio in the Chapel of St Andrew on the south side of the church. Here the decoration of the chapel made a stylish and very suitable background for the musicians in keeping with their formal attire.
Learn more about Hitchin Symphony Orchestra at their web site www.hitchinsymphony.org.uk
Learn more about Shulah Oliver and her musical career www.ShulahOliver.co.uk
If you’d like to see the full set of images please visit my pro-gallery (Pro-Gallery).
To see shots from the Hitchin Symphony Orchestra 2011 click here (Pro-Gallery).
To see shots from the Hitchin Symphony Orchestra 2009 click here (Pro-Gallery).