An invisible man, a wicked witch, a sexy knight and plenty of booing!

That ridiculous headline above can only mean on thing! It’s the Killigrew Drama Society (KiDS) Camelot the Panto 2018!

For the second year now (read about my first panto photoshoot here), I had the delightful honour of taking the behind the scenes shots of the full dress rehearsal of Camelot the Panto.

The panto was held at the Abbey Theatre, St Albans and was the perfect venue for the show. I arrived at 17.30 to set up and get ready to take pictures of the performers getting ready and having their makeup applied. The makeup always makes for some great informal reportage images.

I had ample of time to take shots of the actors having their makeup applied and thought it might be fun to capture the moment by creating a time-lapse in the background while I continued shooting the still images.

Beware the wicked witches and the handsome knights in the dressing room!

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At the makeup station. Actors and actresses get some subtle Panto makeup applied!

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Yup, that’s yours truley capturing the action.
The time-lapse of the makeup session.

I set up my tripod where it would be out the way, but in a position where I could capture the best action. I put a Syrp Genie Mini (an easy-to-use device to create smooth panning motion time-lapses) onto the top of my tripod, then connected a ball head to that, and finally I connected my Sony RX100 IV to crown the whole lot off! Once I was happy with the position I used the Syrp app on my phone to input the details I required. I simply selected the desired time length I wanted to record, number of pictures to be taken and the angle of rotation and that is basically that. Finally all that was left to do was hit record on the app and leave alone to do it’s magic. This freed me up to work my way around the makeup artists and actors getting the candid shots I was after.

Part two of the evening was packing up all the gear and then finding a seat in the theatre, somewhere in front of the stage where I would have the best vantage spot to photograph the performers.

So that was me settled for the next couple of hours. The main problem I had was with the stage lighting! When it was on it was great, however the lighting technicians were still programming in the lighting during the rehersal which made it very tricky to try and get a correct exposure. A lot of the time I would just get my composition, figure out the exposure and then suddenly the lighting would completely drop off or come right up causing a lot of my pictures to be either completely under or over exposed. I spent much of time having to make rapid changes to ISO and aperture settings when taking pictures, well it kept me on my toes anyway!

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A variety of images taken from the theatre stalls.


And finally I managed to get some time to create some Cinemagraphs from some of the video I captured during the rehearsal. I use Flixel to create the animations and I hope they make you giggle as much as they did me – enjoy.


It was a thoroughly entertaining evening, not only to be allowed in to take the full dress rehearsal pictures but to also watch the performers go through their paces.

I’ll see you next year… Oh no you won’t… Oh yes I will!



Canon 5D mkIII
Canon 5DmkIV
Sony RX100 IV

Manfrotto 055 Tripod
Manfrotto Ball Head 494RC2
Peak Design Everyday Backpack 30L
Canon 600EX-RT Speedlight

Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS II USM Lens
Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L USM Lens

A bag full of memory cards and batteries
Syrp Genie Mini (An easy-to-use device to create smooth panning time-lapses)

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