This can only mean one thing…
… Panto portraits!
This was my third year of taking pictures on the evening of the full dress rehearsal for the Killigrew Drama Society (KiDS) pantomime, the Adventure in Pantoland by Alan P Frayn at the Abbey Theatre, St Albans.
This year I wanted to take some portraits of the cast before they went on stage. Time was extremely tight on the night as everyone was so busy coming and going. I only had a couple of opportunities to capture anyone that was willing and able to have their portrait taken just before going on stage or just coming off.
I set up a small umbrella and a Speedlight in a room next to the stage. The background was poor no matter where I tried to do a setup. I decided the best plan of action was not to worry about the background at all. I would concentrate on taking the portrait and then I could remove the distracting background later in Photoshop, replace it for a more interesting one.
So, Aladdin was first, followed by Tommy the cat, then it was the turn of The Fool, Prince Charming, Snow White, a Villager and Fairy Honeysuckle. And these were just a few of the incredible characters appearing in this years pantomime.
Below is a rogues gallery of some of the incredible cast that performed in the pantomime. Click on an image to enlarge.
Each portrait took no more than between thirty seconds to a minute to take. I couldn’t miss this opportunity to take pictures of these actors in theire incredible makeup and costumes.
Below is the image which replaced the boring backgrounds of the portraits. I had taken the picture earlier of a rather atmospheric stage shot with smoke lingering on the stage and backlit by the stage lighting.
Below are three examples showing the before and after post-processing. Removing the distracting background and replacing it with the much more atmospheric smoke version makes a panto world of difference!