How I Photographed It: Dark Theater Group Photo

There were four people, dark theater, and minimal light.

Those are the three things that make up this fun photograph from the Tabor Opera House in Leadville, Colorado.

I was there with my friends Justin, Armando, Jacob and Derek for a Photo Frontier project.

At one point I was in a corner of the theater capturing some frames. And I noticed that each person was in a different spot of the theater. They happen to all be in seats, which gave me this idea. I visualized it in my mind, like I always do.

But the biggest struggle was the lack of light. It was dark in the Opera House. Especially in the seating area, where we all were. But the Nikon Df does extremely well in low light. So I bumped up my ISO, framed the photo, moved some of the guys a seat or two over, and captured my frames.

One thing I wish I changed was to have Justin (far left/top) move over to the right one or two seats. Even so, the photo came out just how I imagined in my mind.

How I Photographed It: Dark Theater Group Photo

I was using a Nikon 20mm lens on the camera, to capture the entire curve of the balcony area. My camera’s ISO was at 6400, and I had no choice but to have my aperture at f/2. My shutter speed was already approaching tripod zone, at 1/60.  All the conditions were against me photographing what I wanted.

In the end it came down to some longer time doing post processing. With a local of dodging and burning via local adjustments, I was able to bring more detail to each person, and further darken the surrounding areas.

Here is what that looked like.

How I Photographed It

In many ways, I’m a purist when it comes to my photographing. And doing things like dodging and burning come with the territory. Sometimes you need to do things like that to get to your goal. And that’s exactly what I had to do for this photograph.

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