Week’s favorites: May 1-7

Ryan Shirar is stepping down from his post as executive and music director of Paragon Music Theatre. (c) Lexington Herald-Leader photo. Nikon D300s, Nikkor 17-35mm f2.8 lens; ISO 800, 1/80 sec., f 2.8.

It always feels best when you get a nice photo to say, ‘I planned it that way.’ But sometimes, you just get a little lucky. The photo of outgoing Paragon Music Theatre director Ryan Shirar is the only frame from this shoot that looks this way. I was shooting photos of him and Beth Kirchner, who is stepping down from her gig as director of the Woodford Theatre, for a pair of stories in the Herald-Leader’s Life & Arts section about director’s swan songs. The basic idea was to shoot both Ryan and Beth at the stage doors of their respective theaters.

Awaiting the downbeat. Nikon D300s, Nikkor 80-200mm, f2.8 lens; ISO 3200, 1/160 sec, f2.8.

I shot a bunch of images of Ryan at the Lexington Opera House’s stage door, which conveniently has a sign that says “STAGE DOOR,” and then inside I did some shots of him opening the door using flash to balance the outdoor and indoor light. In between those ideas was this single frame where he opened the door. The camera was metered for interior light, which created this image of light sort of overtaking him. I know: “Walk into the light.” But when I got this image up in Photo Mechanic, I really liked the light sort of signifying the transition Ryan is heading into.

My second favorite of the week was taken at a school orchestra concert. Shooting from the front can yield some good images. But if there is no chance of getting up close, up front, I like getting into the wings where sometimes you can get a look like this. For the record, since I started shooting stage photos, I have come to hate music stands. But I sorta like the way they helped frame this shot.

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