Shooting a Performance Installation

This week I had the opportunity to shoot a performance installation by Hannah Mary Taylor at The Asylum Gallery in Wolverhampton. Hannah describes herself as a “Model, Performer, Writer, Poet, Dancer, Musician, Singer, Composer, Mistress and fetishist Christian Director” so is clearly a lady of many talents. I worked with Hannah a couple of weeks ago where she told me about her upcoming performance and I said I’d like to come along to make some images for her. Little did I know when I volunteered for this the challenge of the environment I was going to be working in!

The performance is called ‘Transparent’ and is, in Hannah’s own words’ a “raw mental health exploration”.  During this performance Hannah is locked into a small, confined space with just a chair. Much of it is under very low (or even no) light as well as some UV. Finally, just to add a little more frisson to the proceedings the only view into the room from which to photograph was two small square windows covered in translucent gauze. So, all in all not the most ideal set of conditions to work under!

All I had with me for this shoot were my Olympus OM-D E-M5 with the M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8 lens. Given the extreme lack of light I bumped the ISO up to 800 then 1600 and took most of the images with the maximum aperture. Shutter speeds were not too slow therefore but I’m pretty sure the OM-D’s image stabilization helped as well.

Here are six images from the shoot which I think go someway to capturing the atmosphere of the performance. I think the gauze over the window actually adds to the effect somewhat.

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/100 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/100 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/25 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/25 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/8 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/8 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/13 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/13 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/2 @ f/1.8

ISO 800 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/2 @ f/1.8

ISO1600 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/200 @ f/2

ISO1600 with M.ZUIKO 25mm f/1.8, 1/200 @ f/2

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