An actor waiting backstage to go on can appear to be a lonely person. At least this one did to me. Was he in fact feeling sad, I wondered, or just focused on trying to remember his lines? When I made this image I was backstage at a Baltimore community theater pretending to be an actor myself, but I was too busy to be lonely or bored. I had only one line in the play, which came late in the last act, so I could concentrate on what I was really there for, to learn all I could about theater and how a play is staged. It was research I was doing for a play I wanted to write about a community theater group staging a production in a summer play writing festival — an interesting creative roundabout — and I was taking pictures as well as notes. The low light backstage required a wide aperture setting, which accounts for the shallow depth of field. Note that the face of the actor is sharp, while his hand and arm are in much softer focus. And the even softer secondary “portrait,” the moody reflection in the mirror, has a “painterly” quality I find very appealing. I was also attracted to the visual contrast of the three capped pipes at the left edge of the frame, and was careful to include them in the composition.
Copyright © 2008 Jim Sizemore.