Animal Farm.

"A student rehearses her role as Mollie the Pony in a musical rendition of George Orwell's 'Animal Farm' Wednesday, October 27, 2010 in the Mildred Dunnock Theatre at Goucher College. The musical was produced by the Music and Theatre departments at Goucher."

I’ve developed a nice portfolio of plays, musicals, and theatre productions throughout my time at Goucher, but it hasn’t come easily.

When I first started shooting assignments like this, I failed every time. I had lots of difficulty with lighting, composition, detail, and sharpness. I remember coming out of those events feeling down about my ability as a photographer.

But, as with any hobby or profession, practice makes perfect. Low lighting remains a challenge, but I’ve learned to use it as a tool to make more dramatic photographs. Compositionally, I’ve learned to keep it simple. I often strictly follow the rule of thirds for close-up shots like this one. Most importantly, the action doesn’t seem to happen as quickly to me now. I’ve gotten much better at picking out the most expressive moments in these performances.

Animal Farm was the first performance I’ve shot this semester, and I’m glad to have gotten back into it.

I shot this dress rehearsal on the night of one of the craziest, busiest, most newsworthy days I can remember as a student here. By the time of the rehearsal, I just wanted to go to sleep, but I went and shot anyway. Once the lights went down and I started snapping, I forgot about everything else from the day. It’s fascinating how photography has the power to serve as a complete escape in the midst of craziness.