Click for larger versionWell I don't know what it is about guys holding beer, but I seem to get a lot of shots of it.  Maybe I'll put together a show of guys with beer some day. 

Anyway, this is my friend Chuck who I see about once a year usually at the Phoenix Improv Festival.  He's a very talented improviser who performs out of Wisconsin and Minnesota.  He was in town this year to teach an improv masters class, but sat in with Joker and Jester and then later performed in a "Bat" which is basically improv in the dark (not a good show for picture taking ;).

This shot was taken after those shows had wrapped.  Chuck snapped into this "determined" pose after he saw me approaching with the camera.  The ambient light in the theater was very dark as it was the festivals party time, so I shot this at ISO 1600 f/2.8 1/100th.  I really like balance created by the two lights in the upper left.  I went with black and white in this image because some of the lighting was gelled and generated an ugly color cast.  As with any ISO 1600 image, we get a lot of grain.  Some people love grain, others hate it.  I'll hold my opinion for now and ask what do you think of the grain?

If you've got any questions or feedback feel free to leave a comment.

Thanks for stopping by,
Greg Inda


This past weekend I was in Phoenix for the eighth Phoenix Improv Festival (PIF).  I've been going for the past couple of years to perform with the Phoenix Neutrino Project and run lights and sound for Chicago's Bare.

This year the festival took place at the Herberger, a beautiful theater in downtown Phoenix.  It had 3 seating levels including the main floor, mezzanine, and balcony.  It provided a ton of great shooting angles, but my favorite quickly became level 2.  It was high enough to isolate the performers on clean backgrounds, yet low enough to still get facial expressions. I chose to shoot mostly from the "house left" side as it allowed me to use the festivals logo as a background element.  Its always important to me that I give a context or a sense of place, and that logo brings those elements together.

Shooting in theaters can be challenging depending on the lighting.  Some shows are very bright, some are dark, and it's often out of your hands.  The stage at PIF had a lot of gelled light which put some wonderful colors on the performers, but it did cut down the power.  Flash was not allowed, so I shot at ISO 1600 often at f/4.5 and 1/60th.

Below are two photos from the festival that were shot from the 2nd level with the goal of isolating the performers against a clean background that offered some context.  I'd love to hear your feedback in the form of a comment.

ToySoup out of Salt Lake City, Utah. One of the festival highlights.COG from LA's iO West, a perennial festival favorite in their last show.Thanks for stopping by,
Greg Inda