Live photography - comedian Phill Jupitus

Phill Jupitis

For the past four years or so I've had the privilege of photographing lots of comedians who take part in the annual Tringe Festival run by the Get Stuffed Comedy club in Tring.

As well as the festival, The Court Theatre in Tring also hosts plenty of touring comedians and in March the legendary comedian, musician and poet Phill Jupitus brought his show Juplicity to the stage.

Phill Jupitus

The theatre itself is a pleasure to shoot in. Apart from the audience's view you can also photograph along the sides and sometimes the back of the stage so it means you can get a lot of variety and different angles of the performer.

But it all amounts to nothing unless you can get *the* expression. Some comedians stand still, others charge about, ranting and raving and Phill Jupitus does both.

Phill Jupitus

I always shoot in manual when photographing live events - I've tried shutter and aperture priority but it never delivers the dramatic results as totally overriding the controls. I'm always fascinated by the black space and the isolation of the act, something the audience would never see.

Phill Jupitus

Sometimes, if I'm lucky and standing in the wings I'll get 'the look'. The 'you've been spotted' look. Sometimes I'll get a funny face, or a sticking out tongue, or sometimes, something else. Like this image above. Is he posing? Is he thinking? Have I distracted him? Who knows but it's a strong look.

Quite often I'll spend time backstage with the acts either before or after the show and I'm always intrigued by the difference between the act and the person. Some comedians pace up and down rehearsing the set, others just seem to step on stage and deliver themselves. Jupitus was on stage before the show started and both during the interval (where he handed out Tunnock's teacakes - don't ask - you'll have to see the show!) and at the end, he mingled with the audience, took selfies and chatted. No showbiz persona, no attitude - just a funny, bright and engaging comedian.

You can see more photos of comedians by clicking here.

Phill Jupitus

For the camera geeks amongst us these were shot on a Canon 5D MK3, 70-200mm f2.8, manual, spot metered, 125th f2.8 ISO 2000 and most importantly - using silent shooting.