Photography is the perfect blend of art and science.
Light is incredible stuff. It gets around at one hundred and eighty-six thousand miles per second, bounces, changes colour and quality and is both a particle and a wave. Hmmm. Photographers have to control and capture it everyday. That’s the science bit.
The other part of the blend is Art. Bresson said photography was putting “One’s head, one’s eye and one’s heart on the same axis”, and I get that, but for me though, it’s also the random situations and worlds you randomly stumble into whilst working which inspires creativity. It’s art though the catalyst of adventure.
Back in 2006 I’d shot a regular dress rehearsal of a ballet and I recall clearly my ambivalent attitude towards it. To be honest I’d already had a ridiculously long day when I got assigned to cover this ballet thing. So, I sat in my seat yawning wondering how I’d manage to stay awake as the lights went down.
Anyway the movement and the characters and the light had me photographically mesmerized during the performance. During the edit I envisioned one day producing a cool set of pictures shot from perhaps a perspective that the public would not see from their front of house seats. I was curious to see what the show would look like from the wings and backstage, to see the nuts and bolts of the production.
I started a project by meeting the staff of the English National Ballet and arranged some good access to shoot a feature. And beginning in Spring 2010 I drove down to Southampton to shoot their Cinderella production from the wings.
Upon entering the Mayflower Theatre I found myself in an incredible shadowy environment where the light from the spots fired across the stage and bounces up from the stage to illuminate the amazing costumes and faces of the dancers waiting in the wings. I work pretty well in low light, yet this was a new kind of complete darkness I’d not worked with before. I was working right at the edge of the photographic envelope, spurred on to do photographic justice to the incredible dedication, strength and professionalism of the dancers in this amazingly beautiful environment.
After almost 4 years of working with the English National Ballet I have now developed a great relationship and continue to cover various productions and gaining great access to fuse art and science into photographs.
About Ian Gavan
Ian Gavan is an award winning Photographer represented by Getty Images based in London, England.
He has a B.A Honours degree in Visual Communication, studying photography at the University of Illinois, USA and The University of Wolverhampton, UK.
After shooting News and Politics for UPPA Ian joined Getty Images in 2009.
He has shot assignments for, amongst others, British Airways, Guinness, Coca Cola, Samsung, Orange, Red Bull Racing, Cartier, MTV, Paramount, De Beers, Barclaycard, Diageo, British Film Institute, Facebook, Falstaff Magazine, Jameson, Santander, Jaeger LeCoultre, Adidas, Universal Pictures, Sky Sports, Sony Entertainment, Mulberry, Burberry, Issa, Gucci and G-Star Raw.
Ian won the Getty Images Entertainment Portfolio of the Year Award and Best Entertainment Picture of the Year 2011.
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