A Theatrical Interlude

Composite photo of a couple in a bell jar with a hand on top, dressed in Victorian clothing against a black background.

One of the things I love about photography is that people ask you to do stuff that they can’t do! When I started out as a teenager 25 or so years ago, it was because people didn’t know how to do shutter speeds and apertures and stuff like that. Now things have moved and everyone has a fantastic little camera in their pocket called a smartphone so we’ve moved on as photographers….

This is a picture I did for my friend Stephen. He’s about to take a play on tour around East Anglia and it involves a controlling ‘god-like’ being influencing the relationship of a Victorian couple. He came up with the idea of the couple in a bell jar and one evening we bumped into each other and he asked if I could help.

We talked a bit about the play and there are dark overtones of control so we considered a black background (it would also allow us to add text easily). Once we’d decided on the above idea, we shot the images necessary in about 20 minutes and then it took an hour on the computer to join them up.

I photographed each component of the image separately against a black background. However the background wasn’t  a ‘proper’ photographic one so I ended up cutting each image out and dropping them on to a black background in photoshop – here they are:

Woman Man Hand Bell_Jar


Once I’d got to this stage, they were combined in photoshop, warmed up (got rid of the blue tinge) and the reflections in the bell jar enhanced on the computer and now we’re about to add the text.

Keep an eye out for Stephen, coming to a theatre near you…


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