Chinese Puppetry Workshops Day 2

Photographing Puppetry

I've been taking part in some Chinese puppetry workshops here in Hong Kong at the JCCAC (中國偶戲在香港 Sidekick Project), and while I've primarily just been enjoying them as a participant I did take some photos at the end - they had an official photographer and I didn't want to get in the way too much. Seeing someone else photographing it was interesting for me, as it made me think more about how to compose photos of puppetry (which is really not the same thing as photos of puppets.)

I don't like seeing photos of puppets without their operators, because it makes them seem a little bit dead, even though they might have appeared very animated when the photo was taken. It makes them seem more like ornate models than performing characters. I think when you're watching the puppet you still see the operator as part of the whole, so photos work better with the real people included, even if they aren't necessarily the focus.  If I'd had more gear with me I'd probably try wide angle shots from ground level for the marionettes to give them more emphasis. Oh and some strobes to light the shadow puppets - the screen in daylight didn't do them justice.

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