Backstage there is a whirling tornado of exhaustion, outrageous energy, and frayed nerves. Some of them look as though they are about to come apart at the seams, some of them look as though they are about to throw up. For many of them it is the first time and they will step out on to the boards and the light will hit them and three-hundred pairs of eyes will watch. There are always the questions, do I know it well enough? will I hit that high G? can I time my jump just right? But in the middle of it all these two find the calm, gentle centre of themselves and they know. They know that they are ready, they know can sing like angels and dance like demons, they know because they see it there in the other’s eyes.
I direct theatre at the school where I teach and last year as we were about to go on stage for the opening night of our big musical I caught sight of these two backstage. They are sisters and they were quietly speaking to each other, foreheads touching, a look of intense focus and concentration on each of their eyes. I knew I wanted the image to include both of them so I snapped off a shot over the should of one and into the eyes of the other. I knew one image wouldn’t tell the whole story though so I slid around to the other side and took a similar image of the other sister. Both of the girls have very striking blonde hair so I knew that I wanted a high key image so I gave it that kind of treatment in Nik Silver Efex Pro and then toned down the effect in hair of the girl on the right so that I could get back the detail. The images work well together, producing a mirror image study of concentration and focus.