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School of Theatre professor has first book published

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Dramatic—and often complex—lighting designed for theatrical and stage events can frustrate even the most seasoned professional photographer, but William Kenyon, head of the lighting design program, has written a book that will help photographers capture pristine images in the challenging lighting environment.

“Theatre & Stage Photography: A Guide to Capturing Images of Theatre, Dance, Opera, and Other Performance Events” is Kenyon’s first book and is published by the media technology book company Focal Press, a division of Routledge, Taylor & Francis.

The book pulls from the stage photography experience Kenyon has gained during his theatre industry career, which spans more than 25 years. Using images from his personal collection as well as illustrations created by Jenny Kenyon, his wife and instructor of design and scenic art, the book acts as a how-to manual for photography, Kenyon said.

“Somebody that’s never done any photography at all can pick it up and learn how to use the camera in the first few chapters,” Kenyon said. “But as you get into the chapters that deal with performance, there’s a lot there for journeyman or expert users.”

The idea for the book came from Kenyon’s experience holding workshops at various theatre technology conferences, where he was often approached with inquiries about a stage photography manual. To his knowledge, there wasn’t one, and his concept for the book, which took about eight months to write, was developed.

“It’s my hope that the book gets out there and triggers more discussions about stage photography,” Kenyon said. “Technology in the field is rapidly changing and I’d really like to continue the dialogue in that area.”

To help attain that goal, he has developed a companion website for the book that will include a blogging area where visitors can receive the latest information about technological changes as well as announcements on future editions.

The book can be purchased on Amazon as a hardcover, paperback or eBook.