Tuesday, April 20, 2010
Dance Photography, Westminster Arts Center
Rie Sueyoshi, Nina Brewton, Jennifer Bocian
Nina Brewton, Nahoko Sugiyama
Morgiana Celeste Varricchio
Morgiana Celeste Varricchio
Rie Sueyoshi, Jennifer Bocian
These are a few images from a set taken at the tech rehearsal of the Mosaic Dance Theater Company performing at the Westminster Arts Center in Bloomfield N.J.
Prior to the tech shoot, there were some lighting issues that the techs were trying to resolve but had not been completely ironed out during the shoot. Still, we managed to capture some fine moments of the performance.
I really enjoy photographing these dance performances. They are quite challenging due to the low lighting and movement of the dancers, but rewarding as well. Also challenging is having a large group on the stage at one time and getting the entire scene as well as isolating individuals.
When talking shop with other photogs, questions about settings and technique often come up and so here is a basic run down of how I approach this.
I used to shoot in manual mode and manual focus as I found it a bit more reliable, but lately I have been shooting in "Shutter priority" mode with auto focus while manually selecting focus points.Shutter Priority mode offers quicker flexibilty for me when it comes to changing settings.
In this performance I had the camera set to 1600 ISO. WB is set to tungsten for consistency. Using Shutter Priority mode allows me to quickly slow down or speed up the shutter release depending on what effects I wish to achieve for any given capture. Slowing down the speed of the shutter can give motion blur to hair, veils etc, while speeding it up can freeze the action. Due to the dark areas of the stage such as the black curtains I find its best to reduce the cameras exposure by about 1 stop. That would be EV -1. The black background fools the cameras meter into thinking it needs to increase the exposure. If I allowed the cameras meter to have its way, I would have lots of detail showing in the curtains and the dancers would be too bright with loss of detail. Spot Metering is not a good option in this situation. Most all cameras with any manual features at all have the ability to adjust the EV (Exposure Value). This also help to tweak out as much shutter speed as I need from the low lighting situation of theater.
I compose and wait until I think the timing is right and then fire off a burst of three or four shots, hoping everything falls into place and one of those bursts hit the right moment.
The good fun is looking over the several hundred images taken during the performance and seeing the magic of these wonderful dancers come out on the screen.
Editing and importing is done through LightRoom 2.5 and work requiring more extensive editing is brought into Photoshop CS4. All of these were cropped and tweaked to bring out the best exposures and detail in LightRoom only.