Dancers in Motion
I arranged several photoshoots with a dance studio located in the west suburbs of Chicago, during the time I lived there not long ago. I have been unable so far to get any interest from studios near Ann Arbor here in Michigan. It would be nice to be able to do this type of photography again.
Hi Randy - welcome to our merry band!
These are really nice - the subject seems to work well in both color or B&W - neither version makes me wish for the other, so that's nice. I hope you will be able to find some local collaborators soon.
Would you like to share the details of your strobe setup?
You might try the U of M school of Music, Theatre, and Dance. Might find some advanced students with a desire to build their portfolio.
Hi Lloyd and John,
Lloyd, that is a good idea about the U of M school. I have not tried that yet.
John, I set up several of these photoshoots at different locations; the last one was on a stage in a theater. Ideally, the background must be totally black. When it is not, it becomes obvious when the background bleeds into the moving subject during the several second exposures.
THE SETUP: a low amount of ambient light was used to supply a small amount of illumination to the moving dancers. In the last theater-stage session, this was done by setting the stage lights at a very low level. After a several second exposure, a single studio strobe was fired in conjunction with the camera's rear curtain sync. The very short duration studio strobe was used to "freeze" the dancers' final brighter image just before the camera's rear curtain closed at the end of the exposure.
Here is a link to the overall results:
Randy, these are spectacular! Especially love the B&W whites. I've read about this rear-curtain sync, low ambient light technique but would love to learn from you on how to actually do these sorts of images. I think we need to get a meet organized! 🙂
Looking forward to seeing more of your work here. Thanks for sharing!
One of the things I like about the color images (especially DeKalb Dancers 647) is that the temperature of the ambient lighting is quite warm compared to the strobe & the WB setting in camera, so you get a wonderful amber tone with the time exposure and then nice color balanced white of the dancer's costume from the strobe. In the end you get only 3 colors - black, golden skin tone & ghost and bright white. Very nice! I think the image you made with that dancer and that technique are my favorites.
I looked up the contacts for the faculty and staff members of the University of Michigan Dance School. I will send them our interested in setting up a photoshoot with any of their students or staff interested in participating. They appear to have stages that would greatly benefit such a shoot.
I also have connections at Ann Arbor's Michigan Theater; they have a very huge stage which would be perfect. I was recently asked to serve as the Michigan Theater's official in-house photographer.
I finally received the attached response from University of Michigan's School of Dance. I am setting up a meeting soon to discuss "Dancers In Motion" photoshoots.
I saw your email regarding interest in taking photos of dancers and I would love to collaborate with you.
Your work is truly phenomenal and I am always looking for content for my dance reels and my professional website.
Please let me know the best way to move forward.
University of Michigan
School of Music, Theatre & Dance
BFA Dance 2020
Randy, your photos are terrific! What do your subjects, the dancers, think of your results?
I've made a couple trips to Cuba to photograph dancers and dance troupes. I don't think the full emotional energy and emotion is captured unless we see the costumes/clothing and scene in color.