Photo Ac­tive

10 great projects for you to shoot

Digital Camera World - - CONTENTS -

Although the stu­dio is a safe and com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment to work in when it comes to dance pho­tog­ra­phy, there is some­thing mag­i­cal about be­ing in the great out­doors and cap­tur­ing those im­pres­sive bal­let moves in a wide-open space.

For this pho­to­shoot, we headed up to the wilds of Dart­moor in Devon with tal­ented dancer Ly­dia Brayshaw. We se­lected a less well-known tor as our lo­ca­tion to avoid the crowds! De­spite Dart­moor be­ing a vast open space, it can get rather busy at the pop­u­lar tors, and you want to avoid peo­ple sneak­ing into the back­ground of your shot. They can also be nosy and slow down your work­flow.

Even be­fore you head out the door, though, it’s im­por­tant to plan, plan, plan! This means you’ll both be get­ting out what you want of the shoot, and it’s im­por­tant to un­der­stand what each per­son’s ca­pa­bil­i­ties are. For ex­am­ple, while leap­ing across the top of Tors looks great, make sure there is plenty of space and that your dancer is in their com­fort zone. It’s amaz­ing what the cam­era can make look dy­namic with­out hav­ing to put any­one at risk.

1 Col­lab­o­ra­tion

This pho­to­shoot truly was an artistic col­lab­o­ra­tion be­tween dancer and pho­tog­ra­pher. As a pho­tog­ra­pher you need to en­sure you are di­rect­ing your dancer to stand in the right spot, count them into jumps and be ready to fire the shut­ter at the op­ti­mum mo­ment. It helps to have a prac­tice in a more com­fort­able en­vi­ron­ment, so you know what your dancer is ca­pa­ble of.

2 Cam­era kit and set­tings

We used just a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens and a cam­era body. No lights! Hav­ing a sim­ple setup meant we were able to give our full con­cen­tra­tion to work­ing on our com­po­si­tion and en­sur­ing that a feel­ing of move­ment was cap­tured in the frame. Switch the AF set­ting to tracking and shoot us­ing the burst mode. Keep show­ing shots to the dancer to make sure they’re happy with the form of their body.

3 Work­ing with the light

We timed our shoot to co­in­cide with the lat­ter part of the day, go­ing into the evening. The light be­comes much eas­ier to work with at this time, as it soft­ens and cre­ates a warm glow around your dancer. We also shot into the sun to play around with sil­hou­ettes, and used al­ter­na­tive pieces of cloth­ing to cre­ate a dis­tinc­tive and ef­fec­tive re­sults.

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