Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Julie (91/100) - reels, flings and castings off

Standing beside Noriel made me feel tall, which tells you much about this dynamo from the Canberra Royal Scottishe Dance Association. Workshopping the reels for the Scottish Ball later that night, Noriel ruled the boards but in the sweetest possible way. As soon as she took a step her body changed: her feet were on layers of cloud, her step glided and her hips swayed. Hence, I feature her defining characteristic: her feet encased in her slippers of trade.

Discussion required here now, if you both would, please. Two problems that plagued me all weekend: light and movement. Noriel was inside a barn of a place with extremely dim lighting and no impact from the outside. I took some sans flash but they are dowdy to the extreme. As dancers flung themselves everywhichway, I either followed them or waited until they came around to my lens again. I eventually used combinations of flash and Sports. My Tuesday post on Sydney Eye will show some of the myriad of "feet" that I caught.

My question is: How does one photograph dancers?


bitingmidge said...

A nice interpretation again Julie, it's a bit close to home for me though ;-). (I don't mean that in a nasty way)

So next year it's DEFINITELY Canberra for us.

As to your question.

I think one photographs dancers with light. In a situation such as this, presumably in a hall or even on stage, position one's subject (or stake them out) under the best available light. If the light isn't worth using, then don't!

Of course other options are to get a proper commercial quality flash and lots of bounce, and go for the darker background, or find a bit of glimmer somehwere and use your tripod with a deliberately slow speed and get some "interestingness".

If you got really lucky, and the dancer was really good, you might even fluke a couple of blurry feet and a stationary head!

Just some thoughts from one whose camera isn't sure if it's loved any more, but at least we had another 150mm of rain overnight! When does it stop Mum?

Julie said...

Trying to interpret your opening comment: do you both dance?

I would love to know what you think of the NFF. It was an eye opener for me.

Effectively, what you say here is "dont'" unless you have light you are happy with. I took some of the outdoor dancing - well roof but no walls - and they are on Sydney Eye. I did get some feet I was relatively happy with.

I did have one moment of guilty ego-pleasure. I was shooting the feet of the Colonial Set couple and was lying on the floor to do so, when I noticed the chap on the chair beside me get out his very expensive looking camera and point towards the feet as well ... *grin* ...

Ann said...

The most movement I've tried was camel racing at dusk. I tried various things and ended up using sport and panning to try and get the racers in focus, although one I particularly like though Its probably not a good shot was when I didn't pan and there's just a blur of movement. Wasn't close enough to use flash.

I didn't even bother using the camera at night at Womad. Don't like the results with the flash and I couldn't have done anything hand held. Interestingly I did get some last night at the Opera House with the p&s without flash. Hopefully they will be useable.

Ann said...

"Effectively, what you say here is "dont'" unless you have light you are happy with."
Doesn't that apply to all photography - its all about the capture of light.

Ann said...

These are the ones I'm talking about. The light isn't great but under the conditions (I was at the top of a sand dune a little bit away) I quite like the way they came out. I think the frozen one may have been on sport. The ones with movement were possibly on P and panned.




Julie said...

I like that first one of the racing camel: the one with all the blue. Even as it is, it tells a very good story. It would really have been good if either one or the other of the camel or the background was blurred. I am going to try to experiment with some of this panning stuff on ANZAC Day. I normally trip around with Dad on a Saturday but the city will be nightmare so will put that off til the next day.

I will go in for the march with a tripod and see what I can come up with: should be some good shots of old guys with character.

Ann said...

I'm going to see Jerry Springer at the OH at 2pm so will go in early and wander a bit. Don't want to see the march but hopefully there will be some interesting characters around to get my portrait count back up. Did get 2 last night but they were with the p&s so need to get them up and see if they are okay to use.

Julie said...

There is one portrait that I did in Canberra that I was thinking about as I came to work this morning. It is not good enough to post as a stranger, but I want to talk about him as a person and what he represents. I am going to put him up as a General post this evening. He was a gorgeous young man to speak with.

Interesting that you went to Angelique Kidjo over the w/e. If you come up with a good one like that in future run it past me: I am always up for an experience like that.

bitingmidge said...

I am what's referred to as the NDS.

The NON Dancing Spouse.

"Effectively, what you say here is "dont'" unless you have light you are happy with."I didn't mean to say that as such, more "don't" unless you can get an outcome you are happy with. You won't achieve crisp perfect photos with beaut highlights if the light isn't perfect, but you may get rather interesting blurry or grainy or smudgy ones, or ones of people's feet which work rather well.

I think you've got to think about what you are trying to achieve, that way you will achieve it!

bitingmidge said...

Ann, your camel shots are exactly what I mean! I like the second a lot too, with all but the rider blurred.

That'sexactly how it's done!

Ann said...

Trouble is I'm not 100% certain how I did it or that could reproduce the effect if I wanted to.

Julie said...

Ahh ... that is something that I fluked upon as I said earlier this morning. I saw how good the pink of the band was. I saw that everyone was blurred. Now I have that feedback and I have those few examples, I am going out to try to make it something I can do at will.
What did Pierre just say: think about what you want to achieve and thereby you will achieve it.

I was reading that sort of thing in one of my pseudo-psych books over the weekend. Kinda useful ...

bitingmidge said...

Trouble is I'm not 100% certain how I did it or that could reproduce the effect if I wanted to.That's exactly why the good Lord gave us EXIF data.


Julie said...

Okay ... EXIF data ... I can see it on the images as I replay them on the camera. But once I download them into a folder ... what happens to the EXIF data ... no no no no ... I think I have it. Thisinformation will be displayed for me by the software that I use to download the image. But I onlyuse Windows image stuff not the Canon stuff ... so I should read the manual and consider changing software.

As you were folks ... at rest ... the old girl gets it eventually!!

Ann said...

I'll have to look at them in that Panda program that's on my home computer. Trouble is I can't always understand it.

Peter told me to download a free program called Opanda (I think) which shows you Exif data in just about any photo - its good.

Julie said...

Okay ... I have that cluttering up my desktop at home ... shall install it and have a look at the stuffed up images of the instrument maker, Harry Vass, from Tasmania. He makes Hurdy-Gurdies ... I will also look at the EXIF for the pink dancing lady photo ... will do all that this evening ... after going out for dinner in Stanley Street with the girls ... yet another challenge!!