Dance Season is Upon Us

Seems appropriate that I get off my duff and continue where I left off at the end of last summer when I was trying out some new lighting gear. A blurry few months have shot by and it is a new year now, with dance season bearing down upon us. For the next five months many of my weekends will be spent glued to the viewfinder with hundreds of competition dancers leaping across the plane of my lens. I can only hope the light is good during these events as we are subject to the confines of the stage we are visiting. Ain’t no flash here.

The second go round I had with the Flashpoint Xplor Pro 600 back in the fall was just as awesome as the first. Mary Cate was the subject for this particular evening, and even though we did not get much color in the sky, the fact finding mission was accomplished and we captured some great material in the process.

Mary Cate is a dancer of course, long and lean with some great lines. To refresh, I was checking out the high speed sync capabilities so my shutter speeds were upwards of 4000 with the tele lens at 2.8, and 2000 with the wide at 4.0. Since this time I have become a big fan of this series of light, and at half price or better from the big boys, very well worth it.

I think the biggest challenge when shooting during a setting sun is the large change that happens in natural light in a very quick time span. The constant evaluation of meter readings can be a pain but once you get a base, should not be that bad. Grabbed this on while the sun was still reasonable, but no clouds to play with so a little flare:

Then after a bit it came time for another base exposure

And then the real fun began:

The final series of the night and a look that seems to have become very popular in the dance world. Or maybe it has always been and I just have not seen it much. Either Way…

It was great having some one on one time with the dancers, always a pleasure getting them in this environment. Spring should be right around the corner, though we really have not had much of a winter yet, so as soon as it warms up I will get them back out there. In the meantime to the stage we go!

Thanks for stopping by, Talk to you soon!

Phil

Dancers at Sunset

I was getting antsy after a week of rain. I wanted to work on my Dancer’s at Sunset series that I had just recently started.

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So, before I took a walk in the wet stuff just so I could get outside, I decided I would check the forecast one more time to see if any upcoming days were going to be dry. I knew I would most likely be getting soaked at work the next night but I wanted to feel the rain hit me without having a uniform on. Fortunately, I only got a bit drenched at work and there was no need to go for a rainy walk because the forecast called for clearing sky’s during the weekend!

I put out a general to see if any of my dancers would be interested in some sunset photos. Much to my surprise, I had eight of them show up. Well, seven really if we do not include my daughter. Britt will often, and usually reluctantly so, get the first shots in a series just because. More to test than anything, however we do turn out some really nice images like the one above.

The turn out.

The Sunset Crew
The Sunset Crew

I was very excited with the response but suddenly became very nervous. What would happen if I did not get them all in? Playing with a sunset means being on the clock. If the colors happen, they can go away just as quick as they appear. I guess that is why it is exciting, just mother nature doing her thing. No need to stress about it, there will be other days right?

Two distinct age groups and talent levels arrived, both on opposite ends of the spectrum. A great opportunity for some team bonding and I tried to make the most of it.Got some group shots of everyone and some posed shots of the younger ones before the older girls did their thing for me. Since I had to act quick, I under exposed the background and had one Speed lite set to 1/4 power and just adjusted the zoom pending on the number of girls in the frame. Nothing fancy

My Jumpers for the evening

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The Captain.

SSCrew_PShepherd-35First time in front of my lens for this dancer!

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And My Favorite, I have a feeling this one will go up on the wall.

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My initial plan was to have everyone at the 20:27 sunset on the bay then move ocean side for the 21:48 moon rise. Impromptu plans rarely work out like you envisioned. A little late + a bit chilly x really dark = rapid loss of interest. All good though. I think the wide expanse of empty beach may have had something to do with it as well…..play time!

A couple of girls were able to stay long enough to capture some nice looks, but I found it very difficult to get the images where I wanted. Perhaps the darkness and focusing by flashlight had something to do with it.. and more importantly trying to keep detail in the moon while focusing on a person.

SSCrew_PShepherd-87I have already put out the word for July’s full moon. The beauty of that is we will be getting a full Super moon, and it is still going to be light out! Picture Perfect scenarios!

Thanks for stopping by, Till next time!