I think a basic knowledge of how to work with a flash is a very powerful tool in any dance photography. I had to rely on it during the chase festival's first and last evening dances so I'd like to share some of the photos and some of the links that I found very useful.Read More
I think we all want good photos of ourselves and on social media especially we want to have photos as proof that we were at an event and part of the party. I find that a quick snapshot with your phone is fine to mark a point in your life, but usually doesn’t produce a memorable photo orRead More
One of the things that I really liked about working at this festival is that I was able to collaborate with the venue to light the dance floor as best I could. They had standard theater lighting set-upRead More
A small preview of the Chase Festival photos in the form of a sunset over Heidelberg! Heidelberg is a very pretty city and it has been preserved through all the wars. On the first night I was on my way to the venue and crossing the bridge the sun broke out under the clouds to bath the sky with brilliant orange rays of light. I was able to catch it and this is the result.
I'm currently in Edinburgh for a blues dance festival called The Spoonful. I am not the official photographer so I will probably not take too many photos and get as much dancing in as possible. It is nice to see the organizers paying a little bit more attention to the media and promotional side of things as they have a professional video team with two cameras, and also a guy walking around with a gyroscopically stabilized handheld camera. Of course they also have some studio lighting to help light the performances for the video. I am excited to see the performances when they come out.
To close out I would like to end with a colorful flower I found in Oslo last week. It was a cloudy day so the light was beautifully spread out and balanced. I was walking around town and had my camera with me (as I often do) and happened upon these small but really interesting flowers. I really like them because they have lots of details in them and have an exciting color gradient from the middle to the outside. I chose a shallow depth of field and looked for a composition with the same colors as the flower in the background.
I'm not sure what the flower species is so if you can tell me then please let me know in the comments below. Additionally I will be on the west coast of Ireland the coming two weeks so I don't know if I will have access to internet so I might not be able to blog for a while. I do intend to get some great pictures if the weather permits so hopefully that will make up for less blogging!
I was invited to the Chase Festival in Heidelberg, Germany to be a part of the media team. Ali was our contact person in the organization and I want to thank him for his patience in dealing with us as he paid a lot of attention to us even though he had so much to deal with. I'm sure that other people could have answered some of my questions but however exhausted he was he had the patience for me. Thanks Ali!
I was responsible for the survivor's photos on both the Thursday (above) and the Saturday (below) evenings. A survivors photo is a celebration of all the people who stayed and kept the party going until the end.
The venue for all the parties was incredible Stadthalle, the historical grand city hall built in 1903. The Thursday night survival photo was taken on the smaller dance floor as the big floor was not open yet. The low ceiling allowed me to bounce a flash to add a touch of soft lighting. I could have made the bounce directional from the side but then I would have had to bounce light from both sides with a second flash. Given that this was a big group picture I decided that I should apply the k.i.s.s. principle (keep it simple stupid). Maybe this is something I will practice and add to my bag of tricks.
The Saturday night survival photo was with a far larger group. We took it in the main ballroom because it had the space and because that's where most of the dancing was happening that night. I had worked with the in house lighting guys for most of the weekend and we had set up the lighting to light the performance area of the dance floor like a theater. Front light for skin tones from the high corners and color and ambience lights from the high sides with two blue rim lights.
The group was big so I had to do some cat herding to get them all in the frame. To make the lighting a little more interesting I decided to not stand in the 'front' so that the lighting was equal on both sides but I took the photo from the side of the lighting scheme so that there is some shape and definition in the faces of the people.
More photos of the Chase will be up soon but as I have 4000 photos to work through it could take a bit of time. Do you agree with my lighting choices or would you have done it differently? Let me know in the comments below.
This past weekend the lovely team from Swingin’ Spring in Göteborg, Sweden invited me over as videographer. In this post I'd like to show you a few videos that I really enjoyed making :)
The above photo was taken from the balcony of my host and friend Mio. She was wonderful in putting up with my late night/morning editing sessions and caring for me in general. The photo is of the most characteristic part of the city skyline, Liseberg and Gothia Towers. It was quickly shot just before heading out to the party and the light was just gorgeous!
The event itself was great craic altogether. The organizers are passionate about the quality they deliver and the dance we all love which is clearly noticeable throughout the whole event. I got to meet and work with a lot of old friends and make some new ones on the way. The sound guys (who were also in charge of the light) were very nice and open to my input which was very cool :)
The first video I want to show you (above) is of the second performance on the Friday evening. The light is very centered on their lower halves and it kind of worked for this show since there were only 3 dancers and they didn't move around much. You can clearly see dark areas in the other videos. I used a standard zoom for the videos to get a nice field of view and not too much distortion.
After Friday we adjusted the lights to cover the dance area better. For the jams I also switched to an ultrawide angle lens that lets me get a lot closer to the action and be a little bit more artistic to pull the viewer into the scene. I particularly liked the way that the shim sham video turned out with the interaction from the participants :) Great energy!
Let me know if you liked my lens choice or would have made other choices in the comments below.