Some dance shots

Started Dec 28, 2011 | Discussions thread
spbStan
Senior MemberPosts: 1,882
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Re: Some dance shots
In reply to kensington, Dec 30, 2011

Just a few observations from what I have learned the hard way by shooting ballet in formal performances, such as the Mariinsky Theater. Noise is a problem and is a distraction for the audience more than the dancers so be conscious of the scene and music so you know where music will overcome the clunk of the shutter. Forget continuous mode, dance is so predictable that peak of action will be nailed better by anticipation than hoping the sequence of shots gets one....the D700 is not a D3s. Visit the dress rehearsals and follow the scenes so you know in advance where the best opportunities are for interesting shots. Dress rehearsals have the advantage of being able to be anywhere you need to be. I prefer a first balcony stage left but some modern dance venues have no balconies unless high in multi-use facilities. Shooting down from a high balcony presents a difficult point of view. Wings are seldom good for dance shots because the dancers are not facing you 90% of the time.

You have the gear to do well: 1/500 for jumps and faster narrow field of view images, general stage shots at a wider angle FL can be slower, 1/250 for example but a stopped down aperture is needed for deep enough DOF. I find that the 70-200vr is really good for all the targeted principle dancer shots but something wider like a 50mm would be nice for a large scene spread on FX.

Light can be a problem in any stage performance, gelled spots are everywhere but frequently the follow light on principle dancers are white light and not hard to match in post for WB. Full rehearsals will tell you what scenes are lit how so you will known when the follow light takes over.
Good luck and have fun!
--
Stan
St Petersburg Russia

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