mercredi 24 juillet 2013

A dance shooting: Easy Swing

My friend Andy Spitz from Easy Swing, a belgian swing & charleston company (, asked me if we could create some pictures together, he needed new content for his website and social media. 

As it would be a shoot based on collaboration, I had to have some benefit from it too, so I decided to do something I had never done before. We had a small budget to rent some gear, which would allow some technical freedom for once and realize everything without too much post production :-)

I like smoke machines, so that was nr.1 thing on my list, to give a bit of depth and texture to the images. My next thougt was to try to show some motion, to emphasize the dance act, so the idea came to combine shutter drag with strobes. I rented two 800w continouus lights, that I would then combine with an Elinchrome Ranger Strobe to freeze the action at the end of the exposure.

As I had used this technique in a similar fashion before, it came together rather quickly. The trick is to have a very 'short' long exposure and to have your flash fire at the right place. If needed ask your subjects to move faster or slower. Usually you will need to give a go sign to the dancers, so that everything is synched up:

ISO 100 - 50mm - 3sec - f11

ISO 100 - 50mm - 3sec - f11

ISO 100 - 24mm - 2sec - f11

It is quite interesting that in the last shot, the motion looks like fire. I still don't know how that is, but my guess is that as the 800w lights were incandescent, so very orange/warm compared to the strobes, it must have picked up on the skin during the exposure. I quite dig the effect actually.

We did some other looks aswell, only strobes + smoke machine:
ISO 200 - 50mm - 1/250sec. - f8

ISO 200 - 50mm - 1/250sec. - f8

I had one strobe to the left and one to the right:

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