Coppélia photo shoot

The Cambridge University Ballet Club is setting up Coppelia in February (2015). I met up with them yesterday at Queens’ College for a promotion photo shoot. The old college court looks amazing and made for a great backdrop. We did some poster shots with the lead characters, and then head shots and a few full-length shots with the rest of the cast. It was quite cold, but the girls were real troopers.

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Emily White (as Swanhilde), Charlie Byers (as Franz) and Lara Wendy (as Coppélia).
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Luciana Boon (as Dr Coppelius), Lara Wendy (as Coppélia), Charlie Byers (as Franz) and Emily White (as Swanhilde).
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Ellie Sian Morgan, Charlotte Dunn, Emily White, Cherise Glodowski and Frances Myatt.
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Here I was using the arches to frame the dancers. Luciana is puppeteering Lara. Is that a proper verb?
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Karoline Oakes and Vinciane Jones. To help with the light I had brought a reflector along and for some of the portrait shots we used it with the golden side to create a wonderful warm light on the dancers.
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Cheeky ballet girls! Nicky Rossides, Miriam Longman, Charlie Schoonman, Leora Amy Taratula-Lyons and Kathryn Fisher.
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Luciana Boon and Lara Wendy. Here I am using the sun to create a nice highlight on their hair, and the reflector to their right lifts the shadows in their faces.
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Naomi Stewart, president of the Ballet Club. Backlighting photos is a balancing act, you want the sun, but if you have it in the frame your colours start to look desaturated and grey. You can compensate it a bit, by increasing saturation and also darkening highlights and lifting shadows. Here again the reflector helped lift the shadows. One thing I noticed while editing is that with the golden reflector the skin gets a really warm colour, which I compensate for a bit with the white balance, which leads to the background getting a slight cold bluish tint.
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Ellie Sian Morgan nailed the first photo.
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Karoline Oakes. The camera’s auto focus is pretty good at getting the focus right, and you can really tell the difference, the eyes just stand out more. On all these photos I did a little bit of sharpening in post processing. I also like the background here, the shadows from the arch creates a nice gradient.
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Vinciane Jones, last photo for today. If you want to see more there is an album on my Facebook page with the full cast.

Cambridge has a lot of talented ballet dancers. It was great to meet so many new faces, and I am looking forward to their show. You can already book your tickets for Coppelia here.

– Johannes

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