Freezing Forenoon

Yesterday I met up with Theodore Girvan and Galina Zelenina from the Royal Swedish Ballet School for a morning photoshoot at Hagaparken in Stockholm. The weather forecast said clear skies until lunchtime, and sub-zero degrees. We started at sunrise, to make the most of the sunlight.  I recently bought a second-hand Nikkor 200mm f/2 lens at Hegethorns and this was the first time I used my new lens for a dance photoshoot. It is incredibly heavy, weighing in at 2.9 kg, so I had also acquired a monopod to make my life a bit easier.

Theodore Girvan. One thing I had not quite realised was how far back you have to stand if you want to fit someone completely in the frame with a 200mm lens. Luckily it was still within shouting distance, but you lose a bit of the connection when you are this far away.
Galina Zelenina. I asked Galina to do the jump again as two people walked into the frame in the background. If you look closely on the ground you can get an idea of the depth of field at f2. It is quite narrow, even at this distance.
Theodore Girvan. This lens really excels at portraits. The depth of field decreases the closer you focus, and at this range the distant background just melts away.
Galina Zelenina casually stretching by a bench. Here you can also see the depth of field in effect. It is really important to get the focus right.
Galina Zelenina. This location was probably my favourite spot during the entire photoshoot.
Galina Zelenina. I read in some reviews that this lens would have a bit of a flaring problem when shooting directly into the sun, but I did not quite realise how bad it would be. As a result I did my best to try to find a tree trunk to shield the sun from the camera.
Ballet has no age limit.
Theodore Girvan. It was colder than it looked, and I am not quite sure what Girvan was thinking when he chose to wear shorts. For this shot I asked him to exhale just before taking the picture, to get a small cloud from his breath.
Theodore Girvan and Galina Zelenina.

After taking the above photos we took a well-earned hot chocolate break at Stallmästargården and planned the second half of the photoshoot. When it is this cold it is a good idea to know what poses you will be photographing.

Theodore Girvan. Most of the photos I shot this day was in landscape mode, because it was easier on the monopod. However, by rotating the camera 90 degrees I was able to fit Theo in the frame at a closer distance, which meant that the background got even blurrier. Having the camera on the side did not feel quite as stable, so I still shot most of my photos in landscape mode.
Theodore Girvan and Galina Zelenina. On the way back we wanted to include these beautiful branches in the background in a photo, and this was the result.
Theodore Girvan and Galina Zelenina. Lots of people stopped to watch. Just out of the frame to the right there were some ten or so curious onlookers.
Galina Zelenina. Last stop, the jetty.
Theodore Girvan and Galina Zelenina. Final photo, before it was time for me to head out to Näsbypark and my niece’s birthday party.

Many thanks to Theo and Galina for a fun forenoon photoshoot!

Instagram: Theo, Galina and Johannes

To see more ballet photos, check the ballet tag on the blog.

— Johannes

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