Movements in Marble

Last Sunday morning I met up with Miriam, Eva, Alice, Minou and Heidi to do a dance photoshoot. It had taken some time to find a time slot when the space would be free, all of January it had been booked. Finally the day had arrived, and I had my bags packed with a flash stand, two flashes with triggers, two lenses and one camera. Below is a selection of my favourite photos from that day.

Heidi trying out the lighting setup. We flashed a wall against the wall behind her, to create a silhouette. I used to use optically triggered flashes, but this is a scenario where it really helps to have radio triggered flashes.
Minou in the great marble hall. The large windows provided a soft light source. You might recognise this photo from the cover image. I shot the majority of my photos in the marble hall vertically, so for the cover image I needed to extend one of the photos to the side to create a horizontal photo.
The marble statue in the bar caught our attention, so we decided to do a photo of Alice in the bar.
Miriam also in the bar.
Heidi giving Minou a helping hand for balance while she was getting into the pose.
Minou stepping into the great hall.
Miriam, Eva, Minou, Heidi and Alice.
It took me a while to realise that the polished marble was a good reflector, but once I did I was hugging the wall to try and capture the reflection.

For the second half we headed up to a rehearsal room on the top floor. There were a set of windows in the ceiling that bathed the room in a soft light from the cloudy skies above. This made for a very beautiful light.

Little Minou impressed with her skills. There were a lot of distracting elements in the background, so here I Photoshopped her onto a clean background with a gradient, and painted back the shadow.
I experimented a bit with the editing. Here I left the window in the shot for context.
Heidi on pointe.
Miriam under the window. By tilting the head back a little you avoid shadows when the light comes from above and get a great light patterning of the face.
Minou strikes a pose. The shot was slightly out of focus, so we tried to recreate it a few times, but the first one remained the best one. So here it is! One trick you can use if you need to make a photo appear a bit sharper is to add a bit of noise. It might sound counter-intuitive, but it helps since the noise adds an uneven texture which the brain reinterprets as a more sharp photo.
Here Alice decided to have her head down, to create a more dramatic picture with the face in shadows. Having a long skirt is great as it allows us to add motion to the photo.
Minou and Alice. Here we wanted to create a little story with the picture.
Last photo of the day. Here again we were going for a bit of mystery with the shadows over her face.

Many thanks to Eva, Miriam, Alice, Minou and Heidi for a fun photoshoot!

— Johannes


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