Talcing to an Angel

I wanted to do some dance photos in Cambridge, but it was quite cold. Luckily there was some time after a dress rehearsal in Corpus Playroom, so the dancers Hannah Copeland and Stefanie Mavrakou joined me together with actor Ellen McGrath for a couple of hours. We brought some talcum powder with us to play with.

Stefanie Mavrakou arching backwards, in a cloud of talcum powder. At Corpus Playroom, Cambridge.
Stefanie Mavrakou with her hair full of talcum powder. My original plan was to use a flash, but the theatre spotlights provided a decent amount of light and allowed us to quickly get going as our time was limited.
Stefanie Mavrakou dancing at Corpus Playroom with talcum powder.
Stefanie Mavrakou with only powder in the hands. You have to be careful so you do not overdose on talcum powder.
Stefanie Mavrakou jumping covered in talcum powder.
Stefanie Mavrakou
Hananh Copeland creating beautiful angel wings with talcum powder. Photographed at Corpus Playroom, Cambridge.
Hannah Copeland doing angel wings by starting with her hands in front of her and then moving them outwards.
Hannah Copeland with a great arc of talcum powder hanging in the air.
Hannah Copeland. From a previous flour shoot we had learned that a slow toss with the hair gave a nicer arch.
Portrait of Ellen McGrath covered in talcum powder.
Ellen McGrath getting talcum powder poured over her. In a previous theatre shoot she got a bucket of water thrown over her. This girl does it all.
Behind the scenes photo, very messy.
Applying talcum powder is an exact science.
Hannah Copeland and Stefanie Mavrakou
Hannah and Stefanie
Stefanie Mavrakou jumping with lots of talcum powder in the air
So after editing quite a few of these I started to experiment with colours. Here Stefanie Mavrakou.
Beautiful talcum powder photo with Hannah Copeland.
Spinning is really tricky to catch well. With a jump you know when it is at the peak, limbs fully extended, but spinning, there is no clear moment really.
Hannah Copeland spinning around with talcum powder.
Hannah Copeland spinning around
Portrait of Stefanie Mavrakou covered by talcum powder.
Stefanie Mavrakou
Behind the scenes photo.
Talcum powder accidents do happen. Not fun getting it in the mouth or nose. The things we do for art.
Portrait of Hannah Copeland covered in talcum powder.
Hannah Copeland
Cleaning up after the photoshoot.
After the fun it is time to clean up.

Many thanks to Hannah, Stefanie and Ellen for a really fun photoshoot and to Corpus Playroom and ‘Dancing at Lughnas
a’ for lending us their space. Would be cool to combine the talcum powder with gelled flashes next time, but that will probably have to wait until it is warmer so we can do it outside.

If you want to try something like this, be careful and make sure you clean your camera afterwards. When I did the previous flour shoot a little bit of flour found its way into the camera when I changed lenses a few days after cleaning. This time I have not dared change lenses yet. The 50 mm lens might just have to stay on a while longer. It is worth the risk though.

To see more photoshoots with talcum powder, check the tag on the blog.

— Johannes

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