Multiple Dance Instances

Multiple Dance Instances

Photographing dancers is always a great experience. Dancers live and breathe motion, energy and expression; qualities we always strive to represent in photographs. They need little motivation in presenting themselves in the best way possible, since, as performers, they are pretty much used in honing their craft to perfection, to perform in front of demanding crowds.

In fact, most of the time you have a hard time persuading them a particular shot is "good enough". They will always find something out of proportion, such as a hand being a few centimeters forward of its "ideal position" for a movement, or the toes pointing a couple of degrees to the wrong direction, etc.

The trouble with photographing artistic motion is that, in most cases, you just have a snapshot of a series of movements, and it's up to you to capture the moment with the perfect mix of dynamism and expression. That said, there is another option: show the whole series of motion in a kind of multiple exposure photograph.

In the digital age, this is easier than ever. The same guidelines apply though, as with film.

There are two major technical methods in doing it: having a long exposure and using of camera strobes (not connected in any way to shutter action), to illuminate specific positions; or, alternatively, to combine several different exposures in a series of movements. The latter means shooting in continuous burst mode, trying to flash the best moments in a sequence.

I used the second method in this work presented here. Instead of combining the resulting exposures in Photoshop, I opted instead for the more direct in-camera exposure combination. Not every camera supports this, but the results will probably be the same. In my case, I didn't want a lot of post processing involved, just a straight method of doing this.

The dancer is Faye Soukou, a very talented dancer and teacher, not to mention extremely cooperative and enthusiastic as a person. For this shooting, I have to give special thanks to my friend and fellow photographer and videographer Dimitris Papadimitroulas; without his help, support and active participation, nothing would be possible.

Hope you enjoy the results as much as I enjoyed shooting them!

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