May 07, 2005

L_ Dancing

L_ recently returned from a long trip to Turkey and India. Shortly after getting back to Halifax, she asked if I'd be interested in photographing her in some of the belly dancing costumes she'd bought during her trip. I was more than happy to to help and we made plans to spend an evening in the studio during my next Halifax visit.
Digital original
I was quite surprised by how different working with clothed models is (I suppose this should come as no surprise, but, as I'd never thought about it, it was worth mentioning). With the focus being on the dance costumes, I had to alter my usual approach to working, and experiment more with pose and position than lighting. As it happened, L_ forgot to bring dance music so she had to work harder to create a natural flow to her body and the costumes.
Digital original
As the session was so focused on the costumes and poses, I lit the studio as evenly as possible, which had the added advantage of using all the flash heads available to me. This resulted in my being able to set the lights to their lowest setting, permitting me to photograph L_ dancing at three frames per second!
Digital original

This session, more than any other recently, brought home the huge influence that digital cameras have had on my approach to photography. Because so many of the images were of L_ in motion, I took advantage of the high volume of images possible with digital SLR cameras. By the end of the session, we'd recorded more than 1,100 photographs and, while many of these were discarded (due to facial express problems, bad timing, or bad framing) the images I kept were much stronger for the high volume used to create them. The other element that digital photography added to the session was that less than two hours after finishing the session, L_ and I parted ways - her with a DVD full of images, and me with the satisfaction that I'd been able to go from start to finish with the session in under five hours!

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