Entries in performance (5)
--please note all these images were made live while performing, not in a studio
These black & white flamenco dancer images were created in the basement of Ceviche, a downtown St. Petersburg restaurant. Through editing I have created shots with an entirely different look that the ones I made of my primary client that evening, Vanessa. She was not always on stage so she said to be sure and photograph the other dancers as well because they might be interested in purchasing images too. Thus, Carolina selected these three photographs of herself among others.
Carolina did not request black & white images. I edited her selected shots in color as I did Vanessa's. These edits are my personal take on the feeling I wanted the images to create. The basement of Ceviche is already very dark, so it was not hard to make the background completely disappear. I used differen filters in Silver Efex Pro for each shot to create the B&W conversion I felt best suited the particular photograph.
This last shot was made by zooming out while pressing the shutter creating the blur effect in the room's lighting. This is achieved by using a slow shutter speed, in this case 1/13th of a second.
I first had the opportunity to photograph professional flamenco dancer Vanessa two years ago. We had been in touch a few times since then about me photograhing her dancing again. Well, last week finally everything worked out so that I could photograph her while performing at Ceviche in St. Petersburg. Vanessa told me beforehand that the basement flamenco bar of Ceviche is very, very dark. I spoke with a photography colleague who has shot there and he confirmed that adding also that the ceiling is very low. The biggest challenge proved to be the red stage lights, followed by the very tight space available for shooting (serving staff & customers passing by).
The small space, though, provided for a very lively environment with the band playing quickly and loudly, and the four flamenco dancers taking their turns on the low stage. Vanessa has her turn while the other dancers looked on.
I could have used my speedlights to fill the entire space with light, resulting in radically different photos than you see here. However, Vanessa wanted the images to reflect the actual available light in the performance space as much as possible, which I agreed with. Since most of the lighting in the basement was reddish and yellowish, those are the tones of the images along with deep shadows in the background.
It was a very fun challenge photographing Vanessa in Ceviche's flamenco bar basement. Maybe next time I will return just as a customer!
Last night's fashion and dance event at USF Tampa campus fully titled, "OMEGA PSI PHI presents 'A NIGHT OF FASHION,'" was quite the challenge to photograph. Very little light. No overhead light at all. The little lighting there was, was in the form of hot area lights at basically eye level. This translated into having to wait of dancers and models to body block the lights before pushing the shutter, or just choose to use the lights and get an effect like seen in the above photograph.
For one whole performance, the men's Titan Step Team was right in front of me the whole time. The leader (above) had great charisma, and of course dance skills too. After each portion of their routine, the men would stop and strike a self-fist bump pose. It was not all serious though as they broke into a Bell Biv Devoe "Poison" breakdown that I could appreciate since that song was right from the heart of my time.
I quickly realized that my best of the bad light shooting spot was not on the map for a majority of the fashion models that strode out. So in order to get some head-on shots I had to scamper around a bit, hither and thither. Even then, I just could not get a totally sharp shot.
The performers, dancers and models all brought their "A" game. The energy in USF's lower gym-cum-runway was palpable. The Faces Modeling Troupe got the loudest response of the night. I look forward to the next challenging to shoot fashion show and will take what I learned from this experience and hopefully have a higher success rate the next time. But who knows what the lighting situation will be then?
I met Vanessa Cerallo-Wainwright at the grand opening of RAW Vibes Art and Performance Space. She gave a dynamic flamenco dance performance that not only gripped the crowd emotionally, but also physically as some members of the crowd could not help themselves from joining Vanessa on stage toward the end of her performance.
The art gallery space in RAW Vibes is capable of being quickly transformed into a performance space complete with a small stage. With a packed house it provides for a very intimate atmosphere between performer and observer. There was hardly any space for me to squeeze in to and make these photographs!
The performance space in RAW Vibes makes for a dramatic setting with its deep red velvet curtain backdrop and high, recessed lighting shining directly down on the performers. I am becoming a big fan of the red velvet background as it also served well as a backdrop for scary dolls.