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I'm a Cairns, far north Queensland, Australia professional photographer specialising in travel, editorial and environmental portraiture.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Slow shutter speeds and dancers


Can you tell I'm having a slow week?

This image was taken at the Laura Dance Festival which is an aboriginal dance and cultural festival which happens up on Cape York at the tip of Australia every couple of years.

Laura is a great festival but a bugger to photograph. The dancers are all in a small arena so they're nice and close - no need for really long lenses. But when it's sunny it is just so contrasty that your whole picture turns to big, black shadows and blown-out highlights.

So all the regular folk pray for sunny skies and the photographers pray for clouds! Anyway I had an idea for a way to get around the high contrast, and that was to use it. To create a picture that was all about light and shadow and movement -as opposed to simply a record of the faces of the dancers.

So I decided to give myself a really slow shutter speed to blur the movement and create an abstract picture. I looked for a time when the dancers were out in the sun and their bright, colourful costumes were highlighted and took a series of shots.

And then when the sun went back behind the clouds I took a picture of the same Laura festival dancers only this time without the slow shutter speeds and blur.

1 comment:

Graham said...

Good post mate!

I was at Seisia the week prior to this festival but we had to move on so couldnt attend...always leave something for later is a handy motto here (another is BUGGER, so close yet so far!!).