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Road Crew

I had wanted to continue a series I started a while back involving dancers, pointe shoes, and tools. It all started with the chainsaw pic:

So I had an opportunity to shoot 5 young dancers doing what they do best: werking it.

 (Points for insider dancer lingo knowledge/double entendre).

I posed this deliberately and the girls executed the plan. Dealing with 5 people in a group scene isn’t easy, especially when you have to balance image harmony (compositionally) without “overly” emphasizing one dancer (although this in itself isn’t “bad”). The dancer to the left may be considered the “hero” due to lighting; she is balanced with the one to the extreme right looking deadpan to camera. This pulls your eye across the frame . The 2 next to them are also lit strongly, so your eye wants to go there, while the middle dancer (the “supervisor”) has a pose and a bright outfit to set her apart.

Note that they are not evenly lit as I’m trying to tell a story and there is direction to the light. You would also expect some variation to naturally occur. Besides, this is to my taste.

Back to the posing. The dancer to the left is daydreaming, the others are busy at work, except the dancer to the extreme right with that you lookin’ at me? look on her face. Brooklyn accent and all. I want her there but I had to balance her gesture with the fact that she is at camera and the others aren’t. Hence the lighting choice.

Moving the eye across the frame is a major compositional challenge and I’m happy with how this is composed.

In post processing I chose to go to the warm, saturated side of things – a patch of sunlight for a beauty twist for this construction crew.


for the photographers reading this. Please skip if you are a non-combatant.

I Photoshopped the crap out of this. Then again, I always Photoshop the crap out of my images. For one thing, I could only use 2 lights (my Vagabond suddenly developed that electrical smell to it that, you know, you don’t really want to smell before plugging an AC cord into it, so no more studio lights – only the Quadra and a speedlight). I had 5 dancers. Do the math. I did the best I could, but every dancer has – gasp – a curves layer on her that I can still adjust even as we speak. OK, they probably have more than 1. Plus some global ones, a texture, some more secret sauce … you get the point.

Straight out of camera? For me? Riiiiiiiiight.


We return you to our regular programming.

I thought the frame added to the image; for some reason I’m really into frames these days …

More from this shoot to come.

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