On Saturday night I had the opportunity to photograph some of the show events at the 2015 Canberra Latin Dance Festival. The festival organisers had engaged a photographic team from Sydney to do formal coverage of the events and dance exhibitions and I volunteered on the day to offer to take some creative arty pictures. The event started at 8pm and was very well attended. There was a stage and seating and a large(ish) (too large I think) area in front of the stage where no-one was permitted … not even the formal photographers!

I had imagined that I would be able to get quite close to the action and to this end I had packed my Lensbaby and wider primes to get as you say creative. Seeing as I couldn’t get close my wider selection was almost no us … I mean I was simply to far away from the action. I did have my 70-200 with me and I ended up using this for most of the night. As I was taking pictures of the performers I began extending the exposure time to deliberately blur their movements and flow. I had my tripod with me and so I zoomed to an area of the stage with black background and set about tweaking until I got nicely lit 10 second exposures. I got a lot of duds … but we won’t talk about those today 😉

I was impressed with the way they came out. The ones above show flow and transition and a closer examination reveals faces and hands and the ever-present specular highlights of sequin and spangle. It’s almost as though you’re capturing the essence or the spirit of the dancers with these ghostly images. I think I am going to have to do some of these … perhaps under more controlled conditions.

Here are some featuring spins and twirls…

The conversion of some of these into monochrome lends an ethereal feel too I think.


About

Geoffrey Dunn is a Canberra based photographer specialising in portraiture and event photography.

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