Archive for June 2012

Dust Dancing

Dust Dancing
Model: Kourtney Fox

I am a big fan of DigitalRev Tv. Every now and then they post a tutorial on a type of photography. They have posted one on levitation, portraits, aerial, street, smoke, water, etc.
Recently they posted a tutorial on flash photography with powder. The tutorial seemed simple enough. Then I thought of the “Rolling in the Deep” video by Adele. There is a video of just the dancing. I wanted to merge the two ideas.

The tutorial had a few key ideas. Black background would make the powder “pop” the most. Side lighting and backlighting would help keep the dust, smoke effect. Keep in mind cutters to keep the flash from causing flare in the lens. “Freeze” the action with light, not with the faster shutter speed.

I have always had a interest in dance photography. I love the way dancers can control their body into these graceful movements. With a help of a friend, we gave these dust dancing photos a try.

The key to this success is short movements with lots of powder. If the move was several arm motions then a leap, the powder would already be worn away. We had to keep it short and simple. This set up can get to be very messy in the end so be aware of that for studio clean up.

This was my favorite picture from the shoot.  DigitalRev Tv linked to this photo by Thomas David. I also found this video on Vimeo that recorded the process similar to what I did.

Life in Oklahoma

Street Performaner in Bricktown Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

I moved to Oklahoma in the Fall of 2007 to attend the University of Oklahoma. As an undergraduate at OU, I picked up my first “real” film camera and my interest in photography grew. I started with a simple Canon Rebel film camera. I stuck with black and white mainly because my biggest influence into photography is Ansel Adams. I feel like many photographers¬†experiment¬†with flowers at the start. Flowers are pretty. Flowers don’t move/change rapidly that way I can take multiple shots to see how every setting worked. I would sit down with the camera, tripod and a notebook and log each setting for each slide. After getting them developed I would compare it to the settings to really understand how each part worked. It was a long process but I found it the best way to understand the basics of aperture, shutter speed, etc. The faster I could get out of the automated modes and into shooting manual, the better.

I loved to get around with the camera after I got comfortable enough to catch people in action. I came across this street performer in Bricktown, Oklahoma City, Oklahoma. He was out there juggling knives, bowling balls and jazz. I was losing interest but then the fire sticks came out. Luckily I stuck around long enough to get this. Early in my career, this was my favorite photo. Even now actually, 6 years later, it still is one of my favorites.