Ballet Dancer

A Ballerina taking a break

A Ballerina taking a break
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Superb Composition
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Absolute Masterpiece
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Exceptional Contrast
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Magnificent Capture
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1 Comment | Report
charlessouthworth May 23, 2014
Beautiful capture, reminiscent of Degas!

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Behind The Lens

This photo was taken in a commercial studio in Tel Aviv. It just happened to be the very same studio I started in, as an assistant 10 years earlier... We chose a plain brown background and a simple one light setup.
We all took a day off and it was a great example of a team working together to accomplish and create an image. On the team there were model HILIT (who's also a dance teacher and a childhood friend...), make up artist NIRIT and photo assistant LIOR. The atmosphere was relaxed and joyful. We walked in late morning and we left the studio after dark.
the inspiration drawn from classic paintings was the main reason for the choice of lighting. we setup a medium-large soft box from the top left of the model (from the camera perspective), just high enough to and pointing downwards and out of the frame. Somehow the quality of light worked well, as the source is soft but the falloff retained some shadows.
Camera used in this session was a Canon 5D Mark II with a 24-105 f4 zoom lens set at the tele range of the lens. I handheld the camera to be quick on the changes (we also shot some standing and moving poses that day). The flash was an old studio strobe (I remember using the very same one on my assistance days...).
I love paintings and find strong inspiration in the way light, texture and body postures had been created in the brush, oil and canvas world. there is something majestic and eternal with those paintings which I just wanted to study. Some pictures from this series were left in color and I think that this adds another challenge by itself. Painters used palettes, always purchased their paint from one store and maintain same mixing techniques for their entire career. So there is some quality, some overall 'filtering' of color when you observe a classic painting (look for 18th and 19th century for inspiration).
Post processing was kept simple. Basic retouching and some cleanup, then Monochrome conversion. Everything was kept minimal and simple.
In my camera bag
My bag always have these: My camera body is a Canon 5D Mark II. Next to it there's a couple of lenses; a 50mm f1.8, 85mm f1.8, 17-40 f4 and a 24-105 f4. I shoot with a 70-200 f2.8 too. All Canon lenses. I have a flashgun with spare batteries, a remote shutter release system, some extra camera batteries and spare cards. and don't forget, business cards! On occasions, I enjoy taking just the camera with one lens and just go shoot! No heavy bag to carry, just work with the lens I got.
There is a lot of talk about technique, cameras and lighting gear. Please don't focus on that too much. A studio full of lights would still make for an empty image without a great team, small and a dedicated to create imagery. That's what I love about making photos. For me, in this picture, it is the model who had just the right expression to complete the image.

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