michael_mancilla Platinum

Spider pose

Worked with a known retired ballerina, Ballet must be very demanding physically and mentally as the few ballet dancers I know are all retired by the age of 25 ...
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Worked with a known retired ballerina, Ballet must be very demanding physically and mentally as the few ballet dancers I know are all retired by the age of 25 at the most, that's my experience your milage may vary
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2 Comments | Report
toddjudd Platinum
toddjudd January 16, 2019
this is an amazing composition. Love the lighting.
michael_mancilla Platinum
michael_mancilla January 16, 2019
Appreciate your comments, when I saw this image in my computer I knew it had to be converted to B&W.
toddjudd Platinum
toddjudd January 16, 2019
Yes, B&W just makes this image even stromger
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Behind The Lens

We took this image at rental photo studio, near the fashion district of Los Angeles, CA
We started our session early afternoon approximately 2 PM
I used a studio strobe bare bulb, just a reflector on it, I wanted the look of a spot light as if she was on a stage. Light was about 10 ft high about 40 degrees of subject, camera left location, I had black background paper and two large V flats black side facing model.
I used my medium format Hasselblad H4X with a Phase One digital back a P30+ model and my favorite lens a HC 100mm f2.2 lens. No tripod used, I did use a light meter at the beginning of our set, once light was set up pretty much kept same settings for this set of images. Used only one Profoto D1 with reflector only for hard light/spot light look.
This was the first time I worked with a retired ballerina, now model, so I depended on her to pose as she saw appropriate for the look I was going for, an austere bare dark stage setting. I asked her for a pose that showed her flexibility and this is what she gave me, apparently it is a variation of the "Spider" pose, that a lot of dancers use.
I had the idea, based on the look of the set as I prepared this shot, that i wanted a high contrast black & white image, as such it was converted from a RAW file; dodged her body and burned the background to make it as close to no details in the shadows as possible and I applied clarity at 30 on Lightroom to the polished cement floor to bring out the contrast and highlights of her shoes on the floor reflection.
In my camera bag
My Hasselblad H4X along with HC100mm f2.2 lens, Phase One P30+ digital back, Canon 1Ds Mark III along with Canon 100mm f2.8, IS L Macro, a 40mm f2.8 Sekonic L-358 light meter, if I'm shooting film also I will add 2 film backs for the Hasselblad and rolls of Kodak Portra 400 for color prints and Fujifilm Acros 100 for B&W. If I needs lights I will take my Profoto D1 and a couple of Nikon SB28 flashes and 4 pocket wizards. To be clear I don't take all my equipment all of the time, it depends of the situation. So you can say a combination of all of the above.
Have an idea of what you want to capture, collaborate with the model/dancer as they will have great suggestions that you may not think of and once you have the shot you have in mind, be flexible and try different variations of the same theme as the lights and setup are already there for you to take advantage. Have fun and make sure as much as possible everything is correct at capture time do NOT think "I will fix it in photoshop". The equipment is not important, you can capture the same image with an entry level camera and a kit lens and system flashes, It's not needed to have expensive equipment, it does however, make the job easier to accomplish.

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