Dancers and other stage performers are not only fun to watch but also to photograph. We were staying at a hotel that provided nightly entertainment, usually in the form of a local dance or acrobatic troupe. I was taking a lot of traditionally composed shots - performer / dancer placed clearly in the frame like this one:
After a while I wanted to try something. Could I still communicate what the performers were doing if I pushed the dancer / performer towards the edge of the frame. Could the images still be visually interesting? Well these are some of the results.
Thought for the day
"I want to stay as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all kinds of things you can't see from the center." Kurt Vonnegut
Have you ever wanted to make your photos more dynamic? Have you wanted to convey a sense of motion or focus the viewer's attention? One nice way to do this is to use your zoom lens and zoom in (or out) while you're taking the shot.
The following photos were taken of a jazz band performing in a night club. Although I like the photos, to me they don't express the energy of the music - the dynamic interplay between band members or the intensity and fluidity of the melody and rhythm.
So, I decided to play with the camera to see what I could capture. In these hand-held photos I was zooming the lens in / out while exposing the image. The trick is to get the shutter speed just right. You don't want the shutter speed to be so fast that there's little or no effect or so slow that the entire image is blurry. Ultimately you have to experiment based on the focal length of the lens and the f-stop setting. Note: If you hover over the images below you'll see shot information.
Another interesting way to create a sense of movement by using lens zooming is shown in the first photo below. The street was closed to vehicular traffic and this incredible flow of people were walking on St. Clair and the streetcar right of way. By zooming the lens I was able to emphasize the flow of people walking past me.
Another way to create visual focus is to rotate the camera. The young woman that's shown in the photo below was deep in thought. By rotating the camera I was able to remove distractions and focus the viewer's attention directly on her.
Thought For The Day
"Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up." Pablo Picasso
Eric David is a visual artist / fine art photographer that lives and works in Toronto.