Forums > Photography Talk > Shooting Ballet in a Dance Studio with Mirrors

Photographer

Paul Gerard Smith

Posts: 158

Marlborough, Massachusetts, US

How would you light and shoot a ballerina in a dance studio with mirrors?

Nov 13 12 10:04 am Link

Photographer

L A U B E N H E I M E R

Posts: 8797

Seattle, Washington, US

Paul Gerard Smith wrote:
How would you light and shoot a ballerina in a dance studio with mirrors?

i'd use natural light.

the work of david hamilton comes to mind. (just add mirrors)

http://mymaniacandi.blog.com/files/2011/02/david-hamilton-ballerina.jpg

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_m5lg30LDCg1qzjmwho1_500.jpg

Nov 13 12 10:06 am Link

Photographer

Gabby57

Posts: 424

Coppell, Texas, US

If you have to shoot with artificial light, I'd look at lighting from directly overhead (gridded) first to evaluate if the mirrors could fill in eye socket shadows etc.

Nov 13 12 10:59 am Link

Photographer

Ezhini

Posts: 1601

Wichita, Kansas, US

Light the dancer from the sides ...  you can see my two lights in his eyeballs!

Also I used continuous tungsten lights and white balanced to the tugnsten lights ... so that I get this greenish-bluish ambient background.

You might think about continous lights too, for a different reason, giving the chance for you to shoot while the dancer is doing his/her thing without interruption.

The lighting situation is same, but a different activity:
http://www.ezhiniartanddesign.com/RaymondAtGenesisDec2009/images/RaymondDec2009_15.jpg

http://www.ezhiniartanddesign.com/RaymondAtGenesisDec2009/images/RaymondDec2009_17.jpg

Nov 13 12 11:10 am Link

Photographer

Glenn Worton

Posts: 1444

Ottawa, Ontario, Canada

Depends on the light - you'd be best using ambient, shalow DOF goes a long way to minimise unwanted reflections and cluttered backgroumds. If you have to add light strobes would be the worst choice, constant lighting the best. You'll have to watch your colour balance.

Nov 13 12 11:17 am Link

Photographer

Herman Surkis

Posts: 8874

Victoria, British Columbia, Canada

Glenn Worton wrote:
If you have to add light  would be the worst choice, constant lighting the best.

Why?

Nov 13 12 12:15 pm Link

Photographer

Warren Leimbach

Posts: 2686

Tampa, Florida, US

What is the room (ambient light) giving you?


What are you trying to achieve?


If you want soft,  dreamy, trails or sedate portraits, the ambient light may be perfect.

If you want stop action with dancers frozen in mid-leap, you will need some strobes.

Do you want the model's reflection in the mirror?  Will the mirror be in the background?

Angle of incidence = angle of reflection.  Watch out for yourself or your gear appearing in the mirrors.  Watch out for flare from lights bouncing in the mirrors.  Consider shooting upward/downward to avoid the mirror.   Put the lights up high or way off to the sides, or floor bounce, or....?   If your reflection must be in the mirror, consider concealing the camera behind a "duck blind" of white foam core or curtains etc for a less distracting reflection and/or easier retouching later.

A larger room will give you much more flexibility with lens choice and light placement,etc.


Good luck and show us what you came up with.

Nov 13 12 12:24 pm Link

Photographer

Mike Collins

Posts: 1927

Orlando, Florida, US

I'd light it like everything else.  Until I like it.  There is no magic formula.  You just have to be aware of the mirrors and how much light they will add to the subject(s).  You could use them to your advantage by using the reflection of the light as either fill or perhaps a kicker.

Nov 13 12 02:22 pm Link

Photographer

Aaron Lewis Photography

Posts: 5083

Catskill, New York, US

Mike Collins wrote:
I'd light it like everything else.  Until I like it.  There is no magic formula.  You just have to be aware of the mirrors and how much light they will add to the subject(s).  You could use them to your advantage by using the reflection of the light as either fill or perhaps a kicker.

Exactly. Since my studio is in fact a dance studio with mirrors. Almost everything in my port was shot under these conditions.. Mirrors can be you friend and if they become an issue, hang something in front of them.

Nov 13 12 02:25 pm Link

Photographer

Drew T

Posts: 139

London, England, United Kingdom

Paul Gerard Smith wrote:
How would you light and shoot a ballerina in a dance studio with mirrors?

get down low! Use window light if possible or bounce light of the ceiling. Also use high ISO...or all three!

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8486/8184703276_e4c3a8c44b.jpg

http://farm9.staticflickr.com/8061/8184665145_97915b27ca.jpg

Nov 14 12 02:28 am Link

Photographer

Paul Gerard Smith

Posts: 158

Marlborough, Massachusetts, US

Thanks to everyone for your great advice!!

Nov 14 12 06:30 am Link