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Learning with Light

I am constantly searching for new ways to use light and shadow. Much of my work revolves around dance and although I’ve been happy with most of my work, I’m always thinking my next shot will be my best shot. I study lots of dance photographers, Lois Greenfield is just one of my favorites. Her creations for movement are delicious. After spending time in nature and watching movies I’ve become inspired to try to recreate some of the concepts I see in my dance imagery. So for my first concept I wanted to create a wall of light and a ceiling and floor of light. I determined that the most effective way for me to accomplish this task was to use my Aputure Spotlight and the Leko follow spot I converted into a strobe. Both use blades to shape and focus the light with or without a gobo. If you’re not familiar with blades in follow spots, just do some Google searching.

Foreground is the Aputure Spotlight and the instrument on the right is my Leko follow spot.

Prior to attempting my wall/floor/ceiling concept I wanted to try using the blades on the spotlight for more static poses dancers often perform. The next two images were created using the instruments above. The dancers I asked to help me understood that the shoot this time was not about them. Not about the desire for perfect feet, hands, etc. but about the light. I was blessed that they understood the intent for this shoot.

I then filled the room with haze so the light rays would be visible.

I have switched to a non heat oil hazer. No it does not leave oily residue on the floor and the particulate is much finer than my prior heated hazer.

Test shots for walls and then floor ceiling of light.

Walls

Floor/ceiling

And here are three of my light test shots.

Walls

Ceiling/floor

An “X” of light

So I will continue to chase new light, sometimes it works, sometimes it does not….at least not initially. But experimenting is the only way I’ve found to break out of my norm.

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