Bubble Wrap

Rehearsal at Cowell Theater, dance for UCSF brain tumor research benefit event in a few weeks.

I feel like a clutz when I am amongst dancers. Every casual stretch, bend over to tie a shoe lace, slinging of a tutu over the shoulder - is done with such grace and crispness. While waiting around the lobby I'd managed to collide with a Wet Paint sign (fortunately did not collide with wet paint itself...) and then during a silent rehearsal (dance positioning, without music) I scuttled around trying to get a better angle and I somehow managed to step on a sheet of BUBBLE WRAP - not regular size bubble wrap but BIG Bubble Bubble Wrap. This created a sharp, very audible CRACKCRACKCRACK in the resonating auditorium, causing the director to pause and ask me if things were OK. I am a one woman circus comedy amongst dancers.

Anyways. I thoroughly enjoy photographing ballet. Perhaps it's like sports photography? It's all in the timing, capturing the apex of the movement, with the most drama. In the case of ballet, it's often when the greatest extension is achieved. It's no good catching the movement in between various positions - those photos feel meaningless and look awkward. It is the positions that are so sculptural. I don't know the names of any, but I am getting better at recognizing when they're about to happen. Usually such positions are held for a fleeting moment; that's when I must take the photo. Besides the timing, there's composition. I use the black curtain background to show off light shapes. I catch dancers when they are in the lit portions of the stage. I choose a dancer or two on which to focus.

Oh yes, I should mention camera settings.
Shutter priority: shutter speed 1/125, f/1.4, and importantly ISO at at least 800 (I went up to 1250 in the end). Used 50mm f/1.4. Light was dim and movement was fast.