Friday, December 10, 2010

Hold it... hoooolllllldddd it....!

Timing is another thing that dancers and I share. I have to be tuned into my environment to recognize the right moment to take a photograph, and dancers have to time their movements to be in exactly the right position at exactly the right time, whether it be at the top of a jump or landing from a quadruple pirouette.

When photographing dancers, especially for my Dancers Among Us project, the dancer and I work to get our timing in sync so that we get great photographs. In my photo shoot with Jeffrey Smith of the Paul Taylor Dance Company, we had to coordinate the train, the crowd, his jump, my shot. Luckily, both Jeffrey and I are well-practiced.

First, we tried to eliminate one of the elements -- the moving train -- but the images just weren't as exciting.


This one was interesting in that it looks like he's leaping into the train, but Jeffrey and I liked the sense of motion that comes from both his movement and the speeding train.

Luckily, trains are fairly predictable. Bystanders, on the other hand, are not.

Her head is cutting off his back leg.

Ditto. Here's the final one, though:

He's at the height of his leap and framed by the doors, and while the bystanders are present, they add to the image rather than interfere with it. The "Times Square" sign is clearly visible to boot. It was my job to recognize and capture this moment at nearly the same time, and I'm glad I nailed it.