Light limits and beyond

May 17, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

Modern DancersDSC02654_050712

A dance recital seems like a perfect setting to get interesting studies of the human form in motion. You have beautiful dancers performing their art under creative lighting. What more could you want? Unfortunately this is a very difficult setting for photography, especially if you are a spectator. Assuming that you are sitting close enough and you have good view of the stage, most likely you won't be able to set up a tripod without disturbing others. And in order to get interesting framing and composition, you will need to use a fairly long telephoto, which means that you will be pushing the very limits of your camera. The only choice you have is a high ISO setting. In this situation I actually tried something I never done before, which is to  push the ISO setting to 1600. My alpha 700 might have been able to handle that but I had my alpha 100 with me and I knew I was going to get horrible sensor noise. To photograph or not to photograph... Well, I did, and yes the noise was very heavy, but through some artful processing in Lightroom I was able to turn a liability into an asset. The lesson I learned is to photograph anyway, even under difficult situations. You never know what you will get. In this case I am glad I did.

See the whole series here: Dance recital


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