Shooting a Dance Revue

Recently I had the opportunity of shooting a dress rehearsal for “An Evening of Dance 2010,” a wonderful dance revue put on by The Darien Art Center. The program featured dancers from middle school age up to adults.

As anyone who has tried to shoot in a theatre knows, the conditions are tough for photography.

It’s dark, so it’s tough to get a clear, well-focused shot. The lighting colors are challenging. And things move fast.

So here are my tips for shooting dance in a theatre:

1)  If you can, see a performance or rehearsal before you shoot – then, you have some chance to anticipate the action.

2) Shoot at as high an ISO as your camera will allow. On my Nikon D700, I shot most of these images at ISO 4000 or 5000. You’ll have some “noise,” which you can alleviate in Photoshop or similar programs – to some degree.

3)  Shoot at a pretty fast shutter speed. In these pictures I mostly used 1/500th of a second

4)  Take lots of pictures, to assure enough keepers.

5)  Shoot “loose” – that is, with a lot of space around the dancers. You can crop in the photos in editing.

6) Keep checking how the images look on the back of the camera. Makes adjustments as necessary as you go along.

7) try different angles – get down low, shoot from the side if you can, etc. Take risks – shoot ideas that you don’t think will “work” – many of them will surprise you.

It was terrific fun for me to shoot this evening of wonderful entertainment.  As always, your questions and comments are welcome.

2 Responses to “Shooting a Dance Revue”

  1. October 21, 2010 at 6:14 pm

    You know I’m your biggest fan.
    Love these photos of the dancers. They
    are wonderful.

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