Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Research for Ballet

I'm looking at some background research into current and contemporary photographers to assess the market. This is for the module lead by Rebecca Swift.

Ballet Photographers

Richard Calmes (link)  provides a great range of Ballet. I'm impressed with his formal studio work, however some of his forced location suited a certain audience. USA

Amber Hunt (link) portfolio contains a mix of other genres however her work is perhaps more commercially focused. Looking at the Stage photographs titled 'Swans' - technically lacking in my own opinion due to the high contrast, background foreground (compromised) for locational impact. UK

Lois Greenfield (link) is a prolific photographer with a career spanning over 25 years. I find this interesting comparing and contrasting her work and how it has followed trends. slightly off the subject of Ballet her more branded work (link) Orangina designed for tube escalator advertising. I can see a similar line of inquiry in her own work to my own. She has an exploration into the abstract form created by light and selective cropping; inspired and formulated by the works of Dali and Bacon. 

Factors: Stage lighting provides a complex backdrop which has already been designed on a massive scale. Thus the photography of candid and portraits during performance requires a mastery of available light, and an understanding of the performance.

Many of the prominent photographers have a deep and thorough understanding of dance. They have forged relationships with dancers and studios, and created these bonds which propagate a membership to the arts. However only though a full and deep understanding, a meaningful and sympathetic representation is possible.

Many of the Studio shots are based on a single light source at the most two. A possible idea would be to involve a lighting expert from the stage to help construct a set.

In terms of market appeal many of the important aspects of Ballet is focused on the body line. This is reflected in the use of studio light and single sources. However the main area that hasn't be exploited is post-production ascetic which the single 'freeze frame' of photography (link) lacks to represent.

 In the construction of the above image my model balanced on a stood, which was hidden by light then removed through post-production. Also the use of highlighting with white drops blurred and sized added the impact of movement. This is a very basic first draft and needs a lot of refining.

Points of action for another project.

Contact contemporary dance in UCLan for information and possible model use. Attend performances and warm up. Continue with Carol May project (link) and research classical performances for theory.

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