Many years ago, I was told photography is the art of light. I’ve never forgotten that and I preach this philosophy to student photojournalists. Recognizing the angle of light on a subject or scene can make your image “speak”.
As a photojournalist, my assignments range from documenting major news events, covering courtroom cases, rocket launches and producing multimedia video stories. Recently I had the itch to get back to a little more creative area of photography.
I reached out to Lynn Ayers owner of Dance Centers of Orlando and proposed the idea to demonstrate a lighting technique. I’ve always thought that ballet is so fluid and graceful. What I had in mind was to actually paint a photograph with light to capture this beauty.
I needed an assistant on this assignment and I asked Lola Gomez, our spring photo intern from Daytona State College. Gomez is eager to learn and I thought this would be a perfect opportunity for her.
Then, we worked with Rebecca Mitchell, who began dancing with the Orlando City Ballet and went on to dance and teach for Southern Ballet Theatre. She is currently an Adjunct instructor of Dance at Stetson University.
I wanted to experiment with the idea of using two different types of light sources. A tungsten light that produces a continuous light and a strobe that creates a momentary flash. I placed the camera on a tripod and set my shutter speed to bulb so I could create a time-exposure as Rebecca performed modern ballet. The combination of the two light sources created a photo with dreamy blurs blended with sharper moments of the dance, creating this complicated multiple exposure.
The photo was made with a Canon EOS 5D MarkIII and a 24-70mm f/2.8 lens. The exposure was nine second at f/8, with ISO set at 320.