Tiny Dancer(s)

A ballerina en pointe reaches the highest point of her leap just as her photo is captured. Freezing these action shots in time on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, was not as easy as this photographer made it appear. Photo taken from http://www.studentsoftheworld.info.

A ballerina en pointe reaches the climax of her leap just as her photo is captured. Freezing these action shots in time on Monday, Feb. 10, 2014, was not as easy as this photographer made it appear. Photo taken from http://www.studentsoftheworld.info.

“There’s anticipation, reflexes, listening to the music and getting into a shooting rhythm. A knowledge of the basics of choreography, music and dance will help in predicting what the next step will be.”  After New York Times editors took a glance at the past year’s photos in 2012, several of Andrea Mohin’s work swam to the top of the pile. When asked for her secret to capturing the perfect instant of precision, elegance, and skill in her dance photography, Mohin uttered the above quote and revealed that “you just have to listen to the music.”

Armed with her advice and my personal love of beautiful ballerinas in pointe shoes soaring across the stage, I felt relatively prepared when I entered the setting of my next photo assignment. I was required to capture three photographs: a scene-setter, a portrait and a detail shot. My subjects were the children benefiting from one of the University of Missouri’s student-run organizations. The organization, known as Center Stage, provides free ballet, hip-hop, jazz, and poms instruction to children in the Columbia community who would not otherwise be able to participate.

By now, I am somewhat familiar with the Nikon D7000 as I successfully completed my Seeing Red assignment several weeks ago. However, it did not take long to discover that photographing a moving target is a much more complicated task, especially when that target is a four-year-old attempting a grand jeté.

After class, I rapidly scrolled through the pictures I did manage to capture and sighed in dismay when I viewed their poor lighting and composition. Maybe one day I will have the opportunity to apply Andrea Mohin’s tips, but I doubt the chorus of “Part of Your World” will help me very much when I return to class next Monday.

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One thought on “Tiny Dancer(s)

  1. Lindsay,

    Good job with this post. I like that you started with a quote, but the flow of the first paragraph is a little awkward to me. It would have been better to tell us who the quote came from and then describe that her photos were looked at and admired by NY Times editors, instead of the other way around.

    Great job of linking to your Seeing Red blog post when you mentioned your experience with that assignment! That was a clever way to tie in your previous work. Taking action photos (especially of children) is definitely a lot more complicated than still photos! But hopefully with some more practice you’ll get the hang of it 🙂

    I’m looking forward to seeing the photos you took on Tuesday!

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