The Art of Photographing Dance

One of the basic forms of human expression that have continued to be a part of our culture is dance. This form is one way that communicates beyond speech, much like the art of photography. Both do not have a specific dialect or language. Dance conveys raw emotion through movement that extends over all kinds of boundaries.

Here are effective tips on how to shoot fabulous dance images:

 dance6 The Art of Photographing Dance Shoot with manual settings at the widest aperture possible – more often than not, most of the dance performances involve a lot of dramatic lighting. This can be a reason to lose a lot of detail pertaining to highlights and shadows in an image. Always remember, though, that it is better to lose details from shadow than details from highlights. To get the best possible outcome, manually set your camera to the widest aperture. Also remember to adapt the exposure to the performer’s skin tone.

Do not even bother using spot metering. Another way to tackle exposure is to adjust shutter speed setting until you are able to see details in the performer’s face. However, whenever the lighting changes you will still have to adjust the settings each time.

Shoot in RAW – as much as possible, shoot in RAW format. Although it can slow you down in post processing as you make adjustments to your images, you will be able to capture more detail. But always remember to use a memory card with adequate memory since RAW files are rather huge.dance7 The Art of Photographing Dance

Familiarize yourself with the camera – stages have lighting that is usually centered on the performances and it varies depending on the tempo of the music or the type of mood that the performance wishes to convey. In most cases, you will probably have to be working in the dark. So it is best to familiarize yourself with all the buttons of your camera to make sure you are pressing the right one. Also make sure you know the proper settings to adjust your camera.

Have the right timing – the more performances you attend, and the more times you persevere to capture great dance stills, the more chances you will have of ddance5 The Art of Photographing Danceeveloping your skill. It takes more than just constantly being on the look-out for a great move because once you see a great movement in your viewfinder, chances are it is too late to capture it. You must always anticipate what will happen next to get the perfect opportunity. There are plenty of opportunities for you to be able to gauge when a highlight moment is about to take place, such as a change in music, lighting or movement of the dancers. You can sense that that something big is about to happen. It helps to love your niche because there are different types of dance performances that do not always follow the norm in lighting and music.

Capture the perfect pose – the visual impact of a perfect pose immortalized in a photograph is a rarity because you only get one chance when the whole body of a performer is in the right position allowing it to speak to the viewer when looking at the image. It will be pointless to set your camera to continuous mode and take random shots because the only way for you to get the precise moment is through patience.


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Is Stock Photography Suited For Me?

Weigh your options in the business of photography and try to decide if stock photography is one of them. Here are some questions to ask yourself to help reach a decision:

suited1 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do my images have good composition? Are they nicely lit and free from visual clutter? 

Whether you are a seasoned or an amateur photographer, a blurry image is still a blurry image. Getting your images in any microstock site does not require you to be a professional. All you need are good images.  Stock sites have reviewers who peruse each and every uploaded shot before they are accepted in the system. If you plan to have each of your photos pass this rigorous test, learn to do quality checks yourself and be objective when analyzing your images. 

Is photography fun for me?

Photography is not all about money. If you are doing it for the money, then you are in for disappointment. It takes hours of patience and hard work to get the perfect images that would sell, not to mention post processing and getting them approved for uploading in stock sites. If this does not appeal to you, then it will definitely show in your work.

suited2 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do I have adequate photography equipment?

The most important thing to have is a digital camera. For stock sites, your camera should be capable of at least taking 4megapixels. Having a digital camera is a great way for you to practice and develop your skills without having to worry about cost of film, developing negatives, and the like. Just remember not to be too trigger happy and always spare the time to go through your images and find out the areas for improvement. You will also have to learn how to use photo editing software since this will greatly aid you in the post processing stage so you can correct all the minor errors appearing in your photographs.

Can I spare some time to focus on creating stock images?

Whether you decide to upload in microstock or macrostock sites, make sure you upload only the best images you have. Check on the current trends, what are the images that sell the most, and always upload fresh images so that the clients always have new options. All these require effort and a certain amount of time devoted to building your stock portfolio, especially in the beginning when you are still making a name for yourself. 

suited3 Is Stock Photography Suited For Me? Do I want to earn from my photos?

Many good photographers take pictures because they love it and do not really think of the monetary aspect of it. If you are doing stock photography as a hobby and not as a main source of income, you might be satisfied with earning a few dollars now and then from your images. If you want to earn more than what would amount to spare change, you will have to be more serious as well and try to learn the tricks of the trade to get the most out of it. 

Am I willing to accept image payment of only a few cents each shot?

For some people, there is still that mindset that a photograph is certainly worth more than a few cents and microstock sites are harming the value of a high quality image.  For others, the low rates being offered in microstock sites is not considered an issue since there are thousands of potential buyers who can acquire the same image and these few cents will accumulate into hundreds of dollars over time. Your personal perception of how the stock system works will affect your decision whether or not to join stock sites.

Am I known professionally in the photography world?

Once you have already gotten the hang of the skills and expertise of being a good photographer and are earning a living out of it or are well-known in the craft, you might prefer having your images sold at macrostock sites rather than microstock.  Macrostock sites are much stricter with image quality and not just anybody can become a member. However, once you are in, you can sell your images at a much higher rate. Some people even choose to use the services of both microstock and macrostock sites. Just be wary about the sites that you decide to join because some have exclusivity quotes so read the terms and conditions carefully. 


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4 More Tips to Help You Get Organized with your New Photography Business

When you are just starting out with your new photo business, there are countless of things to set up, to remember and to make sure are covered to ensure your business will grow. In a previous article, we gave some suggestions to help you get started. Here are four more to keep in mind:

tripod by caspy 4 More Tips to Help You Get Organized with your New Photography Business1. Get your gear – the tools of your trade will always depend on your budget, amount of space available, and the types of photographs you plan to specialize in or what your clients may require from you to take. It would be wise to start cataloging your work as soon as possible before it gets to be too much for you to handle, and do the same for all your equipment. It will take you at least a year for you to complete all the gear or equipment requirements you’ll need such as lenses, tripods, filters, flash, stands, etc. Try to minimize your purchases by determining the essentials before the luxuries such as expensive equipment you will hardly ever use during your photo shoots. Also try to make use of what office equipment you already have such as a computer, fax machine, scanner, printer and furniture. What you save on what you already have can go towards funding the expenses needed for more photography equipment.

printer by sundesigns 4 More Tips to Help You Get Organized with your New Photography Business2. Set-up insurance – always prioritize protecting your business assets as well as your personal assets. Getting the appropriate insurance to cover any major or minor setbacks is always a smart move. For most of the photographers just starting out, it’s beneficial to take out liability insurance, especially if you have a home based studio. This type of insurance will protect you from any liability in case a clumsy client trips over a cable and suffers an injury. Consider adding equipment indemnity in case your homeowner’s insurance or renter’s insurance doesn’t cover this. And for your own advantage, set-up health and disability insurance in case you can’t continue working on your business.

3. Finalize supply and photo lab arrangements – if you’re determined to make your business work and become a success, you would want to start building relationships with your suppliers such as camera equipment suppliers. The quality of your end product will be the driving umbrella stands vjeran2001 4 More Tips to Help You Get Organized with your New Photography Businessforce that will keep making your customers come back. This will also make it easier for you in the future since you might be given discounts if you patronize their services on a regular basis. In the beginning of your business, first impressions often last. Good and reliable suppliers will help keep your standards high and you will never compromise your work.

4. Join professional organizations – it always helps to join and be visibly active in your local chamber of commerce to open doors for you and your budding business. This will enable you to establish business relations and contacts that can help you along the way. This is one of the best ways to meet possible clients and get some valuable feedback and tips from other photographers in your locale and possibly even find an investor for your business. It is also by doing this that you will have a better idea of who your competition is, what types of services they provide and how they compare to yours. 


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How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
Trees are one of the most often seen subjects in photography and you can find them in landscape shots and as part of the scene in other genres such as fashion, wedding, and wildlife photography. Yet, it is surprising that not too much notice is given to trees, especially if they are not the main subject. It is only after you see your shot that has a tree that it can make or break the shot. Trees are, after all, not so small and if the composition is awkward, they can stand out in a very unattractive way. 
tree1 How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
Trees come in all shapes and sizes but one thing they have in common is that they are all pretty tall. The branches form large shadowed areas which may be hard to light and they stay in one spot so you have to deal with the outdoor environment they are in. Being quite large, you will have to experiment with various perspectives to capture them in their glory. By going through these tips, you will have a good idea with how to compose great shots with trees in them.
 
1. One tree – by singling out only one tree in your composition, you can direct the viewer’s attention to its particular beauty, from its shape and form to how it relates to its surroundings. Trees seem to have character and when you focus on a particular one, you can portray this better by highlighting its uniqueness in you photograph.
tree3 How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
2. Watch out for the light – sunlight is the most convenient light source for photographing trees. It’s readily available most of the time and it can illuminate the entire setting. One thing about sunlight is that it varies depending on the weather, the time of day, and the atmospheric conditions. The same tree would be lighted much differently at noon compared to at sunset since the sun’s position will have changed. 
 
3. Look for patterns and textures – you may not need to have the entire tree in your shot, a close up view can show off various patterns and textures. Since a tree is made up of various parts, from leaves to roots, each part looks different from the rest. 
 
4. Use various angles – a tree can appear different at different angles so do not stick to only one shooting position or angle. Try to walk around the tree to find out its more interesting side. By doing so, you are also changing the background elements.
tree2 How to Use Trees to Spruce Up Your Shots
 
5. Include the ground – if you are taking a full-length shot of a tree, include the base or the ground instead of cropping it out. Keeping the ground visible in the shot adds context and perspective to the image. Roots, leaves, grass and flowers found at the base of the tree can provide added interest. 
 
6. Use it to frame the main subject – trees can also be used as a secondary subject to naturally frame the main subject. For instance, if your subject is a structure or a human figure, a tree on one side with its outstretched branches can appear to act as a frame to draw the eye to the subject.


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How to Shoot Family Portraiture

With the new year just starting, you can look forward to the many birthdays, dinner parties, trips, anniversaries and yearly holiday gatherings and plan ahead for the perfect family portraits. These photographs will serve as a celebration of your life and will be a memorabilia of priceless moments spent with your family and friends. Family portraits are probably the most treasured keepsakes handed down to you to remind you of your lineage. Nowadays, with the convenience of digital photography, you can record images of the happy gatherings you have experienced to keep the tradition going. 

Shooting the whole family within a single frame is probably the most challenging thing you may encounter in family portraiture. Especially with a growing brood of children running around all over the place, you cannot just ask them to sit still for a few minutes for a photograph.

Here are a few tips to help you capture the bond between the family in the form of an image:

family4 How to Shoot Family Portraiture1. Familiarize yourself with your subjects – since your main subjects are friends and family members, you may already be familiar with what they are conscious of and what they do not want to be glaringly obvious about themselves in a photograph. Reassure them that you know what they want and that you will try your best to get the outcome they expect and you are sure to have genuine smiles.

2. Be stealthy, move swiftly and have fun – candid shots make for great shots. Make sure your subjects are comfortable and are in their element. Allow them to move spontaneously and be ready to capture those rare moments. Have your camera ready at all times and check battery life and camera settings so that you are always prepared.

cjsun How to Shoot Family Portraiture3. Pay attention to the background  -neutral and solid colors are ideal for backgrounds. If you are shooting outdoors, make sure that you use a variety of angles for your shot. A low or high angled shot can remove unnecessary clutter in the background that can be distracting. 

4. Get color coordinated – it would be ideal to have family members wear color coordinated outfits. It can be quite tricky, though, but pastels and vibrant colors can enhance the final outcome of your photographs. If celebrating a birthday party, you can have the birthday celebrant wear a bright colored garment while the guests can wear muted tones to make the celebrant the main focus of attention. Keep in mind that a lot of clashing colors and busy patterns can be an eyesore.

family1 How to Shoot Family Portraiture5. Have adequate lighting – lighting is always important in any type of photograph. Even lighting is ideal but may not be available all the time. The best times for even lighting are at 8am and 5:30pm. These times are known as the golden hours, when natural lighting is warm and soft and can flatter any subject. Remind yourself to notice that the faces of your subjects are equally lit. When shooting indoors, utilize a flash or any type of natural soft lighting emanating from the windows. Try to arrange the subjects close to the light source and position them slightly to one side of the direction of the light. This will create the illusion of depth through shadows as well as highlights. Another tip: frontal lighting is the most common way to shoot family portraits. However, the image could come out flat and dull. The best way to avoid this is to use sidelighting with a reflector such as a white sheet or cloth to bounce back the light to the group. This will lessen hard shadows and further enhance your subjects. When shooting outdoors, try to position yourself and your subjects under a tree or a shady area to get even lighting.




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How to Photograph Dance Performances

Dance is timeless. Since the dawn of men, it has been a way of communicating to the gods and a way of showing ideas and savage emotions. To this day, moving with grace and passion can take us to a higher plane of existence and capturing these movements is a true art form in itself. The following is a list of tips guaranteed to help you capture those elusive dance moments:

dance8 How to Photograph Dance Performances Communicate with your subjects – dancers are people who are in tune with their bodies and can visualize what they would look like when you take their picture. It would be helpful for you to speak to the performers to tell them what your intentions and goals are and what you want to capture from your images of them. The dancers can even share ideas with you and help you attain those goals. They can also adjust their poses to fit your needs. Much like portrait photography, dance photography can have better results when the subject and the photographer communicate with each other.

Incorporate the backdrop to your image – the set, lighting and props are as much a part of the performance as the dancers themselves. Experiment with a variety of angles such as shoot from the side or straight forward. Take into consideration the details of the backdrop in unison with the performers and how they relate to each other. Don’t forget to take images of the overall setting or the stage.

Take advantage of lighting for more visual impact – when shooting in a studio, you can have more control of lighting and can make use of large even lighting so that the dancer can move around and still be adequately illuminated. You can control the direction of the light and have it come from the side or even the top for more dramatic effects. Sunlight usually takes care of outdoor dances.

dance9 How to Photograph Dance Performances Consider shooting during full dress rehearsals or behind the scenes – it would be good to shoot during full dress rehearsals rather than the actual performance itself. Here, you will have a lot more space to maneuver yourself and your equipment. These can get you better photographs. When trying to capture backstage images, look for spots where performers are lost in their thoughts or busy practicing their movements or simply stretching before their act. If you have taken your performance shots during rehearsals, come the big day when the actual performance happens, you can take backstage shots of performers instead and catch the excitement of them readying themselves.

Use the dancers’ costumes to add to the visual impact – dance performances are often events of beauty, energy and mdance31 How to Photograph Dance Performancesovement and one huge element that provides visual effects is the costume. The dainty and ethereal tutus of ballet dancers add to the aura of grace and softness, while the giant headdresses of Las Vegas lady dancers provide drama and spectacle.

Envision the story you want to depict- base the images you capture on the type of setting or location where the dance will take place. There are several opportunities where you can capture the performers. One is while they are onstage during the actual performance, another is during rehearsals in the studio or on stage and still another is a location where they might be doing a publicity shoot. The location of the dance affects the outcome of the image.


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How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures

Because of the cold weather and the rain, it would be ideal to take more indoor shots to avoid harsh elements for our precious camera and equipment as well as trying to avoid catching a cold. Shooting inside may not be as challenging as we think. In fact, it can be a lot easier and more manageable than shooting outdoors on a hot summer day. Here are great tips and tricks that you can use to get great indoor photographs:

indoor3 How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures Avoid using pop-up flash – the first thing you have to know about indoor photography is that pop-up flashes cause harsh shadows. This can have an effect on your subjects as making their eyes widen, or getting blinded or even blinking.

Use external flash – this is attached to your camera’s hot shoe. Just remember that if you aim it straight at your subject that you will have the same results as the pop-up flash. Try to bounce the light from the ceiling or nearby wall. Some external flashes even allow you to turn it around so it can aim directly at the wall behind you. For great portrait shots, you can invest in multiple flash units to give you better lighting options. A flash unit is usually mounted on your camera and replaces your fill-in flash. A second unit will act as the main light, which is usually positioned to the side of the model and the third unit can be used for back lighting.

indoor2 How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures Familiarize yourself to use the triangle – as much as possible, try to use whatever available light you have for better opportunities for a great photograph. By understanding the exposure triangle, which are the shutter speed, ISO and aperture, you can use this to pinpoint what is the best available light source to produce your image. For example, if you are using a fast lens of 50mm, open the aperture wide such as f/1.4, your shutter speed should be two stops and the ISO is a stop higher. Then adjust one f/stop setting at a time until you obtain the exposure, depth of field and sharpness that you seek.

indoor1 How to Shoot Great Indoor Pictures Use a light scoop – if you are just starting out and are working on a budget, a light scoop can be quite an essential tool. You attach this to the top of the camera on the hot shoe. This enables the pop-up flash to work better. The light scoop uses a mirror to bounce the flash from the ceiling. The limitation of a light scoop is that you can just use it for small areas since it needs a surface to bounce back the light.

Choose a great spot – look around your indoor area for the perfect spot which gives you the best possible lighting such as by the window or the doorway. Make sure the light is bright enough yet soft, and the walls are warm and of a neutral color that will not reflect or bounce the light. Take a few experimental shots to make the necessary adjustments before calling your subjects.


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Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photography

There are a lot of misconceptions about the art and craft of photography which hinder a person from being a better photographer. We have excuses we tell ourselves when a photograph does not come out quite like how we pictured it and these mistaken beliefs could be major obstacles to getting great shots. 

Here are some common preconceived notions and why we should throw them out the window:

myth1 Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photography1. I am too young to learn how to use a digital camera – believe it or not, but children as young as 5 or 6 can take good photos. With guidance and patience from a parent or relative, children can learn quickly and you would be surprised how much creativity and imagination can appear in their shots. They are at that age when the whole world is still new and wondrous and photographs taken by children are a great way to see how their minds work. Your old cheap point-and-shoot will be ideal for children to practice on and under your supervision, they can grow up with not just fantastic photography skills but they will also have a deep appreciation of the world around them. 

myth2 Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photography2. I am too old to learn how to use a digital camera – is your vision still decent enough? Do you have enough strength to lift the camera and press the shutter button? Is your mind still sharp enough to retain information? Can you still appreciate the beauty in what you see around you? If you say yes to the above questions, most likely you are not too old to learn how to use a digital camera. First of all, the average point and shoot is so simple that all you have to do is know how to turn it on, point the camera towards what you want to shoot, press the shutter button and the camera will do the rest of the hard work for you. This might be too simple an example, but really, a compact camera is very simple to use. Now the extra effort comes from the desire to take more than just a dull snapshot. If you still have the desire to create good pictures, no matter if you are old and it takes longer for you to learn new things, then do not let this excuse stop you. 

3. There are too many buttons to press and settings to figure out – compact cameras these days are designed to be extremely easy to use and convenient to bring around. Features are still advanced but are usually automatic so one does not need to worry about them. Face recognition, autofocus, anti-shake, red-eye rmyth3 Shedding Light on the Common Misconceptions About Photographyeduction, all these are readily available in most point and shoots. Not only that, the quality of these cameras remain high and one can take sharp and clear shots without even trying. If you feel that the buttons and settings are overwhelming, steadily learn how to use each button or setting by testing it with practice shots. There is no better way to learn how to your camera works than to fiddle with it and to take lots of shots. Ask a photographer friend to help you or find out through photo books or online how the basic features work. 

4. My camera is to blame for my terrible shots – A high-end DSLR camera can produce ugly shots while a primitive phone camera can present award-winning shots. The bottom line is it is not the camera that dictates how good or bad the image will turn out but rather the photographer using the gadget. Certain cameras have limitations but it is your job to know how to work with it, adapt to it and push it to create good images. If you want to stop having terrible shots, stop using your camera as an excuse and instead practice honing your technical skills and artistic expression. 


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Learn from Your Photography Mistakes

There are thousands of little mistakes that can wreck a potential great shot and the following is a list of the most common beginner photographer’s areas of improvement and how they can be avoided or resolved:

Placing a horizon line in the middle of your frame – this will cut your image in half and can appear jarring to look at. Unless it was your intent for creative reasons that will surely enhance the shot, place the horizon line on a third of the frame instead for a more pleasing composition. This goes the same for both horizontal and vertical lines. 

Cutting off the top part of a person’s head or parts of the feet – have you ever seen those snapshots where the person is standing and smiling and everything seems just right until you suddenly realize the person’s feet seem to have been cut off at the ankles in the photo? Before pressing that shutter button, first check and make sure everything that should be in the shot is included in the frame. 

Here is an example:

cutfeetcomp Learn from Your Photography Mistakes

Forgetting to half-press the shutter release to lock in focus – when using autofocus, aim your lens at the subject and then half-press the shutter release button before taking the shot to lock in your point of focus so that it stays sharp. This is essential especially if your depth of field is shallow and you want a certain part of the subject to be in defined while the rest of the frame is blurry.

Placing a subject in front of a mirror or pane of glass then shoot using a flash – reflective surfaces will bounce back the light from your flash and cause flare and blown out highlights. This could ruin the shot beyond repair in post processing. To avoid this issue, you can position the subject against a different background or change your shooting angle so as not to include the reflective surface in your shot. You can also do without flash entirely and choose another light source instead such as window light or a lamp light. 

Shooting from too far away – another common error that budding photographers make is to shoot the subject from such a distance that it can no longer be noticed and appreciated. If your subject begins to blend in with the background, it is time to move closer if you can or use the zoom function if you cannot get any closer to your subject. Moving close to the subject not only gives it more importance, but this action also allows you to remove background distractions from the image frame area. 

Here is an example:

cropcomp Learn from Your Photography Mistakes

Placing the camera on an unstable surface – if you are in a situation where you have to let go of your camera (such as a self-portrait) and do not have a tripod on hand to keep it steady, you can be inventive and place your camera on a steady surface such as a table or the floor. BUT do not let your guard down for a second and place your camera on something that does not offer much support such as on an uneven ledge or high up on a stack of pillow, with the thought that it will only be for a few seconds. It does not take a second for your camera’s weight to shift, topple over and crack in several places. 


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How to Photograph the Essence of the Dance

 

To be able to convey the elements of dance in one single photograph can be a very difficult goal for any photographer because photography is mainly the capturing of unmoving images, while dance is the total opposite.  The art of photography should be able to convey a three dimensional perspective using a two dimensional plane. Time also plays an important part in dance. With all this to consider, how can a simple photograph of people or a person dancing hold such visual impact? In creating an ideal dance image, your photograph should be able to embody the magnificence of a dancer in mid-motion. The spectacle on stage is compounded with choreography and the essence of motion. Every movement that is expressed in every fraction of a moment during the performance is a photo opportunity for you. Many photographers throw in the towel after many attempts and getting blurry images. 

Here are some great tips on how to take fantastic dance photos:

Catch the motion – one of the most difficult tasks that the photographer might encounter is the constant movement of the dancers. Low lighting is possible since stage lighting is not enough to get sharp images. When the performance is going on, using a flash is usually not allowed because it can be distracting for the performers and the audience. Make sure that your digital camera has the capacity dance1 How to Photograph the Essence of the Danceto shoot at high ISO of 1600 or more. If possible, make sure you are equipped with a lens that is 70mm-200mm for bigger aperture sizes of f/2.8 and below. It can be difficult to use zoom lenses with a stop down of f/4 or f/5.6 aperture so try to avoid using this. Even with adequate lighting, you may want to show some motion blur in your shots to portray the movement of the dancers. A relatively slow shutter speed such as 1/20 sec can show movement trails while leaving parts of the scene sharp enough to be recognizable. The best way to know the right settings would be to experiment and settle on the exposure adjustments that work best.

Know how to shoot and focus within a split second – with constant movement happening during the performance, capturing the right moment can be difficult. Due to the lag time of the shutter mechanism of all cameras. Shutter lag is the length of time between the clicking of the shutter button to when the shutter actually opens and closes. Although this might only be a fraction of a second, it is enough for you to lose a valuable opportunity. Bear in mind that there could be two reasons for the delay. For one, the autofocus system might need some time to adjust to the distance of the subject as well as gauge the focus to match this distance. Second, digital cameras need some time to assess any available light to be able to get the right settings for shutter speed and aperture to get the appropriate exposure. The camera measures these two actions each time you press the shutter. Make sure that the camera you use can quickly focus and lock unto a subject. If you have the budget, you can check out a lens that is capable of ultrasonic motor (USM) which would be ideal for catching quick movements.dance2 How to Photograph the Essence of the Dance

Focus manually – with low-lighting situations, it is oftentimes not advisable to rely on autofocus. The great advantage in capturing dance images is that the subjects dance on stage. This assures you that there is a specific distance between you and the stage. This way you can effectively manually focus. A common term for this is a photojournalist’s working mode. You can do this by disabling the focus from the shutter and put it on a varying button located at the back portion of the camera. With constant practice, you will get the hang of this. As long as the distance between the camera and the performers are constant, all you have to do is adjust your focus on the performer, get a few photographs in, and then adjust your focus yet again for the next series of shots. 

dance4 How to Photograph the Essence of the Dance Preset your aperture and shutter speed – by setting the aperture and shutter speed to manual mode before your shoot, you can get rid of auto-exposure delay. Usually you can use a shutter speed of 1/60 sec for relatively slower dance performances and 1/125 sec for faster performances. If you use a shutter speed slower than 1/60 sec you will most definitely get blurry images. Try to use different types of aperture until you find the right exposure and do not forget to check the exposure indicator for that. For low lighting scenarios, the camera’s indicator will tell you that the image is underexposed even at a time that the aperture is wide open. Here you will have to adjust your ISO to a higher level. Some DSLR cameras can still produce sharp images even if the ISO is set up to 1600. Remember that as you increase your ISO, the grainier your images will be, or the more you will have digital noise. That is why it is always advantageous to invest in good quality DSLR cameras when you would start to encounter these types of problems with an ISO at 3200.


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