Dance Photography with the new Fujifilm X-T3
The human form in motion is one of the most elusive yet intriguing photographic themes. Capturing the graceful forms of in-flight dancers, capturing a moment in 1/2000 seconds and all that makes dance photography a favorite of mine!
Just before the holiday season, I got a phone call from FujiFilm Portugal, my brand new Fujifilm X-T3 was on its way! It was recently voted the best camera of 2018. When you feel it in your hands and use it you can definitely understand why! Not only it is a powerhouse, shooting stills super fast at 30 frames per second, but as well it’s also one of the best video cameras in its segment.
Basically, I divided the shoot into two main parts. The first one I had a big piece of cloth hanging from the ceiling that the model could use. This was more of a warm-up for the fun part: the dance photography! First, we made some images of her jumping to get an idea of how it looks. It was the time to bring the big bucket with flour hanging in my studio for these type of things. Again we started it slowly by her throwing it without moving much, and gradually turning it into harder and harder jumps and poses to perform. I love how the flour, such a simple material, becomes as if one with the movements of the dancer.
Camera and Lighting
On this shoot, I had a prototype of the Fujifilm X-T3. A little beast of a camera that eventually I ended up buying as a worthy successor of my X-T2. I paired it with the Fujinon XF56mm F1.2, that way I could shoot all the action happening in front of the camera and being far away from all the dust flying in the air.
In terms of lighting, I had my big Westcott Octabank with a Profoto D2. I mounted that one on a boom stand and placed it on top of the model turned a bit to the background to avoid flares in my camera. The second light was a Profoto B1, with a Westcott Stripbank. This one, I placed on the right side of the camera closer to the model. It helped me get a bit more information on her legs and body. I had big Westcott silver ScrimJim placed behind the model on the left side of the camera.
Amazing new backdrops
At Photokina this past year, I saw these pretty backdrops in one of the booths. Later I talked with the guys at Ibermagem and they quickly hooked me up with FotoSTILfondo. They sent me two of their canvas backdrops to try out. I asked them for their biggest sizes since the images I had planned were full body, including jumps and space on top – the size of 2.6 by 6 meters made it happen perfectly. The dance photography with Clara and all the dust and jumping put the backdrop to a really good test of resistance from its very first shoot. I must say it was super easy to clean, the flour we poured all over was simply vacuumed out. Its grip was perfect for the dancer to perform some complex jumps without the danger of sliding.
If you are interested in getting the backdrops here is their price list, without IVA.
Fujinon XF56mm F1.2;
Profoto D2 and B1;
Westcott Octabank and Stripbank;
3LeggedThing Albert tripod;
SanDisk Extreme SD card;