Sunday, June 22, 2008

Cesar on "fire"

I finally managed to finish my first personal project entitled "Elements of Dance" and I'm here to show you the results of my efforts. But, before I do that, allow me to thank Cesar, Caitlyn, Bradley and Deborah that kindly agreed to work with me on this. It was a pleasure to work with you all and I look forward to do it all over again for another assignment.
So, as you know, I want to submit these photos to the Pasadena Art Walk committee and together with Marta we chose two pictures per dancer.
The first two are those of Cesar dancing under the moonlight. In the framework of this project he represents fire for me and I hope he shows it.
You might have seen these already on flickr, but I want to re-propose them here with a few more details about how I made them and in a larger format so that you can better appreciate the images.

This is the first image. Since he represents fire, we chose it because his look makes the picture. I also love his pose, the detail of the dancing shoe appearing from behind the post and the dynamic. I can see him dancing around that post and I like the intensity of his look and the elegance of his movements.

The second image was shot with the same lighting scheme and we liked it better than others because there is a lot of movement in it. The moonlight shining on the floor and the intensity of his performance.
Cesar is a very talented dancer and I hope my photos render justice to his capabilities.

Moving on to the technical details, I used the lamp post as key light, one flash camera left (snooted and gelled for a warm tone) as fill aimed directly over Cesar's upper torso and another one right behind the post set on a wide angle and gelled to give a light bluish tone on the ground as if it was illuminated by the moon. Actually the moon light wasn't strong enough to do that but I gave it a little kick with the flash. WB was incandescent, so the lamp light appeared neutral, the flash camera left was gelled with 1+1/4 CTO and the other one just with 1/2 CTO, that given the WB setting on camera game a nice light blue tone. Everything was fired remotely by the on camera flash. Unfortunately, since one flash was right behind the post, sometimes it was difficult to trigger it, since I had to be in a spot were on camera flash had a direct sight of the flash sensor but the lens didn't. So I had to play a little bit on my position (and Cesar's) to avoid misfiring that light. Also that light helps me rim Cesar with a nice bluish color from the back so that there is a better separation between him and the background.

As usual, if you click on the image you'll see a larger version, but this time is big enough to appreciate it.

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Bela Adu said...

First of all, I like your writing. You're funny and I can tell you put a lot of heart in what you are doing. Then, I'll tell you how I perceive your photos with respect to the symbols they are trying to depict.

"Cesar and fire" ... well, when I think fire, I think warmth and passion. While I get some passion from the dancer’s pose (especially the one in which he is leaning on the post), the colors of the pictures seem rather cold to me. If I didn't read your post, I wouldn't think fire looking at those pictures. I'll get back to comment on the other pictures. Till then … Good luck with the competition and congratulations for your courage to pursue your hobby in a world with so many photographers.

Paolo said...

Thanks for your comment, Bela.
I appreciate your opinion, especially the critics. Anyway, I agree with you, out of the 4 elements, Cesar is the one that misses the point more than the others, but that's obviously my fault not his!
Still, as you said, his fire comes from the inside, but I take your point.