Dance Photographer Tatiana Wills Has Deep Roots in Medium Format Film

All images by Tatiana Wills. Used with permission. Follow her @tcwills and check out her website.

“I pay attention to my dreams and ideas that pop up into my subconscious around 3AM,” says Tatiana Wills about where she draws inspiration from. “…foregoing some of the luxuries pre-COVID afforded me, I’ve gone back to an idea I had 15 years ago to put my work into public spaces, once again playing and experimenting while the outside world feels chaotic. It’s all I know how to do.” Indeed, her sense of experimentation comes through in her work, at least when it comes to working with her subject matter. On the technical side though, we can all agree that it’s clean and vibrant–with a unique look amongst much of the more painterly styles that are out there and the street scenes we see. And part of that comes from Tatiana’s work in medium format film.

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Omar Z Robles on the Challenges of Photographing Dancers with Film

Omar Z Robles is well known for his dance photography, and he’s taken it a step further recently.

“People nowadays think almost like a tribe about equipment and gear,” says Omar Z Robles about his recent project shot on film. “But in the end they’re just tools to carry your vision.” We’re inclined to agree–in the same way that a painter can create works of art with a variety of brushes, a photographer can do the same. We’ve spoken with Omar about his creative process on Inside the Photographer’s Mind before, and he’s very careful about his overall creation process. While one may think he simply capturing scenes, he’s actively directing–which is what most folks don’t do vs simply capturing. With years of shooting under his belt, this was an interesting mental challenge for Omar; which he obviously succeeded at.

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Tutorial: A Practical Application of Rear Curtain Sync Flash Settings

If you’re fond of shooting the graceful movements of dance, you might want to experiment with shooting with flash in rear curtain sync mode using these settings.

Rear curtain sync mode is one of the creative techniques at your disposal when you work with flash. Basically, the flash fires off towards the end of an exposure, or just before the rear/second curtain closes. With this technique, you can produces some really cool-looking blur and light trails while your subject remains in focus. That makes it popular for experimenting with capturing movement using flash. In this quick tutorial, wedding and portrait photographer Jen Marino shares her go-to settings for shooting dance photos.

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Inside the Photographer’s Mind: Kien Quan

Photographer Kien Quan joined us on Inside the Photographer’s Mind to talk about his dance photography.

We had our first dance photographer recently on Inside the Photographer’s Mind as Kien Quan graced us with his presence. Kien started out as a dancer and then decided that he wanted to get into photography. As Kien explains, he always goes about stuff the hard way. So he got a camera, lights, looked up tutorials, and then got into capturing his friends in his dance crew. From there, he networked with other dancers and did the same thing.

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Dario Belic Captures Croatian Breakdance Scene Through Portraiture

All images by Dario Belic. Used with Creative Commons permission.

One of the most interesting features of this day and age is how our connectedness has allowed us to appreciate and share many cultures and creative styles with people from virtually everywhere. Through a portrait project, Croatian photographer Dario Belic gives us a peek into how this applies to the world of breakdance in his hometown of Zagreb. Dance is certainly one of the most challenging yet beautiful topics for a photography project, especially if it’s one that reflects a shared passion for it among different cultures. Bboyz, Dario’s portrait project which features Croatian break dancers, explores his hometown’s fascination for the style of street dance that originated far back in the 1970s, and over 4,000 miles away in New York City, as part of hiphop culture.

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Charlie Naebeck’s Energetic “Kinetic” Project Takes Dance Photography to New Heights

All images by Charlie Naebeck. Used with permission.

After more than a year of shooting, scouting for collaborators, editing photos, and putting everything together, Charlie Naebeck is finally set to release a book to culminate his Kinetic project. This series, which is an exploration of the energy of dance, is his own take on photographing the graceful movements of this art form through long exposures and multiple exposures. Early into the project last year, we’ve given a preview of his experimental and non-conventional approach to photographing the dancers he collaborated with. Now, he’s gearing up for a worldwide launch of his Kinetic book and an accompanying music album on October 20th.

To catch up with him and learn more about his project, we recently had a chat with Charlie, who shared in great detail the processes, motivations, and ideas behind Kinetic, as well as some information about his upcoming international launch.

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Stone Zhu: Fantastic Neon Studio Portraiture

All images by Stone Zhu. Used with permission.

My name is Stone Zhu. Growing up in China, my sense of self as well as my aesthetics were deeply informed by traditional culture, values and art. Culturally we are meditative, introspective, modest, and moody. Strong reds, blacks, and whites fill our artwork, architecture, and sculpture. In traditional painting emptiness is highly regarded and the image is often constrained to the edges of the picture.

In contrast, my experience of Western culture has revealed a frenetic, open, and random quality that is foreign to my sensibilities. The body is regarded with sensuality, idealism, and erotic fantasy. My photographic practice has become a blend of these disparate and distinct cultures. The formal qualities of Chinese art are boldly present while, at the same time, I have felt more able to explore my fascination with the body as an object of beauty and desire.

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Luc Kordas Captures The Emotion And Soul Of Dancers

All images by Luc Kordas. Used with permission. 

“The world of dance and theater is dark and full of mysteries and I am diving into it,” says Luc Kordas about his most recent project. It is no easy task to photograph dancers and capture their energy, movements, and souls. Luc, whom we have featured previously here, has delivered an updated, on-going, powerful series of black and white dance images titled “Nocturnes”.

Luc Kordas is inspired by the photo book “Islands of Silence” by Donata Wender showcasing black and white images of ballet dancers. In his own personal photography project shooting the dancers, Luc emphasizes the intimate moments when dancers are one on one with themselves and their art. This often happens not necessarily on stage, but more often at backstage. He also pays attention to visually pleasing details such as ballet shoes, fragments of garments, focused or seemingly lost gazes, and fleeting gestures that represent pure visual poetry.

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Josephine Cardin’s Comfort in Chaos is Inspired By Music


All images by Josephine Cardin. Used with permission.

Music is usually an inspiration to lots of artists and folks who are busy working. But Josephine Cardin uses it in a different way while combining it with emotions and a beautiful ethereal look. Josephine is a New York based photographer that shot architecture, took a break and came back with a heavy art focus. She tells us that her work is inspired by dance, music, and the human themes of loneliness, isolation, fear, and transformation.

She has been exhibited in many galleries across the world and also published in many places. Her Comfort in Chaos series really grabbed us, and we just needed to talk to her about it.

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Capturing Movement with Daniel DeArco

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Daniel DeArco is a 22-year-old photographer who has crafted a career around the human body. Originally trained as a dancer, DeArco experienced a series of unfortunate events that led him from a prospective career in Cirque du Soleil to a successful career as a photographer. His understanding of movement has helped him develop a creative vision that has set his work apart from others in his field. He seeks to create timeless moments in which the performer is the sole focus of the photograph.

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Brooklyn Photographer Beautifully Captures Graceful Ballet Movements in New Series


All photographs taken by and used with expressed permission from Jesús Chapa-Malacara.

Motion has always been Brooklyn-based photographer Jesús Chapa-Malacara‘s focus in many, if not most, of his photographs. A former contemporary ballet dancer himself, he knows and understands motion as well as sees the aesthetics in it that many won’t – whether it be from a small child in play or an athlete in training. And he’s learned to translate what he sees into photographs so that everyone else can appreciate it too.

Jesús loves and has a knack for capturing dances in his photographs but most recently, he has taken this talent into another level. He’s taken his focus from one part of dance to the other, lesser known one. Rather than taking the usual photos of dance moves or tricks, he’s now focusing on the in-between – the movement of a dancer between each position, and he’s figured out a way to show all these in-between movements in a single shot, without the help of Photoshop.

As improbable as it may seem, what you see in that photograph (and the ones below) is not the result of Photoshop but instead of true innovation in what today might be considered old-school photography. Thoughtful and creative lighting, extraordinary photo subjects, an exacting attention to detail and a lot of hard work (on my part as well as on the part of my dance friends).

To launch his new found technique, which he plans to pursue further through a Kickstarter campaign, he has released a stunning series called “Esprit de Corps.” Esprit de Corps features beautifully and artfully-captured photographs of some of the world’s best ballet dancers in motion. Each of the photographs in this series is as haunting as it is extraordinary, showing the fluid movements of each dancer as if time has slowed down considerably and then suddenly frozen, so that you see the ghosts of past movements surrounding a dancer in midst graceful motion.

See the amazing photos in this series after the jump. To find out more about Jesús’ work, check out his website or follow him on Facebook or Twitter.

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