Russian State Ballet in Zhenjiang China
I have never shot ballet before so I jump at the chance to go and shoot this show and I assumed that except for the lighting, that this would be an easy job.
The show used a lot of LED lighting which I hate because it floods the image with pure colors and there is little you can do with the file except to convert it to Black and White.
Shooting ballet was much more difficult that I had expected. The biggest problems I had was shutter speed and the dancers limbs. The dancers moved very quickly on stage at times and to freeze their jumps and movements meant that I needed a shutter speed of around 1/500 second and in such dark conditions, I had to use ISO 8000 and above. Even when I was freezing the dancers motions, I consistently underestimated how long there legs were and ended up cropping off their toes or fingers. I had some great looking shoots that were ruined by a cropped toe or finger.
I really enjoyed shooting the ballet, it was tough, technical assignment and needed a lot of concentration. I was exhausted at the end of the show, but I had so much more fun than I had expected. Coming from the music photography world, I guess I had the wrong stereotype about ballet in my head. I left the theater that night with real appreciation for ballet and the ballet dancers.