My photo blog… visual thoughts around me.

Dance- “Life’s Musical Instrument”

"Hitting all the right notes"

“Hitting all the right notes”

Dancing is something I only dream I could pull off, but when utilizing photography, it becomes a different story altogether. By combining inspiration from Lois Greenfield (dance photography), Frank Veronsky (portrait), Denise Ippolito (creative-motion) and some street cred from DC Fahsbender, this has become my second attempt at shooting dancers. To give you a small snippet of what this involves, I would like to break it down for you. The recipe… throw 6 professional dancers into a narrow but high ceiling bowl (room) is key, as they need room to breathe (jump). Next, set up lighting and camera… the camera is very old school, meaning you get only one click before you have to reset the shutter… this is where personal taste and timing come into play. Tether this camera to a computer with a screen to sample (view) the results. As you can see, there are a lot of ingredients that are needed, including the right combination of music, movement and intuition.

Magic seems to happen when you start to feel both the music and a dancer’s interpretation. Timing, and an awareness of what will happen next, is what turns an almost shot into a perfect capture. This capture is what is very hard to connect with, as it only appears in milliseconds. If you could see my out-takes, you would fully understand how fleeting this is. The joy I get, is interacting with the dancers to create that moment. With no background in dance, I have to rely on my quick finger and an eye for composition.

When finished, I am able to open up the captures in my digital darkroom and discover what a dancer’s movements have created. Their forms react to the environment, and with a leap, twist or spin, their human core emits a note that is just as perfect as when played on an instrument. That sound (moment) is caught and then processed to create my own composition. I hope my photographs help you both see and hear the beauty in LIFE’s dance.




29 responses

  1. Music is life and dance brings it more to life.. This pictures are amazing Mike.. 😀


    November 15, 2015 at 5:34 am

  2. DC

    WOW!!! I mean WOW! I had never seen these, Mike. These shots are beyond beautiful and amazingly captured!


    October 1, 2015 at 11:43 pm

    • Hey DC… thanks for checking in. I really appreciate your comments, especially your eye for timing and composition.


      October 2, 2015 at 6:45 am

  3. These results of your split-second intuition and timing are simply exquisite. I would love to have a similar opportunity some day!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 11, 2015 at 4:10 pm

    • Thanks Gary… you see the dance all around your garden Gary. Big thanks for the visit.


      August 12, 2015 at 9:51 pm

  4. Stunning. Absolutely stunning.


    August 2, 2015 at 9:57 pm

    • Thanks Carissa… very happy you were able to experience these pics.


      August 3, 2015 at 10:42 am

  5. Gorgeous images… you certainly have the ‘recipe’ down!

    Liked by 1 person

    August 2, 2015 at 10:12 am

    • As you know when it comes to recipes… a lil extra this or that can really make or break it 🙂


      August 3, 2015 at 10:44 am

  6. Great series – and great idea to photograph dancers!

    Liked by 1 person

    July 15, 2015 at 6:30 pm

  7. Impressive work. Makes me think we need a Salon category for SJCC competitions.

    Liked by 1 person

    July 14, 2015 at 10:53 am

    • Bog LOL… as you know we have visited and re-visited this topic… maybe if we re-named it something else and only had it in the digital cat, that might work… thanks for the visit 🙂


      July 14, 2015 at 2:39 pm

  8. jopat700

    These are utterly stunning, Mike!


    July 13, 2015 at 12:44 am

    • Twice as nice… thanks Joanna!!!


      July 13, 2015 at 2:48 am

  9. jopat700

    Mike, these are utterly stunning! I travel to far-off places attempting to get unusual photos. I think I need to change my strategy. I’ll just follow you around and save a ton of $
    and have just as much fun without the hassle. Fantastic. You certainly know how to pull it all together. These are so impressive. You must be so pleased with your efforts. We certainly are. I’m applauding!


    July 13, 2015 at 12:43 am

    • I hear ya Joanna… the cost of travel can be high. 90% of what I shoot is within the US and as you have found out can be very rewarding… thanks for the beautiful comments.


      July 13, 2015 at 2:47 am

  10. I am speechless! This is incredible Mike! I can both see and hear life’s dance 🙂 Thank you!


    July 12, 2015 at 8:36 pm

    • Thanks for the words Cindy…. glad they spoke to you.


      July 13, 2015 at 2:51 am

  11. Really great flow to all of these Mike. I especially like the silhouettes!


    July 12, 2015 at 7:36 pm

    • You and me both Denise… they were fun to set up but really hard to time to get the separation needed between the dancers.


      July 13, 2015 at 2:49 am

  12. exquisite


    July 12, 2015 at 7:00 am

    • Many thanks …Lance…. I am happy they spoke to you.


      July 12, 2015 at 11:23 am

  13. Cynthia L McCaffrey

    Hi Mike, Once again you are full of wonderful photographic surprises! Your photographs are OUTSTANDING! Very well done! I am a bit green right now but that will pass. The next time you find and opportunity of this magnitude, please contact us. I would so love to try photographing dancers of this quality! It cannot be an easy endeavor.




    July 12, 2015 at 12:32 am

    • Hey Cindy…. will do… you are right about not being easy but the experience and the end product were worth it. Thanks for keeping in touch and especially your comments.


      July 12, 2015 at 11:26 am

  14. Just utterly exquisite!


    July 11, 2015 at 10:00 pm

    • Thanks could not get to shoot lions so I had to settle for dancers… 🙂


      July 12, 2015 at 12:11 am

  15. Great dance scenes.


    July 11, 2015 at 6:10 pm

    • Thanks for the comment Bob!!!


      July 12, 2015 at 12:12 am

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