Do you remember the first stop-motion movie, with a galloping horse? Eadweard Muybridge made it in 1872, and the funny thing is – the first stop-motion movie was made because of a bet. The question was: do all four of the horse’s hooves leave the ground at the same time at any point of the gallop? And Leland Stanford, the founder of the Stanford University, hired Muybridge to help him settle the bet.
A well made photograph never gets boring to look at. As proven by the images that make up Shinichi Maruyama’s Nude series, which features gorgeous photographs of nude dancers. The photographs, however, are not your average studio shot and that beautiful display of the dancers motion wasn’t captured using long exposure techniques as you might suspect. Rather, Maruyama photographed the dancers using frame rates near 2,000 frames per second. In total, each individual image you see is actually made up of about 10,000 frames that were composited together during post production. [Read more…]
Photographer, Phillip McCordall, has put together a great video tutorial explaining the how he uses a combination of studio lighting, slow shutter speeds, and rear curtain sync to create almost atmospheric photographs of dancers, such as the photo you see above. While there are many applications in which you can use this technique on, the graceful leaps of the dancer are really eye catching when you are able to illustrate the motion of them, too.
If you’re not already familiar with rear curtain sync, this could be a really fun project for you learn it with. To put it briefly, when shooting with a rear curtain sync, the flash will fire at the end of the exposure rather than the beginning of the exposure. When used with a slow shutter speed, this allows you to record motion (as a blur) using only the ambient light at the beginning of the exposure, then right before the shutter closes, the flash will fire and freeze the motion.
My friend wanted to shoot ballet dancers and had a “peg” that she wanted to do. She wanted to show the flow of the movement of the dancers but also stop motion so their faces can be seen. I really like new challenges because it gets me thinking again and it pushes me to research and practice new techniques.