Folk dancing photography

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    A tricky but rewarding thing. The lighting’s usually terrible, I haven’t used strobes until just this week when I got my SB-700, and the movement is erratic. I haven’t done much of this lately since I’ve been good about getting partners for every dance. 🙂

    [Some people may show up repeatedly, since they may dance at many of the regional events and are just great dancers!]

    _DSD6686 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    _DSE0582 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    _DSE5504 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    _DSE6835 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    _DSE0487 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    _DSE6798 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    _DSE3160 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr


    Cool stuff Pickerel Thanks for sharing!


    I particularly like the feel of the final shot. If the background had been different (or blurred out with a shallow DOF) I think it’d be a really intense look.


    That’s what I like about using my 70-200 for this, or even the 35 or 50 f/1.8s to a lesser extent. I’m getting a 24mm f/1.4 lens soon so that’ll be excellent for this. Usually I’m shooting up close and wide with a 20mm f/2.8 or 12-24mm f/4 since there isn’t much room to work with. Shallower DOF is nice too so I can blur out the occasional person that doesn’t want to be in any photos. :/


    A couple shots I really enjoyed from the dance I was at last Thursday… I have the Nikkor 24mm f/1.4 now and while it didn’t wind up being as good as I thought it would for dance (autofocus can be a trick), it gives me great results when I work it right.

    Feburary 23, 2012 – Glenside Contra by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    February 23, 2012 – Glenside Couples Dance by El_Pickerel, on Flickr


    A couple new shots, from a dance weekend at the end of May. I am so far behind on my processing… Greenfield, MA. Guiding Star Grange, a dance hall legendary in the contra dance community. The lighting was great here early in the day, too.

    _DSG4886 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr

    _DSG4882 by El_Pickerel, on Flickr


    Exactly what sort of folk are these? I don’t recognize their costumes from the usual traditional garb.


    There is no real traditional garb to this… it is American folk dancing, originating from English country dancing in the 1700s and 1800s. It was on the decline for a while, but experienced a revival 30 or so years ago and while still a small community, it is a vibrant and dedicated one. At least that is the case where I have gone.

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