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A Short Photo Essay: Ballet Dancing – Show Me Your Feet

by Woodrow Walden

Last summer, I had the opportunity to do a ballet dancer photo shoot featuring my two nieces, one of whom was a member of the National Ballet of Canada school. Since they weren’t looking for a “traditional” ballet dancing photo series, I tried to scout out a couple of outdoor locations that had some interesting features as a backdrop.

Ballet Dancing - Underpass Park

Underpass Park in Toronto

The first location we chose was at the Underpass Park in the Corktown area of Toronto. The second location was the abandoned Eastern Avenue Bridge over the Don River which is a close walk from the Underpass Park.

This shoot also happened to be my first experience shooting outdoors with strobes so there was a little bit of a learning curve involved. The Elinchrom ELB 400 Hi-Sync system i had rented from Vistek was pretty easy to set-up and figure out, but even so, I wasn’t as happy with the photos from the underpass location as I would have liked to have been.

Another aspect that I learned was that it’s important to understand the subject matter that you are shooting. Going into this not knowing any of the correct ballet terminology made it much harder to direct the girls through their moves. Lucky for me, their parents were there as well so they were able to direct them instead.

In the end, the entire photo shoot lasted about 4 hours which is about as long as any of us could take in the mid-day sun and heat.

Below are the photos from the shoot that I am happiest with.

Ballet Dancing Au Natural

With the exception of the first photo of the shoes, all other photos are from the Eastern Avenue Bridge location.

Ballet Dancing - Shoes

Dancing Shoes

Ballet Dancing - En Pointe

Ballet Dancing - Dancers

Playing Peek-a-Boo

Ballet Dancing

En Pointe

Ballet Dancing

Leaping for joy when it was all over

Ballet Dancing

Ballet Dancing

Two very tired girls


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