|University of Essex (SXDance) Wilcard Commercial - my favourite photo from the day|
Last month, I received an email from the Vice President of the University of Essex Dance Club, known as SXDance, asking if I'd be interested in photographing their upcoming multi-uni, multi-genre competition. She had been referred to me from my previous work photographing rowing and athletics, which I will post about in the coming weeks. The difference here is that once I'd said I was game, she asked "how much would you like to be paid?". Now this was new for me - previously I'd had expenses such as lunch on the day paid for but never an hourly rate!
This was very much the outcome I had desired when I started doing sports photography. Whilst I enjoy the company and the opportunity to practice my photography, and experience new sports, my first day with athletics lasted thirteen hours not even including time spent editing. It was too much to do regularly unpaid but hopefully my luck with this will continue and I will be able to justify it, both to myself and my parents! Anyway, on to the photos themselves.
|University of Southampton Intermediate Ballet - I liked the careful poise of the dancers, particularly the central subject|
I really like the framing of this image (apart from the foremost girl's foot partially missing!) but the grain is very evident. Most of the photos were taken with the ISO cranked to 6400 and for once, Lightroom's auto tone feature was struggling to keep the final results correctly exposed. In the end, I had to whittle my original 1500 or so photos down to a more manageable 467, many of which I had to edit individually. Apart from the ISO being high, another compromise I had to make was reducing the shutter speed. Ideally, I would be shooting at a shutter speed of 1/400 sec to prevent blur but in this case, this simply didn't allow enough light to hit the sensor so I had to reduce it to just 1/200 sec, allowing motion blur to creep in.
Overall, I very much enjoyed photographing the dancing and would happily do it again, hopefully with better lighting! Many of the dance styles such as Essex's ballet were performed to modern Top 40 songs rather than the more typical slower classical songs I expected. Other genres, such as jazz and contemporary, I had never seen at all before. The performances were fast paced and fun, resulting in a happy crowd and cheerful atmosphere.