Monday, 25 January 2016

Kim Ayres - Dance with a slow shutter speed

Alexandra retired from professional ballet dancing when she was 40 and then went on to become a fitness instructor. Now in her mid-60s, she is still incredibly fit and lithe.

We were put in contact via a mutual friend, and last summer she came to this corner of Scotland to collaborate with me in a series of photos for 2 separate projects.

When hunting for a potential venue for the shoot, I came across the Dumfries School of Dance, which is based in an old school house. With high windows and a wooden floor, it had just the atmosphere I was looking for.

In exchange for the use of the studio we were asked if we could do a couple of photos for the Dance School itself. I was specifically asked if it was possible for some slightly abstract ones of the dancer, and a black silk scarf was left with us if we wanted to use it.

In order to show the space, give a sense of movement, and have an abstract feel, I decided using a slow shutter-speed while Alexandra danced would be a good approach.

Using natural light only, I put the camera on a tripod and set the shutter speed between 1/3rd and 1/5th of a second.

It was a dull day and there were no colours to make a feature of, so in post production I converted the images to black and white.

Kim Ayres

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