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Archive 2012 · 2012 The Nutcracker
Dave 1234
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Ron M. encouraged me to post some Nutcracker pictures. I am a retired teacher and photograph dance performances in the Lansing, MI area. The dancers here are between eight and eighteen years of age, with the exception of several guest male dancers.



















Dec 22, 2012 at 02:53 AM
Kenneth Farver
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 2012 The Nutcracker

These are very good. Thanks for sharing. I will get to see this performance tomorrow, but I am leaving my camera at home.
Welcome to the forum. Be sure to post other themes you have shot at the theatre.

Dec 22, 2012 at 02:59 AM
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Great work!

Dec 22, 2012 at 04:10 AM
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Dave, I've been seeing your work for the last year or two, and you usually have to deal with some tough lighting conditions. You had some really nice light in some of these shots, and you really used it to your advantage. Nice job!!! I've seen you produce some really beautiful dance performance shots in the past, but this is your best work yet!

No. 2 just rocks my boat, love how some of the snowflakes are OOF. My other faves are No. 1 and No. 9, but all of them rock. Great job!!!

Dec 22, 2012 at 04:48 AM
Jim Rickards
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Some really nice shots in this set. Very nice work.

A few nits or discussion points.

#1 (and many others, like 4, 5, 6, 7, & 8) consider cropping the black at the bottom of the frame. See if you think that keeps attention on the dancers.

#2 So much empty space up top, yet we don't see the bottom of her dress.

#3 & #4. Love 'em.

#5 Love this one too. How about cropping/cloning the right side dancers that we see so little of?

#6 Good photography - it's just the two main dancers are turned away.

# 7 The leaping dancers would be a great shot if you got them all. Also, the dancer on the right is a good study, but not with the leaping dancers next to her. What I'm suggesting here is composing for one group or the other.

#8. A little busy in the middle, but I really like it anyway.

#9 Love this one too. I do think some cropping of the bottom will make it even better.

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:01 PM

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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Great work and good timing Dave thanks a lot for posting it!

Dec 22, 2012 at 12:20 PM
Dave 1234
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Thanks, Ron. Unlike most dance venues I work in, the lighting was quite good for this Nutcracker performance. It is held at the Wharton Center on the campus of Michigan State University and performed by the Children's Ballet Theatre, of Lansing. They do terrific work and all of the roles are danced by young performers, except for a few male roles. They also do a spring show each year, but that is held at a local high school. This spring they are performing "Sleeping Beauty." Their shows are wonderful for the whole family. Many of their dancers go on to study dance at the university level, and on to professional dance careers.

And thanks for encouraging me to post my work. I always enjoy seeing your outstanding dance pictures, and more.

Dec 22, 2012 at 06:20 PM
Dave 1234
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Thanks so much, Jim, for your critique. That is exactly what I need. Let me first give you more information. The dance company that performs “The Nutcracker” has more than fifty dancers, mostly female, ages eight to eighteen. I take pictures that parents are able to purchase. The “mission” is to capture many pictures of EVERY dancer, from the littlest ones to the principal ballerinas. I attend dress rehearsals, multiple shows and a final studio rehearsal before performance week. In order to capture everyone, I take thousands of pictures, often looking for specific dancers. Making sure I capture all the younger dancers is quite a task. In picture number seven, I saw the ballerina approaching a leap and capture her up close, even though it meant that other ballerinas were not included. I certainly see your point.

I smiled when I read your comment about picture number six. I agree. The principal dancers have their backs facing the camera, BUT, it is the looks on the young dancers that I saw and quickly captured. That picture is one of my favorites from the show.

Thank you for pointing out cropping issues. You are correct. For posting on FM, I need to go back and crop more precisely. I crop at a 2:3, or 3:2 ratio, so that I can print, and sell, 4x6 pictures. However, on FM I am not limited to that ratio, and should have cropped the pictures more precisely.

I would have loved capturing the bottom of the dress in picture number two. Here is the story. I attend one performance and take pictures from the stage, back in the wings, either left or right. It is crowded with dancers and props, waiting to go onstage. I grab what I can but it is always “iffy” trying to get a great picture. I did not have a clear view of the bottom of her dress because there were props backstage, obstructing that view. I kept the picture because I love the look on her face, and the snow. The audience would have seen a different view. I actually went back a few days later for a performance and captured that dancer from the audience view, but the picture didn’t quite have that “magic” of the first one.

I will post more dance pictures in the future. The same group performed “Cinderella” last spring and the lead ballerina was sensational. The group graduates lots of talented dancers each year, but does a great job of helping young children advance to principal roles.

Thanks again for taking the time to critique my photos. That is wonderfully helpful. I have no photography training, but really enjoy dance photography. I also work with dancers, and more, for portraits, usually outdoors in nicer weather.

Dec 22, 2012 at 06:44 PM
Jim Rickards
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 2012 The Nutcracker

Dave - I wish you well with your dance photos and hope you post more.

I took a fresh look at #6 and agree that the expressions on the young faces really makes this picture. I see why you prefer it to some of the others.

Dec 23, 2012 at 06:46 AM
James Taylor
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 2012 The Nutcracker

These are great! I like to shoot the ballet when I can - would be very happy with this set in my portfolio.

Dec 28, 2012 at 05:22 AM

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