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2016 Nutcracker
  
 
friscoron
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p.1 #1 · p.1 #1 · 2016 Nutcracker




Happy holidays, everyone! I ended up shooting 9 performances and rehearsals this year, and had an associate shoot one rehearsal for me. I never get tired of the performances or the music, and that surprises me. Two outstanding dance schools, Balllet Chicago and the Berkshire Ballet Theatre.

If you haven't had your fill of Nutcracker yet, this hopefully will do it for you.

For those of you interested in my settings, I believe you can click on any of these pics and follow them back to flickr and see the exif data there. I generally try to shoot around 1/250 with the ISO around 1600 to 3200, and always wide open at 2.8. Some shots, I had to push to 1/60 and ISO 8000. I also change the settings as the dancers move around the stage as I know where the stage lighting falls off and I adjust on the fly to compensate for that. All shots taken with my D4 and 70-200mm lens.

Comments always welcome.

Ballet Chicago (different shows, different casts)

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Berkshire Ballet Theatre from the one rehearsal I shot.

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Dec 24, 2016 at 06:35 PM
BigIronCruiser
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p.1 #2 · p.1 #2 · 2016 Nutcracker


Very impressive! Out of curiosity, what was the approximate distance between you and the stage?


Dec 24, 2016 at 08:32 PM
GoodEgg
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p.1 #3 · p.1 #3 · 2016 Nutcracker


Ron, another great job. I started trying to remember my faves (7 and 9) but soon ran out of memory. They're ll great.


Dec 24, 2016 at 09:53 PM
rntbot
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p.1 #4 · p.1 #4 · 2016 Nutcracker


What an amazing series of photos!

Do you work for the Ballet company?

Thanks for sharing.



Dec 25, 2016 at 03:58 PM
Dave 1234
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p.1 #5 · p.1 #5 · 2016 Nutcracker


Nice pictures, Ron. I agree. You never get tired of a Nutcracker performance. And I certainly know of the difficulty of working with stage lighting that can vary from quite good to dismal, in a heartbeat. Do you have difficulty with dancers standing out of the lights? I find that the younger dancers often aren't aware of what areas are well-lit, and what areas are a little dark. Even such problems as a dancer moving too far forward, on the stage, and not being adequately lit.

I always enjoy your beautiful photos. I also enjoy seeing how different dance companies choreograph and stage their productions of The Nutcracker.



Dec 25, 2016 at 08:14 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #6 · p.1 #6 · 2016 Nutcracker


BigIronCruiser wrote:
Very impressive! Out of curiosity, what was the approximate distance between you and the stage?


Thanks!

Maybe 50-60 feet? For Ballet Chicago, I shoot from the back of the house but it's not a very deep theatre. Holds close to 1,000 people but a lot are up in the balcony.

For the BBT Nutcracker (the last couple, if you managed to make it that far), I'm able to do my normal thing which is to go as far so at 70mm, I have the whole stage covered. Then I can zoom in on the solos to 200mm. So I was probably more like about 75 feet back there.



Dec 25, 2016 at 08:37 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #7 · p.1 #7 · 2016 Nutcracker


GoodEgg wrote:
Ron, another great job. I started trying to remember my faves (7 and 9) but soon ran out of memory. They're ll great.


Thanks! I know... too many!



Dec 25, 2016 at 08:38 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #8 · p.1 #8 · 2016 Nutcracker


rntbot wrote:
What an amazing series of photos!

Do you work for the Ballet company?

Thanks for sharing.


I am the official photographer for both companies, but I technically don't work for them.



Dec 25, 2016 at 09:22 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #9 · p.1 #9 · 2016 Nutcracker


Dave 1234 wrote:
Nice pictures, Ron. I agree. You never get tired of a Nutcracker performance. And I certainly know of the difficulty of working with stage lighting that can vary from quite good to dismal, in a heartbeat. Do you have difficulty with dancers standing out of the lights? I find that the younger dancers often aren't aware of what areas are well-lit, and what areas are a little dark. Even such problems as a dancer moving too far forward, on the stage, and not being adequately lit.

I always enjoy your beautiful photos. I also enjoy seeing how different dance
...Show more

Thanks, Dave!

Especially with something as intricately choreographed as the Nutcracker, with so many dancers, the dancers don't have the freedom to go anywhere except where they are supposed to be.

It's not the dancers that frustrate me, it's the lighting especially at these old theatres. The Athenaeum, where Ballet Chicago performs its Nutcracker shows, is more than 100 years old. The lighting falls off at the front of the stage and the back of the stage. That's the part that kills me. Especially the front of the stage. Geesh.



Dec 26, 2016 at 02:31 AM
bwhip62
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p.1 #10 · p.1 #10 · 2016 Nutcracker


Really beautiful work - by you and the performers! You did a fantastic job capturing this. Thanks for sharing!


Dec 26, 2016 at 03:09 AM
 


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Dave 1234
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p.1 #11 · p.1 #11 · 2016 Nutcracker


Exactly, Ron. Some venues I work in are beautifully lit. Most aren't. Old school auditoriums can be tricky. Even though the choreography dictates where the dancers will be, sometimes the light just isn't there. I agree. The worst is when the light doesn't come forward enough and a principal dancer is not lit but the dancers behind are lit and much brighter. But, it is still The Nutcracker and every other facet is beautiful. What a treat to photograph.

Keep doing what you are doing, Ron. You are a master at what you do. Such a treat to see your work.



Dec 26, 2016 at 02:55 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #12 · p.1 #12 · 2016 Nutcracker


bwhip62 wrote:
Really beautiful work - by you and the performers! You did a fantastic job capturing this. Thanks for sharing!


Thanks!



Dec 26, 2016 at 03:31 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #13 · p.1 #13 · 2016 Nutcracker


Dave 1234 wrote:
Exactly, Ron. Some venues I work in are beautifully lit. Most aren't. Old school auditoriums can be tricky. Even though the choreography dictates where the dancers will be, sometimes the light just isn't there. I agree. The worst is when the light doesn't come forward enough and a principal dancer is not lit but the dancers behind are lit and much brighter. But, it is still The Nutcracker and every other facet is beautiful. What a treat to photograph.

Keep doing what you are doing, Ron. You are a master at what you do. Such a treat to see
...Show more

Thanks again, Dave.

Regarding the lights, I can understand the falloff to the back of the stage. But the lights not being evenly lit in the front of the stage, I never get that. But... you make do with whatever you've got.



Dec 26, 2016 at 03:33 PM
Mar73
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p.1 #14 · p.1 #14 · 2016 Nutcracker


Ron,

I look forward to your post of the Nutcracker every year. I enjoy seeing the different stage settings and costumes. I was able to catch three of my daughters Nutcracker performances this year and do not get tired of seeing it. Thanks so much for including shots of the younger dancers I enjoy seeing how you capture them as my daughter is 8.

As for my favorite from this set it is so hard to pick but 41 just really stands out to me.

Marty



Dec 26, 2016 at 08:39 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #15 · p.1 #15 · 2016 Nutcracker



Thanks, Marty!



Dec 27, 2016 at 05:33 PM
Andre Labonte
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p.1 #16 · p.1 #16 · 2016 Nutcracker


WOW, these are fantastic. You are getting better and better all the time.


Dec 27, 2016 at 08:39 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #17 · p.1 #17 · 2016 Nutcracker


Andre Labonte wrote:
WOW, these are fantastic. You are getting better and better all the time.


Thanks, Andre! That means a lot.



Dec 27, 2016 at 10:16 PM
Sieneskil
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p.1 #18 · p.1 #18 · 2016 Nutcracker


Over 100 dancers and musicians bring Nutcracker to life with exquisite dancing, beautiful sets and Tchaikovsky’s glorious score played live.


Dec 31, 2016 at 07:02 AM
BobnJake
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p.1 #19 · p.1 #19 · 2016 Nutcracker


Ron, you NEVER cease to amaze me, we all look forward to this time of the year, knowing you'll have your Nutcracker shoot, you've outdone yourself again. Thanks for the "tips" along the way and for including the exif info.

I learn from every shoot you post, I want to be just like you when I grow up
Bob



Jan 03, 2017 at 05:01 PM
Lisa_Holloway
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p.1 #20 · p.1 #20 · 2016 Nutcracker


Such beautiful work, Ron!! I love seeing your Nutcracker images every year.


Jan 03, 2017 at 05:03 PM
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