Note: For the first time, this year there will be a summer version of the SF Movement Arts Festival! If you live in the SF Bay Area, please plan to attend this amazing event on July 19 at Grace Cathedral.
As an official photographer once again for this year’s SF Movement Arts Festival, last Friday I had the privilege and pleasure of capturing images of most of the more than 300 talented and diverse performers who participated in this year’s amazing event. If you live in the SF Bay Area and missed it, this year there will also be a summer version, presented in July.
This epic event of breathtaking beauty and scope brings together many of my favorite choreographers and dancers–those with whom I collaborate throughout the year, their younger students, and some who I’ve never met before–representing a tremendous range of movement practices and dance styles, and throws them all into the grand interior spaces of San Francisco’s iconic Grace Cathedral. My assignment, truly a labor of love, is to stay all day and all night: for the rehearsals, side photo shoots, and the performance, in an effort to capture images of nearly every performer in the festival. Truly, I feel like a kid in a candy store, having the opportunity to make images with so many amazing movement practitioners in this ethereal space, all in one day.
Today’s post, presented as a simple photo essay, shares some of my favorite images from this mind-boggling event. All I will add in the way of technical notes are a few points my regular readers will already know to expect from me:
- When shooting fast-moving action in a relatively dark space, use as fast a lens as you can given your focal length needs, boost your camera’s ISO sensitivity setting to as high as you can get away with, and choose an aperture as wide as possible given the depth-of-field you seek
- Choose a shutter speed that is fast enough to freeze the performers’ movement, unless you’re intending to create an artistic motion blur
- Watch your backgrounds: what’s behind your main subject is as or more important than your subject itself, so try to choose a pleasing or less distracting background whenever possible, and keep your horizons level
- Compose your images with an eye toward putting your viewer within the performance to experience the beauty, athleticism, and grace first-hand
- Shoot lots of images because the performers’ body postures, gestures, and facial expressions will change in an instant and you want to be sure to capture a few frames that bring out their very best.
You can view and purchase all of the images in this post, and many more, by visiting my web gallery here: SFMAF Photo Gallery .
I hope you’ve enjoyed this small sampler of images from the incredible SF Movement Arts Festival. You can view and purchase all of these and many more by visiting my web gallery here: SFMAF Photo Gallery .
Do you have a favorite festival or cultural event that inspires and excites you so thoroughly that you feel you could photograph it every day? What are your go-to techniques for capturing images at these events? Please share your thoughts here!