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Dance Photos: Movement. Libre.

8th March is International Women’s Day. So I dedicate this post to celebrate the beauty of women, by capturing them in dance.

There was a recent newspaper article about the gaining popularity of Lomographers in Singapore. Lomographers are basically photographers using lomo-effect cameras. Lomo cameras are known to create images that are unpredictably exposed due to the quality (lack of, that is) of the lenses and the casings.

This idea of creating the opposite of what digital photography has been trying to achieve all these years – sharp, grain-free, perfectly exposed images – is what inspired me to create the following sets of images, shot in a single day during the dance classes.

Slow shutter photography is nothing new, but my endeavour to dedicate an entire session shooting something unpredictable and unsharp is. It’s literally light painting: moving the camera intentionally while the exposure is taken to create the effect. These are not panning-shots-gone-wrong. These are blurred images shot intentionally to depict movement.

In many ways, these images are easily replicated by skilled photoshoppers using clinically sharp images. From an end-viewer, these images probably aren’t eye-opening. But I am wowed by the result. It’s probably the same feelings lomographers get when they shoot with their Lomos. Best part is: I don’t have to be concerned about sharpness.

Having said that, there has to be some technical considerations behind the shots in order to achieve a higher hit rate. All the framing composition rules apply. Select a shutter speed that is just right to blur the subject yet allows the object to be visibly clear. Too fast, and you can’t get it blurred enough. Too slow and everything turns unrecognisable.

To add to the visual impact, the objects should have some contrasting elements. Understand the environment and what you want to blur and what you want NOT to blur. The rest, then, is left to chance.

Unlike Lomographers, digital medium lets you fire away without burning holes in your pocket, see the results instantly, make adjustments, and shoot more.

Here’s to women, and their physical sacrifices to bring us form and beauty through dance.

Visit http://facebook.com/chesterphoto or http://www.flickr.com/photos/chestertan/sets/72157623569162486/ for more liberating photos.

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