The City Panorama Project: ‘Dancers’
The image is a panoramic composite of six photographs, some of them shown below in the raw image gallery.
I met Rachel Randall (leftmost individual, hair in a ponytail throughout) while trying to find a unicyclist for a different image, which I’ll highlight later. Not only does Rachel teach circus skills at a SANCA Seattle, she’s a former competitive gymnast and has her own dance troupe. She invited me to photograph during a dress rehearsal comprised of her and Morgan Nutt, and it was there that these images were taken.
Not knowing exactly what my lighting options would be during this rehearsal, I brought a tripod and a flash unit. As they ran through their routine with the music on stage, I found it best to just place my camera on the floor, slightly propping the barrel of my lens off the ground. This low angle gave me the reflection of the dancers’ feet in the floor that I wanted.
I triggered my shutter with a cable release once to lock up the mirror (cutting down on shutter vibration), and then once more to take each photograph. I kept the focus on manual setting since Rachel and Morgan typically were dancing the same distance away at all times, but I let the camera handle the shutter speed calculation, which is why some of the images are more defined, and others contain more light smear. It was then a question of trying to snap the shutter to capture the dancers in the most interesting poses.
Later as I went through the images on my computer, I was happy to see the variety. Some were relatively sharp, some had grand sweeps of motion and color, and I knew that I could stitch together an interesting panorama. I’m quite pleased with the result, and it sounds like King County Metro was too!
UPDATE: It’s been installed in Kent, WA!
Find it in Kent, WA!