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Thread: Modern Dance Shoot

  1. #1
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    Modern Dance Shoot

    In a few weeks, I am shooting a dance competition for the first time (in my youth I was a lighting designer ballet and 'modern' dance) for one of my clients. I have shot concerts, fashion, events, airplanes, cars, soccer and swimming but not modern dance. Camera settings wise, I know where I start. What I asking about is lens choice or the possibility of renting an all in one. My kit consists of a Canon 6d, Tokina 16-28, a 70-200 (non IS) 2.8, a 35, 50, 85 & 100.

    As I understand so far, I will have access to the entire facility. I am guessing the furthest sight line from the back wall to stage is 60' (based on the lighting plot). I am not that interested in carrying around a bag full of lenses for the entire event (8 hours). I do have access to a Canon T2i that I could use in a pinch. When I have photographed concerts, I carry a 35 & 70-200, and that is sufficient most of the time.

    Given that I am likely to be shooting at the back wall and back stage, I am thinking of renting the Canon 28-300L lens for the show, or would another lens be better? Also, based on my information, flash isn't allowed.

    Any recommendations would be welcome. Thank you much!

  2. #2
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    I doubt the 28-300 has the aperture you need. Perhaps rent the 200/2 from Glazers for $45 (pick it up the day before after 3pm, drop it off the day after before 10am, but you'll need to leave half-of-retail as a deposit).
    We're a Canon/Profoto family: five cameras, sixteen lenses, fifteen Profoto lights, too many modifiers.

  3. #3
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    Before going too crazy based on assumptions I would check to find out what access will be allowed. At most events I've been to the photographers move around in the aisles and in front of the stage in addition to having access to the wings which, depending on choreography, can provide a wide range of lighting and other interesting scenarios. Other back stage areas include the green room, hallways, warm up areas, etc. Flash is usually allowed only in offstage areas and LED lights might be better received.
    If the lenses you already have work for you at concerts what is it that you are wanting to change, or improve on, for this event? Are you thinking that the stage lighting will be really dim? Is it possible to show up during the tech setup, or onstage rehearsals, to find out what is going to be happening and preview the numbers so you can maybe plan out some shots?

  4. #4
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    So I do have unlimited access to the entire venue and according to my contact, flash is only allowed in the offstage areas. But given the number of performers, local and national, I suspect that will be difficult to enforce in the performance hall. Most likely I will be arriving 2-3 hours prior to the start of the event, so watching the tech rehearsal will be a real possibility, but as far as attending rehearsals, I doubt it as this is a national tour. I might try to get a walk through of the venue with my client though

    I know I tend to over-think new opportunities like this. I don't like being ill-prepared or bringing too much gear. I think at least for now I will stick with my concert kit, and bring a backup body.

    Thanks for the help.

  5. #5
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    I ended up renting the Canon 24-70 v2 for the show, which worked wonderfully. I do wish I would have had a 2nd FF body so I didn't need to switch lenses so often to an UWA. It was a great experience and I would do it again in a heartbeat.

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