Beaten by Dance Photography


I’ve got a rather long history of rambling on about all sorts of awesome stuff on this blog – and I’ve prided myself on being able to pull off most types of photography with more or less success. I’ve photographed a fair share of concerts, I’ve got a post lined up about wedding photography (although my post on event photography covers some of it).

Anyway, all of this goes only to illustrate that I am relatively handy with a camera – so when I was talking to my good friend Laurie about him being in a dance competition, I arrogantly proclaimed ‘how difficult can it be?’. Well… As it turns out, it’s pretty damn tricky.  


Just think about it – you’re in a dodgy-looking room, with crappy backgrounds, poor lighting, and the dances normally last only for about 90 seconds at the time. The people you are trying to photograph aren’t just moving – they’re moving fast (which necessitates a fast shutter speed), in 5 dimensions (back / forward, left/right, up/down, around each other, and in time), and they’re on the dance-floor with anything up to 10 other couples, who twirl their way in front of your lens just when you think you’ve got the killer shot lined up.

A poor tradesman blames his tools…

I’ve been speaking very warmly about the Canon EOS 450D – which is currently my main camera, as I don’t really do that much professional work anymore. The camera has served me incredibly well; I’ve succesfully photographed concerts and weddings, macro and portraits, and I’ve been telling everyone who cares to listen to me that it’s probably one of the best bang-for-the-buck cameras out there.

Now, given that I always shoot RAW (one of the tips here, remember…), I finally found the point where the 450D meets the wall; It only has a 5-frame RAW buffer, and the poor DIGIC chip can’t chomp down the photos quickly enough. I’m absolutely, 100% positively convinced that I missed some absolute crackers of shots because the buffer was full, and nothing happened when I tripped the shutter. Aw shucks.

Anyway – I have to honestly admit that there is very little point to this post – I just figured it’s been a while since I last posted anything, and I wanted to share some of my not-very-good photographs with you guys…

On dance photography; stay tuned

My dance-and-photography-obsessed buddy Laurie has promised to write you all a thorough guide to dance photography, so rest assured that we’ll get a proper guide here soon enough

As an aside, those of you who know me know that I don’t really do failure… The last time I knew little about a topic I ended up getting slightly obsessed, ended up building my own equipment which culminated in writing a book on the topic – so expect a lot more writings, musings, and guides to dance photography going forward!

Show me what you can do!

I’ve seen some wicked cool dance photography on the internet in the past – and I’m jealous. Not just a little bit either, but properly jealous – so if you’ve ever done any, feel free to show off in the comments below – I would just love to see what you guys come up with!

Some could-have-been-better photos…

So yeah, I think there’s a lot of improving to do before I’ll be happy with my dance photography skills – and who knows, perhaps this is finally the excuse I’ve been looking for to buy myself a new camera… And now that the Canon EOS 5D mk2 has broken cover, maybe it’s time to start saving some money or see if Santa doesn’t want to buy me a new camera this year…

Anyway, here’s some of the shot which I felt had a shred of potential, but still need a load of work…

Do you enjoy a smattering of random photography links? Well, squire, I welcome thee to join me on Twitter -

© Kamps Consulting Ltd. This article is licenced for use on Pixiq only. Please do not reproduce wholly or in part without a license. More info.