Tag: Ballet

Featured Image – Ballet in natural light

Presidents Scholar Carmen Martin Alonso poses for a photoshoot in the student union activity space for the Annual Fundraising Report.

Sometimes there is more light than you think.

This image was shot on a dark afternoon in January, yet I have turned the lights off making the room even gloomier, so why does the picture look bright and fresh?

Image © Thomas Angus / Imperial College London  [Click Image to expand]

The original image along with the others from this set are on the image library here.

I turned the lights off so that I could balance for the one colour of the ambient light through the windows, if I had left on the fluorescent lights the mood would be ruined by an orange colour cast on the skin of Carmen making the image look ‘muddy’, the wood is also bouncing back orange light, and we have enough orange already.
It reality however it is quite dark in the room, despite it being one of the rarer duel aspects at Imperial.

To compensate and make the image brighter than the gloomy room was in reality, I have used a very wide aperture on a prime lens, along with a high iso. This allows in much more light, but at the cost of a very shallow depth of field, and a tiny bit of grain in the image.

The lens I have used here, a 1.4 35mm prime has a very milky vignetted feel wide open, which is why I have chosen it, as that was the dreamy look that I wanted, and the width to show the environment and the window, a wider lens also gives you a slightly greater depth of field at a wide aperture, which I wanted here for context and to keep the texture of the beautiful floor.

Despite the low light this is a hand held shot as Carmen is moving around and I wanted to move with her. I have allowed enough shutter speed for that, probably slightly more than I needed at 200th of a second. (for most people a 35mm can be handheld down to around a 60th of a second or lower without blur if subject and camera are still)

The image appeared in the Annual Fundrasing Report here, Carmen also featured in the Imperial Heroes social media campaign and exhibition, and her hero image will be exhibited again at this year’s festival.

Do you know you have free access to Lynda courses with your college login?

Here is a video tutorial on low light photography which covers high iso, wide aperture and colour balance on Lynda.com.