Photographs that can change the impression of a performance
All images: Yolande Yorke-Edgell dancing Marilyn Monroe on a stage with a sculpture by Sally McKay in the performance Noted at the Lilian Baylis Studio.
Power of Photography series #3 (#1, #2)
Continuing the theme on how a photographer can change perceptions of a dance performance this shot; which shows dancer and shadows clearly and the sculpture slightly out of focus, is an honest representation of the performance but the distance between subjects and their size gives the impression that the performance is more academic than it is in reality. The shot below might be appropriate for a feature on the sculpture, it’s not right for anything concerned with dance because the dancer is out of focus and the sculpture itself is clear.
The final shot below, is composed to bring attention to the dancer while allowing the eye to travel to the sharp and detailed sculpture and then to the dancers’ shadow. While it is an accurate representation of both the intent and the delivery of the performance (there’s also movement in the dancers’ image) it is unlikely to be chosen by a photo editor as there’s slight motion blur from her knees down.
From this series I hope I have made it clear that the photographer can exert a huge influence on the way a review is perceived, especially as the editor is dependent on a choice of only those images submitted. This series should have demonstrated how understanding the performance is as crucial as understanding low light photography in the production of documentary dance images, and the picture accompanying a review can signficantly influence those reading it.
I’ll leave it to you to decide what happens when the photo editor is unlikely to have attended and exactly what this implies.