Contrary to local belief my Head is full of ideas, most of them fleeting and unformed. Some reoccurring, but needing some form of outlet. A few are actually pretty good. Lets see what comes up!
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As of today consider this site a work in progress. Things just are to dated and in no way reflect my current level of competence. Look for lots of unannounced updates, and structure updates. A total redo if you will .. But it all has to start somewhere. Like now!
Dance they said, and it was good. Update
This year events seem to be few and far between. Almost at the last second, my young Child Bride (CB) and her dance companion decided to attend Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafl at the Pasha Land restaurant in Gaithersburg MD. Reservations were made over the phone for the following night (Sunday) and the excitement slowly started to build for both of us. Her, because she loves the Dance , and has so for almost 35 years. Me, it was an event, my real passion, photographing events. I have my favorites but as a rule, The Middle Eastern Dance events are not on the top of my list.. Don't get me wrong, I love photographing Middle Eastern Dancers of all shapes and sizes. And what's not to love, the colors, movements, music? No what's not to love is the venues.. It's a real challenge to capture a worthwhile images of the dancers in a High School Gym, Senior Center, parking lot or worse. Which with small exception is where they are. Fact of life, the girls love to dance where ever they can to show off their skills, and to do this "You takes what you gets."
But I have, as they say, digressed. We both went into our usual preparation modes, hers are not for public consumption, mine are more of a mechanical nature. Batteries to be charged, cameras & lens' needed to be selected. Which always proves to be a dilemma. Most times not knowing the where's why and whens of the venue always makes it at best, a guess. This time not being different, I decided to travel light with the 5DMII, a 50mm f/1.2, 100mm f/2.8, and one flash to deal with what ever lighting situations were presented.
When we arrived at Pasha Land at the appointed time, I was a bit distressed to see the restaurant was really not that large, and was packed with dancers and guests, with space already at a premium . which built when we came to find out our reservations had more or less, "flown the coupe". Lucky for us the owners daughter did some magic logistical redirection and we were ushered to our table, right out front. This was much appreciated by CB and friend as they almost were out on the dance floor. For me any use of the 100mm F/28, was ruled out. The only other bullet I had was the 50mm f/1.2 which was still a little long for this space. ("Darn why didn't I pack a wide angle?" ) As the excitement built, drinks ordered, menu choices made, I stated to realize the pickle i was in. When the dancers started to line up for the first group dance, the front line was only a foot and a half away from the front of the lens.
Nor perfect but Oh well, time to make some lemonade.. It's only pixels anyway. The music started, the light dimmed (I wish) and the magic started. Knowing things were far from perfect but I would get what I could i sat back, stretched my right pointer finger and started firing away. The rest of the afternoon was a blur of whirling dancers, delicious food and trying to get that "perfect shot.
A note of apology to the dancers, I was unable to capture "keepers" of all the dancers due to their proximity and lighting, and I'm still trying to mach the dancer listed in the flyer, to the images..
My thanks to all involved in making Nadirah Nasreen's Annual Hafla! a smashing success. The images posted are from my Flickr site but many more are posted or are in process of being posted on my gallery site. so check back often. .
Gone in 1 Minute 42 Seconds.... BCTRA Indoor Flat Track Racing 121011 on Vimeo
How bout some back story on this Video? When I shoot motion related events I like to shoot a lot of images, lots a lots of images. Why motion is hard to catch, it's easer out side with lots of light, but that makes indoors is even more of a challenge due to the lower light levels. And it is most important to have the camera pointed in the right direction, and focused on the subject(s). To me more shots = a greater chance of catching that "Once in a lifetime" special moment.
This image i shot at a NASCAR race at Dover Dl. Was totally a fluke. The wreck was already in progress and for once I had the camera to my eye, focused on the action, and a clear view, I actually squeezed off 5 shots before before everyone stood up.
But I ramble .. When one is looking at 1800 images, one better have a great workflow tool, and I use the best. Apple Aperture 3. It only took about 1 hour to do a 3 pass selection to get the real keepers and start post production. And what can I do with 1500 some images that are left? Make a movie out of them.. Of which you seen the first quick version I more or less threw together with Apple Final Cut Pro X NLE (Non Linear Video Editing) software and some event sound I recorded on a Zoom H4n. As long as it stays fun, it's all good right?
Bellydancer's Passionate for the Pink V2 (update 11/11/11 -AM )
Local updates 01/01/12- AM
At least one pic from each act has been posted to the Flckr. Some images may have the wrong performer listed… If so, many apologies. Contact me and I'll correct quickly.
This weekend was the second annual running of "Belly Dancer Passionate for the Pink". To say the large assemblage of amateur Dancers (Middle Eastern, Modern, Ballet ), of all skill levels, coming together to showcase their craft in support of the "Susan G. Komen for the Cure" , was truly awe-inspiring, would be somewhat of an under statement. Captured 60 gig of media (over 1100 images and about 2 1/2 hours of HD video.) and filled my last chip, on the last shot, of the last act. Up side? Venue, performers, their performances, organizers, and of course the audience. Down side? Lugging about 100lbs of kit up three flights of stairs to the balcony, and then back down again to the car. What! Builds character and stamina you say? I'll have to take your word on it. . Hopefully the videos will follow suit. (? They all have some problemst). Enjoy.
Bellydancers Passionate for Pink" performance at McDaniel College's "The Theater on the Hill" Westminster MD. *Update*
Added as non HD, lower resolution version of the Passionate for Pink video. Less choppy and kinder on lower bandwidth users on the "Middle Eastern Dance" Page.
Attended Bellydancers Passionate for Pink" performance at McDanies College's "The Theater on the Hill". The selfless dedication of organizer Nawal Qalbi, her staff, & all the performers involved in this production must be commended. Their efforts were so very apparent, and so very heartwarming.
Had a Great time, shot some great Images (633 to be exact) & HD Video that I will be assembling into a movie presentation shortl. As I noted the images, considering the venue impacts, came out OK, but choosing the music for the movie is going to be a bit of a challenge. Seeing as I'm officially on vacation both the images and the slideshow locations should be posted within the next few days.
(update- 101810 ) I've posted a link to the images on the "Middle Eastern Dance" Page.
(update- 101910 ) Posted Video on the "Middle Eastern Dance"
(update 102110 )
Just received a list of all the stage performers.
emcee Wendy Holthause!
- Amerabic Magic
- Makeda Maysa'
- Nomadic Sisterhood
- Nawal Qalbi
- Aliya's Kismet Dancers
- Nawal Qalbi
- Nomadic Sisterhood
- Nina Amaya
- Eva Nadira
- Amerabic Magic
Will be including this in a V3 release of the video(s)