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Take great dance photos

You’re probably familiar with Doug Plummer’s stunning photos of dancers — he documents dance events across the country, showcasing some of his favorite images in his Contra Dance Photo Project Facebook page. He’s now offering a workshop on how to photograph a dance, as part of this awesome camp lineup from our affiliate group BACDS in the Bay Area.


How to take dance photos that don’t suck
at BACDS American Week, July 1-6, 2012, Jones Gulch, CA
A workshop by Doug Plummer

contra dance

(photo by Doug Plummer)

Over the course of a week, we will work on how to improve your photos and video of dancing. This is specifically geared to the non-professional, with whatever image-capture device you bring to the camp. If you’ve got a fancy DSLR but don’t know how to use it, fine. If you’ve got an iPhone, great! The gear isn’t the point. The way to deploy it is.

We will cover approaches to find the compelling photograph, and not just hope that it finds its way to your camera by accident. The great advantage we have as documentarians is that we are dancers. We know what it feels like to dance, and we are sensitive to the compelling moment. We need to bring that awareness of the dance to the craft of photography.

For example—watch the walk-through. Notice where the most interesting moment in the dance is. Now, when the dance starts, watch for that moment. Don’t worry about the rest of the sequence. Find out where you need to stand to make that moment interesting. You’ve got lots of chances to whack away at it. You’ll get a little better each time.

If you’ve got a laptop, bring it. We will cover how to edit and process your image files, and how to share them. We will have group critiques, and I will help you improve your shooting.

Help bring and end to boring dance coverage. Come to camp.


Want to see more of Doug’s dance pics? Check out these three albums and this video, all from our English & American Week at Pinewoods last summer.

We still have a few of his gorgeous 2012 Contradance Calendar left in our store (now only $10!), if you have somehow been limping along without a copy of your own.

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