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Breaking Championships

Discussion in 'Street, Documentary, and Portrait' started by pasisti, Dec 14, 2015.

  1. pasisti

    pasisti Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 16, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    Hi all!

    The Finnish Championships in break dancing were held yesterday, and of course I brought my camera with me! I don't do breaking myself, but I do other kind of dancing for a living. As a dancer and a hobbyist photographer I have noticed that taking photos of dancers is one of the most difficult things there is! Even if a photo is great on the technical and the atmospherical levels, but the dancers posture is not quite there, it's not really worth anything. And waiting for those moments and then capturing them is quite a pickle and definitely takes some know-how from the photographer. In my own dance field anticipating and capturing those moments is more familiar to me, but luckily I was able to capture some moments here, too!

    The competition lasted for some 4-5 hours and included solo and crew battles from top-of-the-line breakers from Finland. Looking at the new talent were also some over-the-top-of-the-line breakers and the judges did their own solos too! There was also a solo category for kids under the age of 14.

    I had just bought the 12-40/2.8 to go with my E-P5 and this seemed like a great moment to test it out. As the dancers went back and forth quite a lot (and quickly!), maintaining focus was hard for me. I started out further away and could set the auto focus on the center of the battle floor, but when I got closer I had to manually focus on the fly. It was new for me and the focus was definitely not perfect in many pictures but hey, that's called a learning experience!

    There was light on the battle stage, but as I had to use shutter speeds in the 1/320-1/400 range I would have wanted more lights coming also from the side of the audience. With f/2.8 I had to bump my ISO up to 2500 or even 3200 at times. And for break dancing these shutter speeds were just enough. I processed the photos with Lightroom, where I tried to find a common look for the set.

    As you can see from the file names, I took some bursts that night! :) 

    Please enjoy and feel free to give constructive feedback!

    Web-Break SM-340
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-543
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-1186
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-1297
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-1480
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-1505
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-1557
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-2049
    by Matias L, on Flickr

    Web-Break SM-2095
    by Matias L, on Flickr
    • Like Like x 8
    • Winner Winner x 4
  2. barry13

    barry13 Super Moderator; Photon Wrangler Subscribing Member

    Mar 7, 2014
    Southern California
    I really like the low & close shots.

    • Like Like x 1
    • Agree Agree x 1
  3. 少林chris

    少林chris Mu-43 Regular

    Jun 28, 2013
    Los Angeles / Copenhagen
    The 3rd shot really demonstrates how valuable its can be having a wide lens around, great shot. Most of all it looks like a fun event to shoot!
    • Like Like x 1
  4. hazwing

    hazwing Mu-43 Hall of Famer

    Nov 25, 2012
    Great set!

    I was thinking using a slower shutter speed might show some movement rather than completely freezing the shot?
    • Agree Agree x 1
  5. pasisti

    pasisti Mu-43 Regular

    Dec 16, 2013
    Helsinki, Finland
    You are right, that would've been another good choice! I was trying to get the "freeze" moments of break dancing this time, though, and for me that needed the fast shutter speeds. I'm still searching for that magical place where the rapid expressions of the face don't get muddy but the movement of the limbs would get that smoothness. It's just so hard to tell from the LCD that I always get afraid and up the ante with faster shutter speeds! More practice probably means more intuition, so I'm still hopeful! :) 
    • Agree Agree x 1
  6. PhotoBug

    PhotoBug Mu-43 Rookie

    Nov 18, 2013
    even though you say technically it isn't the best, 5-7 are incredible moments captured, and what the art is all about. Battle, expression, flare, and brotherhood. I really do like that you've captured the moments and froze the frame. The freeze frames of the power moves are great, but #5 is easily my favourite.
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