CriticalDance Forum

Documenting Work
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Author:  LMCtech [ Fri Jun 08, 2001 2:51 pm ]
Post subject:  Documenting Work

I'm just starting to be more dilligent about taking pictures of my costume work. I have been moderatly successful. I'm getting three or four susable pictures from every roll of film I take.<BR> <BR>Does anyone have any suggestions? Do any of you document your work? What do you do?

Author:  Basheva [ Fri Jun 08, 2001 3:15 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

I have taken videos of my choreography.<P>I take photographs of my paintings.

Author:  Maggie [ Fri Jun 08, 2001 3:24 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

LMCtech,<BR>I document my work. (We're talking here of an object, not documenting choreography, or movement, I assume.) I would think what I do would probably be appropriate in some ways for you, too. First of all, assuming you want a professional approach, you want the best pictures possible, and you would preferably want to use a film format that would allow you to create slides, transparencies, or prints. I use a professional photographer for this because it's crucial for my work. Out of interest, I will photograph what I am making "in progress." These I shoot myself. I would think that might be interesting for costumes also. I don't mean cutting the pattern, etc. but if you use a dressmaker's dummy, perhaps show some of the stages of construction, or the quality of the work. (french seams, etc.) I think, too, that a close-up shot to show special details such as embroidery or passimenterie would be nice. Then, a shot of the costume on a dummy, and then on a dancer in a pose indicative of the dance the costume is for would be the final step. These can be arranged in your portfolio along with the sketches you did prior to the creation. I use a professional portfolio often carried in art or photography stores. They usually contain (black) archival paper to mount your work on. That's basically how I do it. Oh, and I would *love* to see some of your creations!<p>[This message has been edited by Maggie (edited June 08, 2001).]

Author:  salzberg [ Sat Jun 09, 2001 1:46 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

I take color slides of almost every show.<P>Why slides? Several reasons.<P>First, the color is truer. With prints, you're largely dependant on some lab technician's idea of what the color balance should be, and these people -- even the ones who work for good, professional labs -- usually don't have a "theatre" sensibility. If I <I>do</I> need prints, I can have them made and tell the technician to use the slide as a guide to correct contrast and color balance(or I can print them out from my computer).<P>There's no such thing (except in theory) as white light. Consumer color print films are balanced for daylight, which is considerably bluer than the tungsten sources used in most stage lights. Tungsten-balanced slide film is much easier to obtain.<P>Expense -- slide film is slightly more expensive, but it's MUCH cheaper to process.<P>There was a third reason, but, frankly, I don't remember it now.<P>I'm going back to bed.<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P><BR>

Author:  Azlan [ Sun Jun 10, 2001 6:29 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

How about digital cameras?

Author:  BabsLights [ Mon Jun 11, 2001 12:34 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

Perhaps Salzberg's third reason is that there is tungsten slide film?

Author:  LMCtech [ Tue Jun 12, 2001 12:32 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

Someone (a dancer) suggested still off of a video. Does this even work. I'm skeptical. Has anyone tried this?

Author:  salzberg [ Tue Jun 12, 2001 5:02 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

I've tried it. It works passably sometimes, but never well. The pictures of Purchase College performances on my web page were video captures.<P>------------------<BR>Jeffrey E. Salzberg, Lighting Designer<BR>"Shang-a-lang, feel the <I>sturm und drang</I> in the air!"<BR>Online portfolio: <A HREF="" TARGET=_blank></A> <P><BR>

Author:  Ryebred [ Tue Aug 28, 2001 3:18 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

Jeffrey, so you use Tungsten balanced slide film...what ASA? Do you "push" your film?<P>I am a mere amateur who studied photo in college a few hundred years I am a bit rusty but I am interested.<P>Any pointers you can give me?<P>Thanks!

Author:  BabsLights [ Tue Aug 28, 2001 3:39 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

I also used to have a tungsten filter for my camera; that helped with the yellow problem.<P>Jeff has beautiful photos on his site - I look forward to seeing what he says. <P>As well, I am going to send links to this discussion and see if we can get two dance photographers involved whom I adore!

Author:  salzberg [ Tue Aug 28, 2001 5:26 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

I push film only when absolutely necessary (note: "pushing" film means you treat it as if it were twice as "fast" -- sensitive to light -- and let the lab compensate for it in the developing.<P>Pushing can cause color shift, excessive contrast, and increased graininess. . .but sometimes it's the only way to get the image.

Author:  Ryebred [ Wed Aug 29, 2001 3:07 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

Thanks Babs - hope those photographers do rsvp too!<P>So Jeffrey, what ASA do you suggest for a attempting to capture some ballet dancers on stage either during a performance or rehearsal without, of course, using a flash...<P>How far away can one be to shoot? Obviously lense size gets involved here too. It's been so long since I've used my Olympus OM-1 that I can't quite remember if I have a 200mm lense or not!<P>I noticed that you mentioned Purchase College on your website(?) and assume that you are talking about SUNY's Purchase in NY. As it happens that is exactly where I am interested in shooting some pix - in the dance theater lab there. I am hoping that the fact that it is not actually a stage will be helpful.<P>Thanks for anymore info. (I plan to revisit your site and take in all those photos later today.)

Author:  salzberg [ Sat Aug 10, 2002 6:38 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

Revisiting this topic while fixing links....

I still mostly shoot slides, but lately, I've also been using Fuji 800Press color print film.

The results have been fairly good, but you need to take it to a good processing lab and tell them beforehand that it was exposed under incandescent light. Most drugstore one-hour labs won't be good enough, although some camera store in-house labs are OK.

I also tried Fuji's 1600-speed film, but found it too contrasty.

Author:  LMCtech [ Mon Aug 19, 2002 1:35 pm ]
Post subject:  Re: Documenting Work

Thanks for the info, Salz. I'm still working on documenting accurately. Lately I've been doing a lot of weddings which are of course much easier to document.

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