Art in motion is the essence of ballet. Producing photography that displays the intricacies of precise movement is itself an art form – one born of experience capturing split-second timing of action. That is why the Peoria Ballet artistic director, Ian Poulis asked me to come on board for their 2014-2015 season.
Experience with fast motion photography was earned from my time at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale. My instructors, who were also staff photographers at The Miami Herald, were far more interested in teaching us how to capture images than they were about the images themselves. They taught us techniques that we could apply to any subject matter. While some photographers rely on 11 frames-per-second motor drives, it’s been my experience when shooting side-by-side with these photographers that my technique – isolating the action by capturing it single frame – usually delivers a more consistent high-quality image. Inevitably the camera’s timing was ever so slightly off even at 11 frames-per-second.
My expertise with split-second photography was further enhanced during my 15 years as the official photographer for the professional sport of racquetball. Many of my images were used for marketing materials for the HeadPenn Corporation www.head.com featuring their premier players over the years, such as Rocky Carson.
I was also the department head for the photography division of the Racquetball US Open from 1995 through 2010. UnitedHealthcare US OPEN
Photographing racquetball balls at speeds of 150 to 220 miles per hour in a 40’ x 20’ enclosure is no simple task. This means the ball travels from the front wall to the back wall and approximately 1/3 of the second. With the techniques I used during my racquetball years, I was able to capture the ball on the strings three out of five times. After all, to really showcase the sport off you have to show the ball.
My time with the Racquetball US Open was an exciting time in my career, which is why I was thrilled when Ian with Peoria Ballet called on me. I’ve always had a special love photographing the performing arts, in fact I won best of photography and best of show at the Art Institute of Fort Lauderdale my senior year, 1979, with the photograph of a ballerina.
Now I have the pleasure of photographing spectacular dancers and performances created by Ian Poulis and the Peoria Ballet. Keep up with the upcoming season at Peoria Ballet on their website…www.peoriaballet.com