It's been a little while since I photographed anything dance related. So, I was elated that I had the opportunity to photograph the "#likeadancer" show put on by the local Paso Robles High School dance team.

As with many local high school events, there is very little or no funding for sets, costumes and of course photography or videography, but it's a great opportunity to hone your skills in an challenging environment of low variable lighting, and fast movement.

Since this event had several showtimes over the course of three days, I took the opportunity to bring along my videographer Lynn (my wife) to capture each of the performances from a different angle. This is so that I could make a composite video that's much more interesting and feels like 5 different cameras were used to capture it.

Some of the footage is unusable if there are severe inconsistencies in lighting and costumes, but for the most part with some patience and editing, a composite video can be made to look like it's all one performance with closeup and wide angle views. Of course the other option would be to have 5 cameras that are SMPTE time-coded, but I only own one at this time. The other four are on a wish-list somewhere.

The recorded soundtracks of each of the recordings were used to sync them all together. Its very important that they contain the same material. Five mics were used both on stage and in the auditorium to capture the room ambience, and then mixed with the the original soundtracks to create both a 5.1 DTS and DD encoded surround sound audio track.

As the video footage is being shot by my wife, I could focus on photographing each of the performances from different angles to maximize the number of shots of all the individual performers. I find that people do not buy group shots...ever, and so you must try to capture as much close-up and individual shots as possible. Photographing as many performances as possible significantly increases your chances of getting a better selection of individual shots. And if you are unfamiliar with the performance, you will be after the first couple and able to better predict when special moments are to happen. Certainly the workload increases tremendously as you'll have to sort through many more images, but we hope the extra effort is appreciated.

So with over 1600 images ready and a full HD 5.1 and surround sound video in hand, I'm off to load up my website to see what I can sell. By the way, the show was really creative. I loved the reflections from the mirrors used in this particular dance called #rules. 

You can see all the results here.