Location shoots are always challenging and this one was no exception. The building was an interesting old 1930's factory which used to produce radios, cabinets and also housed a magazine publisher. I'm sure they were quite beautiful Art Nouveau style pieces, but there were sadly, none still around. Almost 100 years of dust and dirt lie on the floors and staircases.
The building certainly has character with the hallways well-worn from thousands of footsteps over almost a century. I wanted to capture something of the environment in the photographs, however, the challenge was to stay true to my vision and style. To somehow create something beautiful and light-filled out of the run down location.
I spotted a small stair landing with windows from head hight reaching down to the floor. That meant beautiful back-lighting. So with my camera set to over expose by 3 stops, I had the dancers pose in that area. The hand rails were perfectly placed to serve as ballet barres. The next challenge was shooting around the stair rails in order to fit the dancers in the shots and avoid the intrusive rails.
The graphic elements of the rectangular windows, rails, brickwork and floor-boards all worked well for black and white images.
I love working with dancers because they never run out of poses and this girl was simply beautiful!
My aim was to have the dancer still appear delicate and graceful even in the rough surroundings.
For this series, I used a very subtle crimson toning to compliment the leotard colour.
It was an enjoyable shoot and I'm looking forward to the next location shoot - wherever that may be with whatever challenges it comes with.