Pink Light and Crystals

One stormy afternoon, in Brussels, I started a ballet photo shoot. The clouds quickly loomed lower and lower as we arrived at the wonderful location. I had previously scouted the place out. It was a lovely stone colonnade outside a museum, which was deserted the first time I visited. When I took my daughter there one afternoon, after she had finished at her ballet summer school, it was crowded with a martial arts group. The second time we returned, this time with another gorgeous dancer, it was fairly empty. Just a few tourists peering through the closed museum windows. So, we began our shoot. Within a few minutes, the sky was so dark, I was using the highest ISO possible and under exposing by 2 full stops, just to be able to take photos! Since we had quite a walk back to our accommodation, and I didn't want to get the camera soaked, we decided to call it a day after only a few shots. We hurried back to our apartment just as the huge thunderstorm hit! It was probably a good thing we returned to close the skylight window, or our apartment might have been an indoor wading pool. 

Today I made a start on working with three of the photos. First I played with the colour and light in Photoshop, then added some macro images of jewelled ballet costumes in 'overlay' blend mode.

One of the challenges of shooting in a public place, is onlookers. They seem to have no idea that they are actually IN the shots! Several people were standing around watching, so I decided to photograph the girls' feet.

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Above are the photos in their original state.

Then, I worked on the light and colour to create a softer, lighter feel. 

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These photos were taken using my macro lens with a wide aperture.

For this image, I placed a crystal in front of the lens to add some distortion.

I converted the photos to black and white before using Overlay blend mode in Photoshop.

I then masked areas of the top layer in and out to create a dreamy sort of feel which was much more what I imagined than what the stormy day allowed.

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