Sometimes, as a photographer, you go to an event where you think you might be able to make good photographs for your story, but when you arrive you just know that it’s not going to work. That’s what happened when we were staying at the gorgeous Amansara resort in Siem Reap where there was a dance troupe performing.
Normally the troupe performs outside but for various reasons the show was brought inside. The backdrop of the library, while lovely as a library, didn’t work at all as a set for the show, with the brightly lit surroundings distracting attention away from the performance.
However, the event did give me an opportunity to make some portraits of the members of the troupe once they had finished their performance. The moment I got the idea, I ran back to our room and grabbed a light and light stand and transformed the library into a studio in a couple of minutes. I used a very shallow depth of field to blur out the background as much as possible, making sure that the focus was sharply on each performers eyes. Using only a key light and a reflector, I posed and photographed the whole troupe within ten minutes.
It was great fun and an example of how, as a photographer, you can quickly turn a situation around. Unfortunately I didn’t have time to get prints made for them while I was there, so I’ve uploaded high resolution shots to my server for the dancers or the resort to make prints from.
Details: Nikon D700, 85mm F1.4D @ F2.5 @ 5/1000th second @ ISO400.