JAMES CRAIG PHOTOGRAPHY

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Hafla Time Again, April and Mya – Two of Havre de Grace's own…

Feb 4, 2020

This was a very exciting, and crowded Hafla. April Monique, who organizes the event in the Black Box at the Opera House, once again put together a great. In fact, it's going to make for maybe four crowded postings here. Early on April she introduced a couple of her students and had them dance. Unfortunately, for me, my vantage point almoct completely derailed access to shots over the left of the staging area because of seating (for pictures it might be best to choreograph two dancers to switch places half way through).

Mya

Havre de Grace's own young Mya, above and below, was on the right side where all I had to do was remove a head from the bottom corner of the shots. When an individual dancer is doing her thing she crosses the middle aisle back and forth – where I'm vantaged to grab what I can from that angle. There is also a shot below showing April, from the back, with both students – I had to hold the camera above my head and shoot a horizontal to get it. Hey, shooting any sort of performance can be tricky and difficult.

April Monique

Below are a couple images of April's final number – a performance that had the audience in the palm of her hand. The music was jazzy and lively, and every movement was choreographed to match the music. It was memorable. The first shot just may be my favorite of April to date – I hope she likes it. The light is hitting her face, giving it just a hint of the mask look to go with those in the background.

The second shot of April is considerably cropped in for a portrait look. It's the eyes…

The final shot is for dance movement…

I will add that, even though I'm happy with my results this time (mostly) there was a new, unexpected snag. They hung an array of small theater face masks behind the dance area that kept drawing off my face-recognition auto-focus from the dancers. A good ten percent of my shots had to be tossed because the masks were so precisely focused – to the detriment of everything else. A couple of the shots above have sister images with the masks sharp and April all ablur. I think I bit my lower lip bloody trying to concentrate so hard on controlling that. Abandoning face-recognition and using a zone focusing setting can be just as bad with dancers that are constantly moving thier arms in front of them. Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrgh. To add insult to injury, I had already spent five hours swinging that heavy lens-camera combination (4.5 pounds) around at another shoot before the Hafla got started. Fun…

Two or three more postings to come from this Hafla – next will include Luvlee. I already gave April the color exposures – minus all those really cool shots of the masks – so I thoroughly expect to be seeing some of those on Facebook.