b&w images • blog • project journal


Kalayla at the Bellydance Gala

Sep 13, 2021

Shooting bellydance with b&w in mind is difficult, tricky, challenging, traumatic and possibly a few more adjectives. The performance requires atmosphere. That means very low light and/or light that stresses various colors. This particular performance was on the stage at the Opera House, so there was plenty of “light”. The problem this presented for b&w was that it was often amost to, or pure blue, green, orange, magenta, etc. The closer they came to the front of the stage, the better chance I had of getting a hint of white light on face, are, legs, etc. Otherwise……

Kalayla is one of the more fun dancers to shoot – always keeping an eye on her hair. I’ve got a great shot of her in the Black Box with her hair swirling in front of her as she spins. She was in strong blue light for this performance. The intro shot caught just hints of white light, allowing me to eke this image “out of the blue”. And, again, the backdrop curtain was very light/ turned blue by the light. The only way to bring Kaela out was to remove all blue light, turning the backdrop almost black. Actually I like the effect here. Blue light also tends to throw focused edges off some, probably also a plus here.

Below Kalayla moved to the front of the stage for the floor part of her performance. Great for lighting – removing the blue let me keep the curtain almost black while she had enough white light on her for something approaching normalcy. And she never disappoints. I managed to catch this as she was finishing – she does make one smile.

There should be a few more from the show – I’ve yet to tackle some of the dancers in green light (not promising), magenta light and orange light. April has the color jpegs, which hopefully serve their purposes. There are more great moments caught than can be convertable to b&w – but I don’t give up easily.

…Added to the 2021 Bellydance folio HERE

I confess that I’ve never had quite as much fun with my b&w as shooting Rogue Swan and Bellydance performances.