How to shoot ballet dancers with slow shutter speeds

Portrait shoots with dancers can be insanely fun. They typically have unprecedented body awareness and physical capabilities that are a blast to photograph. Shooter Karl Taylor put together a tutorial with light-maker Broncolor (this isn’t a sponsored post, but the video was produced by Broncolor) about how to take dance portraits with both flash and motion blur.

By using a mixture of strobes and hot lights, the photos have both a sharp version of the dancer, as well as a swirly trail of blur representing their body movements. While the video uses several pricy Broncolor lights, you could also achieve a similar effect using more simple equipment like a speed light and a basic lamp.

It’s a fun project to try and there are tons of possibilities due to the slightly unpredictable nature of the process.

You can see some of the results on Instagram.

From: ISO1200