Saturday, August 09, 2008

In Print 2007-08

2007-08 Yearbook: California Ballet Company 40th Anniversary

Book: The Way to Be a Ballerina - Japan 2007
Chie Kudo-Ballerina/dancer

Union Tribune Newspaper Dec 2007: Article on Holiday Events 
California Ballet Company's Nutcracker
Cassandra Lund as Dewdrop

Newspaper Ad for California Ballet Company's 
"The Nutcracker" 2007

©2007 Brad Matthews
Cassandra Lund Ballerina as "Dewdrop"
California Ballet Company "The Nutcracker" 2007

Dance Magazine Jan 2008 Article on San Diego Dance

Dance Magazine Ad for California Ballet School 2008 Summer Workshop
Dance Spirit Magazine June 2008: Article on California Ballet Company's 40th Anniversary
Advertising Card: July 2008- Munich Germany for Collaborative performance 
Opus M & California Ballet Company

Sunday, August 03, 2008

First Digital Photography Attempts. The Year 2000

        As a photographer I had been shooting all film negative and transparency with Nikon F5. Digital was on the horizon as you all know by now.  I had been shooting for the California Ballet Company since the early 1990's.  I was shooting in the theatre and the studio to record performances for the archive, publicity, advertising and we produce an annual yearbook to present the Company, 
©2000 Brad Matthews
Xavier Hicks

it's dancers, rep, history, staff and the School.  Usually we would use performance photos for the dancers, sometimes we would do location photos as well.  In 2000 The Nikon Coolpix 990 was released and I was one of the lucky ones to get it first

 ©2000 Brad Matthews
Yvonne Montelius

 when it was available to the regular people.  Working in the Arts and for non-profits there has never been much in the way of money to pay the bills let alone buy new equipment, however digital was intriguing because of the immediate

©2000 Brad Matthews
Yvonne Montelius

 feedback like Polaroids but cheaper and cooler when you could connect the camera to a TV monitor.  I had an idea that I sold the Artistic Director Maxine Mahon and that Ballet Master Paul Koverman.  We would shoot the Company Dancers with the Nikon 990.  At the time we were still in the point and shoot era (all I could afford) but the 990 had something cool.  It had a cable port for external flash shoe for Speedlights.  But it could also fire my Elinchrom Mono Lights 2 at the time a 250 and 500.  So I set up a tripod

 ©2000 Brad Matthews
Francis Jaena, Jr.

with the 990 and a 13 inch monitor and started to work. The project was a true collaboration with the dancers and the ballet master.  The project was about movement and capturing a moment.  So we begin the first pictures were the standard posing shots where we could experiment with lighting and shapes.  Paul being a very gifted choreographer was in valuable for helping the dancers and me to get some

 ©2000 Brad Matthews
Yvonne Montelius, Artan Kerleshi, Jennifer Curry

outstanding images.  As we got use to the feedback that this technology gave us immediately was really cool. The dancers could see what we were getting and they would give input and try things that that really made the project work.  We added a fan and some background changes and shot all the picture over 4 days.   Now to this point a pretty normal project however let be digress.  Remember this was 2000 and the 990 was a fairly basic but

 ©2000 Brad Matthews
Artan Kerleshi

advanced Point and Shoot.  What this meant was that using autofocus and manual focus as well the camera would have to process all the information and this would equate to moderate shutter lag.  So this meant that you had

©2000 Brad Matthews
Yvonne Montelius, Denise Dabrowski
to lead the action ie; press the button and wait until the shutter would fire.  This ended up being anywhere from a couple of milliseconds to what would at time seem like seconds.  So we would decide what the dancer was going to do and were they were going  to

©2000 Brad Matthews
Denise Dabrowski

do it. Knowing the dancers by experience I was able to guesstimate roughly when to push the button before the peak action occurred and these are a few of the images that we were able to capture.

©2000 Brad Matthews
Denise Dabrowski