Beginning of this year I started looking for a project away from fashion, models etc. The elegance of ballet fascinated me already for some time and I figured that it would fit my photographic style and fascination for something like “timeless beauty”… the Royal Ballet School of Antwerp (KBA) was so kind to support me in this project and I have to thank everybody involved, from the directors and assistants to the teachers and students for their support and patience.
As a part of this I was offered and asked if I would be available to photograph their Graduation Gala… and of course I was! So I spend two evenings and photographed the final rehearsal and the premier in Antwerp, featuring the royal family as special guest (Princess Mathilde and her daughter) …. I really have to thank the students… despite me bugging them all the time with my camera(s) they remained amazingly relaxed and friendly… and at the same time they presented two evenings in a row amazing performances ….
Light was very difficult. The area around the stage is completely black, so no reflections of any kind. At the same time light from the stage was very strong and direct, which means harsh contrasts. I used Tri-x, shooting at my minimum “safe” speeds, which means f1.4 and 1/15th or 1/8th… I pushed the film in development to 1600. In order to not push the highlights too far off, I was searching for a “smooth” way to push…. I tried Rodinal 1:50 with only little agitation and I am quite happy with the results.
I very much enjoyed this way of taking pictures, no directions …just waiting like a fly on the wall… searching for beautiful moments… hope you like the pictures….