Ballet photography in Tokyo: Alexandra Farber

Ballet photography in Tokyo: Alexandra Farber

Professional ballerina, Alexandra Farber, came out to shoot with me during her visit to Tokyo earlier this year. We just had a couple of hours but it was a lot of fun.

I haven’t shot with a lot of ballet dancers but it’s definitely something I love doing. Collaborating with any other creative is always a ton of fun and I always learn such a lot myself.

I’d finished doing a lesson with one of my students and he tagged along for some of the shoot. After finishing the lesson, my eldest son came out from home to bring me the rest of my gear. So we were four.

I wanted to do some shots in Hibiya Park, in various spots that I love there. We got a couple done but despite not having light-stands or tripods [a sure-fire way to attract someone, anywhere in Tokyo, to tell you off and move you on] as soon as I got the softbox out for the flash, an old chap turned up on his bicycle and told us we’d have to stop shooting.

He was very nice about it all, explaining that the park had a permit to shoot [something I’d never realised] and that it was only 400¥. But, that we couldn’t apply for it and get it on the day. So, we had to move on. But, before we did – and without the lights – I did get one last series of shots in front of a building there I especially love.

So, c’est la vie… no shoot ever goes 100% to plan and we moved to a nearby location which I’d planed to visit after the park anyway.

We ended up shooting in three places, all pretty close to each other around the Yurakucho area. I didn’t really end up using much lighting at all. It was good to have the gear there but, as often happens, if things are going well, there’s no need to ruin it by using extra gear just because you brought it with you.

Pretty much everything in this gallery was shot with my Nikons. The Kerlee 35mm f/1.2 and the Nikkor 80-200mm lenses particularly.

Black and white styling was done in-camera and the colour shots were made with the Ektachrome-2 preset I’ve made and then run through a subtle grain and colour grading preset I have in Nik Analog Efex Pro.

Huge thanks to Alexandra for her time. An for sticking around with me and my son afterwards, for a quick street beer at my favourite little vending-machine bar.

%d bloggers like this: