Dust dancing is the generic name for any type of dance photography involving high speed lighting (such as strobes or speed lights) and dust like material; flour, talcum powder, corn starch, etc… I first stumbled across an example of this ages ago. I can’t honestly remember which photographer’s work burned its way into my memory first but I knew the idea was great and I wanted to try it. As somebody unequipped and inexperienced with off camera lighting at the time I relegated the potential shoot to the “someday” bin. Between then and now I was blessed to with the great friendship of Lawton Ballet Theatre owners Katie and Scott Veenhuizen. We talked about dance shoot ideas on a regular basis and were finally able to pull the elements together for a pretty full evening of shooting in late January 2015. These shots are from the second half of the evening.
A few things to keep in mind if ever you attempt this yourself:
- Flour gets everywhere (including your equipment and your eyes)
- Flour can be a pain to cleanup
- Without high speed lighting, your results won’t be crisp.
- It’s best to get your shot on the first attempt. It takes a while for dust to settle after the fact.
- Moving your lighting mid shoot will completely change the look and feel of your images. This is true for any shoot but I feel it should be reiterated.
- Flour gets everywhere. Seriously, it does.