Sunday, July 11, 2010

A morning in the East Village

Dane – Alex and I created this image early one morning in the St. Marks and Astor Place area in the East Village. Even at 6 am there was still a number of people in the area that morning. I remember a group of people watching us while we took this image in particular before they entered the uptown 6 Train station.

Alex - This was the summer I rediscovered my obsession with one of my favorite musicians, PJ Harvey. I admired how her music gathered juxtapositions of both aggressive and soft characteristics that inexplicably fused into harmony. That essentially was the way I interpreted the Ballerina Project images, resulting in the two pairing seamlessly in my head. Although it was an early shoot on a Sunday (I also only had two hours of sleep the night before due to excitement and anticipation), my mind managed to create an invisible set of earphones that replayed PJ Harvey's "Black Hearted Love" on full blast, giving me boosts of adrenaline throughout the morning. I also just returned from several outdoor rock climbing trips with my fiancé and his best friend, giving me an uncontrolled desire to climb everything! I knew the instant I saw that pedestrian traffic light that I had to freely hang from it some way or another in order to make me fully express the way I was feeling that morning: refreshed, content, and inspired by the surroundings. In addition to that freedom, this was probably one of my favorite shots also because it gave me an excuse to climb random inanimate street objects in NYC without getting in trouble!

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Dancing in the rain

Dancing in the rain

Violeta and I created this image on a rainy day in Battery Park. We had the idea of doing a shoot on a rainy day to help give more drama and effect. The idea in principle seemed simple but the practice of photographing in rain is never quite as easy as it sounds. We had attempted to shoot the day before but the forecast for rain let us down. Luckily on this day we got our rain. By the time this image was taken we were both completely soaked and cold. To top things off we had earlier made a deal with the Battery Garden restaurant manager to store our bags there while we shot in the rain. In exchange Violeta would have to dance ballet for them on our return but we felt it was a small sacrifice to make for dry bags.  When we came back to collect our bags Violeta honored our agreement and did a 30 second improvised ballet solo. It was very unique sight to see.

Battery Park is located on the southern tip of Manhattan and has a great view of the Statue of Liberty. Here is some information on Battery Park:

Friday, July 9, 2010

Ballerina in Recession

Amelia and I created this image in her Washington Heights apartment. Feedback to this image has been mostly focused around eating disorders within the dance world. To be quite honest when Amelia and I created this image it was based upon the poverty associated with being an artist.  Amelia’s refrigerator happened to be empty and we had a conversation of the monetary sacrifices we each made to our art. This image was a product of that exchange.

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Colors of Williamsburg

Dane – Kate and I created this image on a sunny spring morning in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.  I gave little direction for this series of images and only presented a stage to perform on.  I wanted for Kate to be herself.

Kate - I feel fortunate to have taken a very insightful lesson from this particular shot—often times, the simplest approach yields the most powerful results. 

Ironically enough, this was taken on my very first shoot with Dane. For this reason, I had no preconceived notion of what I should look like or even feel.  This clean palate to work in produced a fresh and unique look. Rather than thinking of the attitude pose as a means of stretching or line, I attempted to form an architectural design relatable to the graffiti, as it had such a vibrant energy about it.

 An eariy morning Williamsburg excursion showed me that letting go and giving in allows me to engage a new dimension to my craft.  

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

A platform for dance

I created this image with Brittany earlier this year at 14th Street F & V subway platform in New York City.  It was February so it was still very chilly within the subway station. The shoot only lasted for about 40 minutes but we captured this image at the very end. 

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Quiet in Soho

This image of Simone was created on a summer morning in Soho. I personally prefer the quiet and reflective images of the project opposed to ones that showcase a dancers facility, flexibility and form. Because the medium of the project is still photography I see it most important to capture the dancer and not dance. 

Monday, July 5, 2010

Graffiti ballerina

Christie and I created this image at a building in Queens known as 5 Pointz. We arrived to the location around 7 am on a humid summer morning. Luckily we got this shoot in before the heavy rain and an angry security guard tried to put a stop us.

Here is some information on 5 Pointz:

Sunday, July 4, 2010

Ballet on the East River

Jen and I created this image on our second try of photographing under the Manhattan Bridge along the East River. The first time we experience torrential rain and both of us got completely soaked.

This abandoned mooring is located in Brooklyn Bridge Park in DUMBO, Brooklyn. 

DUMBO, Brooklyn in my opinion is one of most scenic areas in New York City. There are many old industrial buildings, cobblestone streets and beautiful water front parks between the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.  DUMBO is not named after an elephant with big ears but is an acronym: Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

No snakes in Central Park

Stephanie was one of the few dancers that were willing to pose in the waters of Central Park. Unfortunately Stephanie had a phobia of snakes and was concerned that one would emerge from the depths of the lake. In all my years of living in New York City I never saw or heard of any snakes in Central Park so I assured her not worry.  She still had some reservations but we were able to create this beautiful image.

Upon further Google research there are snakes in Central Park but they are housed in the zoo located in the park. As for other wild animals in Central Park there are raccoons, coyotes and hawks:

Friday, July 2, 2010

Ballerina in Beantown

On a chilly fall day in 2009 I rode the Megabus up to Boston to photograph Kelsey. This was the first time meeting and working with Kelsey but we managed to create many beautiful images that day. We first did images at Boston Ballet’s main studio and later we ventured outside. By the time the second image in this blog was photographed it must have been around 40 degrees in temperature. Kelsey was a real trooper and I give her a lot of credit for fighting off the cold.  After the shoot we had Starbucks and chatted about movies and dance.

Thursday, July 1, 2010

Coney Island at Sunset

Coney Island

Yuriko and I created this image on the boardwalk at Coney Island, Brooklyn. We had arrived a few hours earlier but the majority of the photography happened right before the sun was setting. Coney Island has always been one of my favorite locations in the city. 

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

After the rain

It rained pretty hard before Anna and I created this image. We had hid under a scaffolding on Laight Street for about 30 minutes. While we waited we had time for a nice chat. I cannot remember exactly what we talked about but I feel it helped me understand Anna and that eventually translated into this image we created. The rain and our conversation became the creative process.

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Ballerina Project on the fence

In this image it was Violeta’s idea to do an image up on this chain-link fence. She felt comfortable being up there and was able to do a lot while balancing on the fence. This was the second time we shot on this bridge. After the success of the first go around we felt we could do more with this location.
We photographed this image on the Williamsburg Bridge that connects the Lower East Side of Manhattan to Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Ballerina Projects in the streets

This image was photographed on Amsterdam Avenue near Columbia University in New York City. Victoria and I composed the image days before when we scouted the campus for different locations. What you don’t see was a whole group of Chinese tourist who were standing next to me when I was taking this image. They were very fascinated by the shoot and we probably left a very big impression on them.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

early days of the Ballerina Project

This image was photographed on the boardwalk at Coney Island, Brooklyn. We styled Laura in a vintage 50s Jantzen swimsuit and cap to pay tribute to the history of Coney Island. We were also lucky enough to both capture lightning in the background and miss the rainstorm that soon followed.

Saturday, June 26, 2010

early days of the Ballerina Project

This is an image from the early days of the Ballerina Project. It was photographed at Coney Island, Brooklyn on a chilly May afternoon. By the time we took this picture Laura was freezing and from my memory one of the last images taken that day.