Dust and shot – Excellent artistic motion images

Thomas David is a Photographer from Marseille, France. He published a beautiful series of images by the title of Dust and Dance where he shot a dancer in action – with the action enhanced with Dust spraying off her. Read how he did this kind of photo series and get inspired!

Flamenco (Dust and dance) by Thomas David

Flamenco (Dust and dance) by Thomas David: “It’s been a while since I saw pictures using flour to create a sort of ” smoke,” which, well lit to make it stand , allowed to highlight the movement . Taking pictures of a dancer doing jumps with it seemed a great way to use the idea. And being in the studio eliminates all the problems of wind, changing light , rain , etc … So here I am proposing the idea to Elodie who very kindly accepted.”

Thomas David is showing, how he did this Dust-effects on his photos. This might be a very nice impression for your own creativity:

Dust and dance by Thomas David

Dance and Dust: Amazing studio session with Elodie. Canon EOS 5DmkII with EF 50mm f/1.4 @ 1/125th sec; f/5.0; iso100. Strobist:  Cactus V5s as triggers. 1 LP160 @ 1/4th in Lumodi BeautyDish on the right, behind. 1 LP160 @ 1/4th in 40x60cm softbox on the left, behind.  Several flags to avoid light spills.. The lighting is tip top and brings out the movement of hair with flour. The treatment is also good with a black and white worked well.

Setup for "Dance and Dust" by Thomas David

Setup for “Dance and Dust” by Thomas David

Thomas David: “You’ll see in the video that the background is a dark fabric, thereby bring out the flour. The lighting consists of two flashes on either side of Elodie, slightly behind compared to the unit to illuminate the flour and not the whole background. This type of setup will give a light almost figure where only the outlines of the people on the picture will be lit. This is something that fits well with what we can find for lighting dance, where body movements are important and should be highlighted.  The rest is simple: Elodie is floured (by insisting in hair) before each jump, and we must adjust everything (focus, framing, etc …) in advance to seize the jump right time.

Video: Behind the Scene  –  Session “Dance and Dust”

Grace in the darkness (final shot) by Thomas David

Grace in the darkness (final shot): Also with Photoshop manipulations you’ll get some excellent artistic motion images.

Thomas David used the magic of Photoshop, and thanks to a background and dress from “faestock”, he got something not too far from what he had in mind. He had a picture from the studio session that he really liked and he just wanted a background to enhance it for a suitable context.  So he started working on the merging, and especially on the light. He wanted the whole picture to be pretty dark and the ‘wings’ to be lights sources, as some kind of magical dust.  And of course, the original clothes weren’t very appropriate for the context so he had to change that too. But this was far from being the hardest part.

The concept of “Dance and Dust” can be declined in different ways and Thomas David did his next test outdoors.

Thomas David - Dust and Fight

Thomas David’s “Dust and Fight” series

In the “Dust and Dance” series Thomas David was using flour indoors. It was great but it made him want to take the concept outside and use it ‘in real life’. And since he wanted to change a little and not just take some other shots of a dancer/gymnast like last time, he was looking for something else involving motion (so the flour would be interesting). That’s how the idea of some kind of ‘kung fu’ shooting came.

How to: Flash Photography – Bikini Powder Girl . In this video we try out “Dust Dancing”, inspired by Thomas David’s photos.

Great job, Thomas David! Thank you for sharing your knowledge with us!

Photos: All by David Thomas Photography, Photographer in Marseille (PACA)


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