Sunday Snapshot: Out There

Out There danced and choreographed by Lee Sun-A. Captured at Esplanade Theatre Studio on 27th August 2010.

©Matthew G. Johnson

When I first spotted this image in the Sunday Snapshot Flickr pool, I didn’t know what to make of it. It seemed like some kind of illusion, or mirror effect. It took a few moments for my brain to make sense of what I was seeing. I wanted to find out more about the image and share it with you.

The image is captured from a performance of “Out There” by Sun-A Lee at the Esplanade Theatre Studio in Singapore on 27th August 2010. Sun-A is a very talented young Korean dancer/choreographer. You can find out more about her and her recent performances at her website

The photographer, Matthew Johnson is based in Singapore and travels throughout Asia. Born in England, he likes to say he was “raised on a diet of Ilford FP4 and Gallerie FB, he has subsequently been reborn into the digital realm.” For the photography clueless out there (like me) that’s exceptionally fine grain, medium speed black and white film and high quality printing paper.

At the core of Matthew’s images, he explains, “is the fascination with people and how they interact with their environment, and the conviction that the act of observation is an active process which drives the outcomes of the world we inhabit.” Most recently he has been collaborating with a number of Asian dance companies and orchestras to create a breadth of unique images at a tangent to the art forms from which they derive. His portfolio is available online at

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Sunday Snapshot: Let it Snow

Anna-Mi Fredriksson in Queens Park; London, February 2, 2009; Photo by Ben Hopper

© Ben Hopper ; dancer Anna-Mi Fredriksson

Ben Hopper started photography after ending a 3-5 year stint as an import manager in Israel. He was handling imports of photography equipment and when he quit, he bought a DSLR camera and started photographing for fun. “Very quickly I realized it’s something I can do quite easily and naturally,” he says, “and decided to try and do it properly.” A year later, in October of 2008, Ben moved to London and has been pursuing photography for just over 3 years.

This photo of Anna-Mi Fredriksson (former English National Ballet and solo performer) was taken in Queens Park, London on February 2, 2009. London city was shut down due to the snow which, as you can see, blanketed everything. “Anna-Mi and I lived next to the park,” Ben explains, “so the whole thing was a ‘let’s go to the snowy park to take fun pictures’.”

Ben’s younger brother is a circus performer based in Madrid and Ben says that he is deeply inspired by him and by his good friend Mayka Finkelstein Amrami who works for The Royal Opera House in London. “She got me familiar with ballet dancers from both British Royal and National ballet companies,” says Ben. “I find dancers very interesting to work with. I love the shapes, movement and compositions I can create with their abilities.”

About the photographer: Ben Hopper is internationally known for his remarkable captures of scenery, movement and mood. His editorial work involves the creation of conceptual fashion images, portraits of dancers, circus artists, musicians and more. Ben is currently In-House Photographer for The Last Days of Decadence club as well as WHITE MISCHIEF (London, UK).

You can see more of Ben’s work at or in his Flickr photostream. You can also connect with him via Twitter (@BenHopper) or on Facebook.

Please be aware that some of Ben’s fine art photography may not be suitable for younger viewers.

Photographers, get featured in the Dance Advantage Sunday Snapshot

Sunday Snapshot: The Silent Current

Paolo Santos came to photography by way of film making.

He got his first digital SLR camera strictly to create time lapse sequences for his work in 2005. When the camera was not taking time lapse, he was snapping images here and there and finally, one day decided to get serious with it.

Photo: The Silent Current by Paolo A. Santos

©Paolo A. Santos

Paolo has an appreciation for body mechanics. He is a martial artist and his wife is a ballet dancer. This image was taken outdoors in Utah and features his wife, Caroline Sicard. “We are currently working on a film project exploring the concept of dreams as the conduit for messages from the natural world and the universal consciousness,” says Paolo. “The image was taken as an experiment with my wife; how she would move in particular environments through what she can hear, smell, feel, see and touch.”

The following are merely test shots from the film but breathtaking:

DISPLACEMENTS Project Test Imagery #1 from Paolo A. Santos on Vimeo.

In this current test: Caroline Sicard and Elia Aymon (dancers from Cirque du Soleil’s newest Las Vegas show “Viva Elvis”.
Teaser filmed, edited and scored by: Paolo A. Santos

About the Photographer: Paolo A. Santos was schooled in classical painting and worked in Toronto with a very short lived career. He moved to Montreal working for a few years as a contracted music composer for ballet and contemporary dance companies and projects in Canada, the U.S. and Europe. After moving to Las Vegas in 2002 he slowly re-directed his creative path towards film making, which eventually, branched out to photography.

See more of Paolo’s work at or on Flickr.

Connect with him on Facebook:

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Sunday Snapshot: Upside-Down

A black and white photo capture of a male dancer mid-flip, upside-down

©Matt Webb | Dancer: Kieran Edmonds

Some of Matt Webb’s earliest memories are of his father, sitting the family down to watch slides or home movies.

So perhaps photography is in the genes, but he first picked up a camera about 5 to 6 years ago and pretty quickly started to focus his photography on rugby, motorsport and studio work.

“I was lucky enough to be granted press accreditation for Premier Rugby Team, the Northampton Saints, so I regularly sat pitchside capturing images of power and passion, not to mention blood and sweat. Soon I had images published on their websites, and others in the matchday programme. I also entered some into camera club competitions, and fondly remember winning one competition when the judge said it was “one of the best sports journalist images he’d seen all year.”

Though it may seem a million miles away from what he had been doing, Matt says he arrived at dance photography because he likes to challenge himself and wanted to combine the power and speed of rugby or motorsport with the technical and lighting skills he had developed while working in the studio. It was then that he stumbled upon Jim Markland’s dance photography workshop being held nearby.

“I looked at his work and was inspired,” Matt says. “This image is one of the images I took at the workshop, and to me it captures the speed, agility and power of sports photography, yet combines with the grace of dance and the lighting of a studio environment. The dancer is the amazing Kieran Edmonds from the U.K. The heights he could jump where incredible. Capturing him and freezing him mid-air to ensure a perfect image was down to the high speed sync lighting, and Kieran’s ability to repeat the move time and time again.”

“So my photography has changed direction again. I loved taking these images,” Matt explains. His thanks go to Kieran and Jim for the inspiration.

Matt has another great shot from this session which I couldn’t resist sharing with you:

A man balancing on one hand atop a travel case with two cases nearby, one with a military jacket draped on top

©Matt Webb | Dancer: Kieran Edmonds

Every single one of Matt’s dance pics are incredible captures. See for yourself – check out his action-packed work at

Also, Matt’s daughter turns 10 years old today (10-10-2010)! Join me in wishing them both a wonderful day.

Sunday Snapshot: Back To Basics

Photo of a dancer from the back, stretching at the barre

©Ashlée Perreault - All Rights Reserved; Do Not Use Without Permission

About the photographer: Ashlée Perrault is a dancer and dance teacher. Therefore, most of her photos somehow relate to dance. She has photographed local bands, the British Columbia Winter Games, and is an up and coming photographer.

Ashlée describes her first experience with a camera and why she enjoys photographing dance.

“When I was younger our school went to conventions where we had to compete in different activities. Although I’m a dancer, I am not a runner, so I always chose to compete in the drawing and photography categories. I bought my first point and shoot camera when I was 13 years old and packed it around with me all the time so I could capture my friends.

Over the past ten years my love for photography, as well as my camera, has grown. I feel like I see the world through a 4×6 rectangle. In high school I took a Visual Arts class where the teacher encouraged us in extraordinary ways to find our independence, creativity, and self in our art. We learned how to develop photos in the dark room and were allowed to take adventures, through town, with the cameras during class. I loved the freedom that I felt during those periods. I was capturing the world how I saw it and no one could tell me it wasn’t art.

After I graduated I wasn’t dancing anymore and teaching just wasn’t giving me the outlet for my dance passion. One day I got together with one of my students and we decided to experiment with the camera in the studio. Out of all the photos from that day the featured photo is one of my favourites. I have been enjoying experimenting with dance and photography over the past three years and I look forward to learning more. Dance is my passion. Directing girls in front of the camera is my new form of dancing.”

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