Top: World's first 360-degree Panorama of Ushguli, Svaneti, Georgia, Feb 24/2009, from 12 separate photos...

Saturday, 8 November 2008

Interlude: Erisioni Georgian Dancers' Rehearsal, Tbilisi

So I was invited to join some Americans at a rehearsal (out of costume) of the Georgian State National Singing and Dancing Academic Ensemble (a.k.a. Erisioni) in Tbilisi this afternoon. They rehearse every Saturday at their HQ on Rustaveli Ave, right next to where the TMS Gallery, late and lamented, used to be.

I adore Georgian music, singing and dancing - it sets my blood afire. Even without costumes and fancy lighting, this 2-hour performance was a delight. All the more so as we were allowed to take photographs, and I had my camera ready just in case.

I was mostly trying several of my favourite techniques for showing motion in a single frame, all without using a tripod. These include a slow shutter speed to blur the action, coupled much of the time with a bit of fill-in flash to add an instant of frozen time. (The flash on my lovely new machine can be set to what's called "second-curtain synch", which means it fires at the end of an exposure rather than at the beginning. The advantage of this is that the motion trails from the slow shutter are going in the right direction, with the flash coming in at the end of the blur, not at its beginning.) Sometimes, either with or without the flash, I was also panning - moving the camera in the direction of motion while shooting.

Nearly 230 frames later, I was revelling in digital again - instant visible results to check whether what I'm doing works. Yup, I'm delighted with the results. Thanks again, NWB, for the camera - it's changing my artistic life. More of this sequence to follow...

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