Sunday, 26 April 2015

Gallipoli 100 Years - Rotunda Contemporary Dance


Rotunda features the beautiful raw power of contemporary dance, timed to honour the Gallipoli landings in 1915. This is a poignant and moving work, created by Arts Laureates Shona McCullagh (Artistic Director) and Don McGlashan (Musical Director) in collaboration with a cast of 8 dancers. Rotunda is a living memorial that celebrates the ANZAC spirit and the themes of courage, loss, kinship and ultimately, a desire for peace.
F3.5, ISO800, 1/80 40mm, No Flash

Rotunda performed an excerpt from their show to a packed audience during the ANZAC day 100 years commemorative event at the Auckland Museum.  Once again the Museum invited me along to capture the day’s events, and as this was a major event, I called upon my friend Will Mays to assist me.
For those that have visited the museum will know that certain areas are a tad tight and when I read the schedule I knew I had a challenge covering a dance held within the WW1 Sanctuary. This area is very tight and along with 150+ people around the outside, along with the routine being fluent and moving through and around the spectators, I had to take every opportunity as it came


F4.5, ISO800, 1/60 35mm, No Flash
The Lighting conditions where average and being in a sanctuary Flash photography was not permitted. Positioning was critical and had to move with the crowd, however I was lucky at one point to pick a small gap and quickly duck around a pillar to position myself inside a small alcove. This reduced the chances of me getting someone’s head in the way but did limit me to having to frame most shots in portrait rather than landscape mode.

First off ISO. I started on 400 but after a few quick shots went up to 800. Next I dropped my focus point to a 9 AF to allow for a tighter focus area .
My exposure times I was generally hitting between 1/60 to 1/80. This was perhaps a little on the slow side but the routines where slow moving initially, and then became sharp jerky as the emotional story unfolded.  If I had gone higher I would have frozen most shots and this excerpt really needed to be captured to highlight the emotion behind the piece.
F3.5, ISO800, 1/60 55mm

My F/stop stayed at 3.5 which is the lowest I could go on my 28 to 300mm. I then dropped the saturation slightly using a custom setting.
Unlike other events I cover I usually get to see a pre-rehearsal so that I get a general idea on the flow and movement. I really had to anticipate and work within the confines presented.


The images published here are just a small selection; if you wish to see more keep an eye on the events page at www.aucklandmuseum.com over the coming week.

F5.6, ISO800, 1/50 120mm, No Flash

F4.5, ISO800, 1/100 150mm, Digital Convert BW

F4.5, ISO800, 1/100 120mm, No Flash