Long Exposure Photos of Ballet Dancers Show Grace and Movement in a Single Frame

long exposure

Photography and ballet go jointly like bacon and eggs. When done well together, they are a classic combination.  So what do you get when you have creative photography techniques used to capture well executed ballet? Delightful images that seem to be moving before your very eyes.  This is exactly what former professional ballet dancer Jesús Chapa-Malacara is able to do.

ballet long exposure

Also a photographer, Chapra-Malacra produced a dazzling series by capturing the flowing, graceful and fluid movements of ballet dancers.  The remarkable element to Chapra-Malacra ‘s series is that these are all shot as single photographs. There is no merging or joining of multiple images, and there is also no manipulation in Photoshop. Just good old-fashioned, bare-knuckles photography here folks.

long exposure ballet

In the tradition of basic photography, this series is all about the well-planned shot.  It simply involves a bit of long exposure technique.  For the uninitiated, long exposures simply involve a photographer keeping the shutter open longer than usual, and when done correctly for effect, some rather interesting if not lovely blurry images can result.

long exposure ballet dancer

Chapra-Malacra’s photographs, shot totally with typical photography gear and without any Photoshop help or manipulation, is able to encapsulate the strict discipline involved, as well as the difficult effort ballet dancers are capable of doing, all while making it seem easy and effortless to the viewer. The long exposures are able to show just how fluid the movements involved are.

breakdancer long exposure

Chapa-Malacara elaborated on what is involved in the difficult art of ballet. “As dancers, we spend a lot of time thinking about all the movement in between the poses, sometimes even more than we think about the poses themselves.”  Every photograph of Chapra-Malacara captures all those intricate movements, that when done in a fluid motion turns into one elegant pose.

dancer long exposure

The dancers may fool you, but their talents are a result of years of hard work practice, which is the secret behind almost anything that seems perfect. Luckily, Chapra-Malacara is so inspired by the initial results of the series that he has embarked on a Kickstarter campaign to expand the project with more dancers of different styles and genres.

gymnast long exposure

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Patricia Ramos

Patricia Ramos

I am a freelance photographer who is no stranger to smudged lenses, long hours in front of the computer, heavy camera bags (and the back aches that ensued) and missing lens caps. If you know what I'm talking about, you probably have as much love and passion for photography as I do.