This is the third and final post about XXX Festival Boliviano, the 30th annual Bolivian Festival held at the Prince William County Fairgrounds in Manassas, Virginia, on September 3, 2017. As with the previous posts, be sure to click on any of the photos for a larger view.
In the first post I shared photographs of several of the dance groups that performed. In the second post I shared many photographs of individual performers. In this post I look at capturing candid moments. These might be interesting moments during a performance, but are more often captured between or after a performance when the performer has relaxed and perhaps taken themselves momentarily out of the persona they portray while dancing.
I like trying to capture these candid moments because I think they help tell the story of the event. They show another layer to the performance and the performers. For example, we see the exhaustion when someone takes the mask off their head, the beads of sweat dripping down their face. And in that moment we can see the effort these performers put into their performance.
As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, I don’t consider myself a people photographer. I rarely photograph people. But I am just as attracted to a stunning portrait or to impactful examples of street photography as I am to photographs of the subjects I most often shoot (nature, wildlife, outdoors). So I really enjoy events like this Festival, where I can practice photographing people in a challenging environment, trying to capture action and movement, but also trying to find and capture those more intimate moments between the dancing, trying to show a little more personality to the performer.
The next time you find yourself at this sort of event, or just out about town with your camera, consider looking for moments you can capture, moments that help tell a story about the subject. And if, like me, you usually shoot nature, consider occasionally photographing something different, such as people, events, or street photography. It’s a great way to learn. And in the end, light is light, and anything you learn about light in one environment can almost always be applied to a different environment.
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