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Acrobatics in the Desert

cinemagraph, model, dancer, desert, magic

Blowin' in the Wind

I always enjoy it when I have the opportunity to shoot with the wonderful George Simian and this trip to the desert was no exception. I provided the location and George provided Nata, our wonderful model. Nata is a dancer and acrobat who George met through shooting the dance company that she often performs with. She agreed to drive a few hours with us to shoot in abandoned places on Sunday.

We headed to the El Mirage Dry Lake bed, a favorite spot from a previous shoot that we’d worked on together. On our way we found an abandoned house with a bunch of old gardening materials that seemed like a perfect place to stop and shoot while the sun was still high in the sky.

At this point, I was really interested in producing a cinemagraph. A cinemagraph freezes all motion in a video clip with the exception of one area. Essentially, it allows us to isolate movement and then save that as a repeating GIF. So, Nata and I shot some video and I asked her to keep as still as possible and then later, I would bring the video clip into Photoshop, isolate a few frames and mask over what I wanted to freeze. The final effect leaves us with just a spinning hula hoop and a dress blowing slowly in the wind. You can see the results below.

As we lost the sun, we drove on to El Mirage to capture Nata expertly spinning some of her LED hoops against the night sky. George loves to work with a low shutter speed to capture movement and so I followed in his footsteps and did some of that as well.

Lots of great images came out of this adventure. Working with another photographer is a wonderful way to get new ideas and raise your standards, though coordinating that many schedules can be a challenge, it’s well worth it. It’s always a wonderful experience when I get to work alongside George. The photos of me in the group below are thanks to George.


©Barcsay Photography
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