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A ballerina on top of Montréal

I've been to Montréal a few times now, but I guess that the fact of having lived there when I was a child helped a lot. A little part of my childhood was spent in Winnipeg and I will not thank my parents enough for giving me one of the happiest memories of my youth. So I know a little bit about the country and visited a few cities back then and ever since. It was my 4th time in Quebec this year, but my first as a photographer. I love Montréal and knew there would be a lot of places to shoot for my dancers. After my first shoot at the old port with Vanesa, I wanted to realize a long-time dream: Shoot over Montréal, from the belvedere in Parc Mont-Royal. I knew this wasn't going to be easy because the park is one of the most popular touristic places in the city, and you may have noticed that I rarely include tourists in my shots. So we didn't have a lot of options. We had to be there early. Eva isn't really a morning person so I had to find the right arguments to change her mind. Luckily she accepted to join me up there at 5:30 am.

Believe it or not, we were surprised to see people already up there at such an early time. I had forgotten that the sunrise was so beautiful, and that easily explained the small crowd. This didn't prevent us from following our plan and the photoshoot went smoothly. Mornings were really fresh that week, that's why we had to cover up Eva between shots. She was crazy enough to accept to stand and even proposed to do a split on the edge of the belvedere. With the help of my precious assistant Marlène we managed to reassure Eva. We managed to wrap up our photoshoot way before noon which gave us the opportunity to finish our night!

Here is a few additional info on 3 of my pictures :

Canon 5D Mark III 24 - 70 mm mark II at 24mm ISO100 F10 1/200

Same settings!

The first 2 were the scariest ones for me. Knowing that she could easily fall back and really injure herself. I didn't have to take a lot of pictures even though she assured us that she was steady on her feet, she nailed it the first time. Having her standing allowed me to have much more of the city on the first one compared to the 2nd. The problem on the 2nd is that I wanted her bottom foot to show and her face looked better backward when shot at a low angle. I had to sacrifice a part of the city that appears less present in the background. The strobe is placed on the left side of the camera on the 1st picture and on the right on the 2nd one. The sun acts like a natural backlight placed on the back left side.

Canon 5D mark III 24 - 70 mm mark II ISO100 F6.3 1/200

This 3rd picture was particular. I really wanted to shoot it with this angle. The problem was the shadows on her body created by the tree. I didn't want them on the pictures and the only way for me to get rid of them on location was to overpower the sun. This is when the Broncolor move comes in handy. It had no problem "masking" these nasty shadows.

These moments are the reasons why I love what I do. A beautiful morning, working with friends, and a wonderfully talented professional dancer, who trusts me even on the ledge.

This photoshoot was made easy thanks to Dave Lemieux from Broncolor Canada and photo service Montreal. Special thanks to Xavier who drove me and Marlène up there. Special thanks to the Broncolor team worldwide for their support. Next stop...

Back in my hometown: Strasbourg.


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