Improvised Ballerina photoshoot

Feat. Penelope Scarian

A promise is a promise, I only shared a small portion of this session in my first hands-on review of the CANON R3. A simple, fun session, fully improvised in downtown Toulouse. Here is the full Behind the scenes video of this dance photography session!



We were basically looking for light, shadows, and empty streets. Which is never easy even early in the morning. It wasn’t that early that day, and it shows since we were bothered a couple times during the entire session. I still don’t want anybody in my shots, I try to avoid it and photoshop people out when I am forced to.


The ability of the CANON R3 track subjects and nail focus almost every time helped greatly. I haven’t worked this fast in a long time. Everytime I found something interesting, composition wise or because the light did something interesting we stopped. I explained Penelope briefly how and what I wanted to capture and with barely any rehearsals we tried to catch it. Once we had the shot we moved on.


I used a Variable Neutral ND filter for a few of these images. The sun was hitting really hard at times so I needed that additional control on my exposure. For this session I used the Freewell Magnetic VNDs.


Those shadows were easy to recover in post, which shows how good the sensor of the R3 performs.


The entire session was made with 2 lenses: the RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM and RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM! I usually don’t like using zoom lenses but these 2 performed amazingly and were perfect for this session.


Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/250sec f/2.8 ISO 320 at 115mm



Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/500sec f/2.8 ISO 320 at 128mm



Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/500sec f/2.8 ISO 200 at 86mm



Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/320sec f/2.8 ISO 200 at 200mm



Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/160sec f/2.8 ISO 250 at 108mm



Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/132sec f/2.8 ISO 50 at 111mm



2 things worth noting:


1/ The choice of the dress is unusual for me as I usually recommend that dancers bring solid coloured clothing.

2/ She oftens smiles in the pictures, something I usually avoid... I often go for the serious "focused" look and stare.


Things change, people change, I do let things happen a bit more these days, something I plan on doing more often in the future.


Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 70-200mm F2.8L IS USM

1/100sec f/2.8 ISO 100 at 168mm




Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM

1/1000sec f/2.8 ISO 100 at 24mm



I also found this session liberating, as I didn’t have any additional accessories to carry around with me. This reminded me that sometimes less is more. The Behind the scenes of the boxing session partially made with the CANON R3 is coming soon. So be sure to come back on the blog regularly, or subscribe to the newsletter for a monthly update.

Penelope Scarian (Toulouse - France)

Canon R3 - Canon RF 24-70mm F2.8L IS USM

1/640sec f/2.8 ISO 100 at 24mm