Last year I visited Madrid, and decided to go and see a flamenco show. I had gotten a recommendation to go to Las Tablas, which is not really a known place, but was supposed to be very good. I asked the hotel to book, and they hadn’t even heard about the place, but managed to get a table. I decided to try public transportation to get there, so I took the sub-way to the nearest stop. I had some problems finding the place, as it had entrance from another street than the address, as well as on the second level. And trying to ask for directions in English wasn’t always easy in Madrid.
But found the place eventually, and got a table close to the little stage. I guess the place had around 15 tables all together. I was allowed to photograph, but no flash. All photos in this post are taken with my Sony Alpha 580, with the 24-70 F2.8 lens, with the ISO cranked up to 12800. I did some noise reduction in Adobe Lightroom afterwards.
The Flamenco dance is very emotional and energetic, even when you don’t understand the words being sung.
The first week-end of December, the Step-by-Step dance studio set up a great show in Olavshallen to celebrate their 25th anniversary. Since my daughter was part of the performance, I got in touch with Hilde Hellan, which gave me a free pass, and full access to the stage area for taking photos.
I brought my Sony Alpha 580 with a 24-70 F2.8 lens and my old (currently being used by my wife) Sony Alpha 350 with a 100F2.8 lens, and after almost three hours with these two cameras, my neck was killing me.
This is the first time I’ve done a stage shoot at this scale, and retouching this batch of photos was a lot of work, and really took a long time, but finally today I consider myself done. This has been a really good learning experience for me. Due to the artificial light, I did have to do a lot of white balance adjustments, as well as noise reduction due to using high ISO (up to 12800 with my 580).
I also learned to pay attention, especially when changing memory cards. Suddenly in the middle of changing an almost full card, I was hit by a very bright light. I was not aware that the number which was just starting (the one by the camels, by the way) would also take place on the side areas of the stage, where I had been standing in complete darkness throughout the performance. Well, at least I saw enough to insert the card in a hurry, and slide back into darkness (where we photographers belong) 🙂
Below are some of my favorite shots. You’ll find the full official release here.