The Vegas Showgirls - Britain's Premier showgirl dance troupe

The Vegas Showgirls are based in the UK but available for contract performance worldwide.

Hiring professional dancers of the highest level and with internationally sourced authentic showgirl costumes the Vegas Showgirls are sure to add glitz and glamour to any event - from TV and movies to corporate function and hotel entertainment.

I was fortunate to see the girls performing whilst on summer contract to provide nightly entertainment at some of the more upmarket hotels on the Greek Island of Rhodes.

What follows is a gallery from one of their breathtaking performances.

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Showgirls  - The photography info

Composition and set up

The performance in question was performed at an outdoor restaurant at the Rhodian Amathus hotel in Ixia Rhodes.

With the dance floor surrounded by diners enjoying the show, I had to be conscious of remaining relatively inconspicuous whilst shooting the photos. I didn't want to block the view of any of the diners and thus was limited to a single vantage point seated on the floor at the corner of the rectangular dance area (with the kind permission of the diners at the nearest corner table). This had some pros and cons!  On the one hand I had a completely unrestricted view of the dancers, but on the other hand being unable to move around did not enable me to get the range and variety of angles of view that I would have liked to make the gallery a little more interesting.

Equipment and settings

Lens Choice. Knowing in advance that was unable to move around and that I would need both super wide angle and short telephoto angles of view - I opted to use my Canon EFS 15-85mm 3.5/5.6 zoom lens rather than a faster fixed prime. As the lens does not offer the widest F3.5 aperture throughout the zoom range - I opted to set exposure at F5.6 as this is the widest constant aperture that was available.

Exposure. Knowing I was to be using a constant F5.6 aperture and on camera speed light bounce flash, and that I wanted consistency for the ambient exposure in the tricky and ever changing light conditions I knew I would need to use manual exposure mode. Having set the aperture to F5.6 I guessed that I would need a relatively high ISO of 1600 if I was to be able to maintain shutter speed at a reasonable level (I wanted to keep at minimum 1/60s to be sure to avoid any camera shake or motion blur of the non flash exposed elements of each photo (I wasn't concerned about the primary subjects - i.e. the dancers, as I knew that their motion would be "frozen" by the flash exposure)

So final exposure settings were predominantly F5.6  at 1/60s at ISO 1600

Flash exposure. I opted for flash exposure via an on camera speed light (the excellent value Younggnu 585EX) with the flash head shrouded by a home made "black foam thing" (for more info visit the excellent Neil Van Niekerk website here). This simple device allowed me to bounce the flash from the roof above the dance floor whilst preventing annoyance caused to the nearby diners and of course to avoid distracting the dancers. This created a nice soft even light over all the dancers  - even when they were spread across the entire dance floor (direct flash would have left the far dancers underexposed).

Unfortunately the roof was a dark wood colour and so not the optimum surface to bounce light from! I opted to use ETTLii flash (rather than manual metering) and checked the lcd after a few test images incase the some positive flash exposure compensation was required (it wasn't). Finally I made sure to shoot in RAW as the dark wood created a strong brown/orange colour cast that I was able to easily fix using the white balance tool in the Adobe Lightroom develop module in post production.

Finally I set rear curtain sync - so that should any of the dancers faster movements result in blur to the ambient exposure - the flash burst would have the effect of freezing the motion at the end of the movement  - which gives a much more pleasing result.

Post Process  The RAW files were processed exclusively in Adobe Lightroom (no photoshop used). Colour cast from the flash bounced of the dark wood roof was corrected and the images subjected to sharpening and noise reduction in respect of the relatively high ISO settings that had been used.


Other useful links from this page

go to JARGON BUSTER digital photography terms explained

The Vegas Showgirls

Black Foam Thing

Return from Showgirls to digital photography bureau gallery

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