Chinese Lion Dance

Below are a few shots of a Chinese Lion Dance (held to celebrate the Chinese New Year) in the Lady Lever Art Gallery in Port Sunlight on the Wirral:

Chinese Lion Dance 1

Chinese Lion Dance 2

Chinese Lion Dance 3

Chinese Lion Dance 4

To be honest I really debated whether I should post these or not…….as they are the best of a pretty mediocre set of shots.

Fundamentally I got myself in a bad position amongst the crowd and couldn’t really move…..this severely restricted my photo opportunities. Also the interior lighting in the gallery wasn’t great and that coupled with the erratic fast-moving dance of the lions made for some pretty challenging conditions. Even with my F2.8 I was having to use an ISO of 3200 to get a decent shutter speed of around 1/320th and most times that simply wasn’t fast enough to freeze the action… a result I had to delete a fair few shots that were just a blurry mess.

This is particularly annoying because at the time I thought I was being quite clever. You see I decided not to take any images of the first part of the performance……which was outside in pretty good light with the fascinating 1920’s gallery building as a backdrop……so that I could secure my place for the main event inside. I know right, what the hell was I thinking…..idiot!

Actually I was quite pleased with the way my new Olympus OMD-EM1 handled the noise at that level of ISO, and in retrospect I could have pushed it a little more, which would probably have given me a few more “keepers” from the event. However I am going to have to invest in a fast prime before I try indoor action shots again and/or an external speedlite so that I could experiment with some arty slow-sync flash images. Oh yeah…..and I’m going to have to think straight next time as well……tut!

Talk about a missed opportunity……guess I’m going to have to chalk this one up to experience.

© Mark Simms Photography (2014)

3 Responses to “Chinese Lion Dance”

  1. Vicki (from Victoria A Photography)

    Nice shots, Mark.
    I agree with you that the fast moving dance is hard to shoot. I think I would have just put my camera on the ‘Sports’ setting and let the camera do all the calculations of ISO, shutter speed etc. I missed going to the Chinese New Year parade this year as it was over 40degrees and certainly too hot to be in big crowds.


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