Fascinated by ballet photography

Fascinated by ballet photography

Ballet: Movements full of grace and charm in time with the music and perfect body control – this is what Sascha Hüttenhain aims to capture in his photographs. He already starts to view the images on his EIZO ColorEdge CS2740 during the photo shoot, where he edits his photos and optimises them for large-format photo printing. Here, Hüttenhain provides an insight into the way he works, starting with the photo shoot and ending with the finished print.

Sascha Hüttenhain is truly passionate about ballet photography: ‘I have been fascinated by what people do with their bodies during ballet dancing for a long time.’ The successful people and advertising photographer runs a photo studio in Siegen and also works as a photography trainer (including at the Canon Academy). Ballet is fast and very dynamic and therefore difficult to photograph. Capturing the movement sequences in a picture is a question of the right timing above all. ‘Continuously snapping away doesn’t work – you have to pick the perfect moment,’ explains Hüttenhain.

Ballet dancer jumping.

Sascha Hüttenhain manages to capture breath-taking dance movements in great photos. To do this, he constantly talks with the dancers. He photographs the difficult poses at the beginning of the shoot.

Timeless, minimalist, reduced

Hüttenhain’s photos are characterised by their focus on people. In his photos, distracting backgrounds are just as rare as garish colours. His pictures are timeless, minimalist, reduced and direct the viewer’s eye to the people being photographed and their dance and body control.

Symbiosis of photographer and model

Sensitive and trusting communication needs to be established between the photographer and dancer in order to be able to catch exactly the right moment as well as exactly the right pose. He already starts to examine the photos together with the model on the EIZO monitor during the shoot.

Ballet dancer

A play with light and shadow

Ballet dancer

Perfection is the goal

Professional dancers are extremely ambitious and know themselves exactly how to make a pose look perfect. This is why individual poses are often repeated a number of times until photographer and model are satisfied. ‘The photographer is not necessarily the driving force here – the dancers also expect nothing less than perfection from themselves,’ says Hüttenhain, who is visibly impressed. ‘That’s why it is also very important to me that I live up to the high standards that the dancers I photograph have for themselves with my photography. It is also important for me to be able to get a precise and undistorted view of the recorded file on the monitor and to be able to absolutely rely on the visual impression on the monitor.’

ColorEdge CS2740 in photo shoots and image editing

‘That’s why I also use the ColorEdge CS2740 graphics monitor from EIZO on photo shoots,’ explains Hüttenhain. ‘I want to get the most out of the technology, the situation and the model. My models are just as highly motivated and ambitious as I am – we have a great symbiosis and great working atmosphere.’ Accordingly, Hüttenhain’s entire workflow, into which the ColorEdge CS2740 fits perfectly, is very sophisticated. ‘Right from the start, I was very impressed by the high resolution of the 4K display,’ says Hüttenhain, describing his impressions. ‘This is almost print resolution and thanks to the lossless hardware calibration, I’m always certain of having an absolutely precise view of the file. I connect the monitor to my computer via USB-C with a single cable and am not distracted by reflections thanks to the effective anti-glare panel surface. This gives me great confidence and makes me feel relaxed when I’m taking pictures,’ says Hüttenhain. For the professional photographer, EIZO’s uncompromising screen display is a must for professional photos.

Two ballet dancers

Hüttenhain’s photos captivate with their reduced lighting and few colours.

Photo printing as the last step

Naturally, Hüttenhain also uses the EIZO ColorEdge CS2740 to edit his pictures. In the final step, Hüttenhain prints his own pictures. He normally uses his Canon ImagePROGRAF PRO-1000 printer for this. ‘The paper I use complements the actual photo by adding an extra component. This creates a unique work of art,’ says Hüttenhain, fascinated by the feel and overall effect of a photo print. Depending on the surface, material and texture, the same photo can look completely different on different papers. This is why it is extremely important for Hüttenhain to choose the right paper for his creations.

Soft proofing on the monitor

Standard image editing programs allow the image effect to be simulated on the monitor early on in the soft proofing view. In the final step, Hüttenhain optimises each image to suit the characteristics of the paper. The monitor is always at the centre of his workflow, together with a consistent colour management workflow as a key success factor. ‘If you don’t have an unadulterated view of the file, you can’t expect the printout to match the soft proofing view on the monitor, even with what we refer to as ‘docile paper,’ says Hüttenhain, sharing his knowledge and explaining further: ‘Of course, I can’t assume that I’ll be able to successfully simulate the printout on a matt fine art paper on the monitor, which has a very large influence on the finished print. The EIZO ColorEdge CS2740 allows me to retain visual control throughout the whole process, from capturing the images to editing them to printing. This frees my mind as I don’t have to worry about whether an image is really sharp and correctly exposed or how it will look in print. I can simply rely on my eyes and know that the technology will fit.’ This is how the professional photographer sums up his aspirations, which are actually shared by every photographer. All that is needed is the right choice of photographic equipment along with its individual set-up. That’s all it takes to create a professional workflow for achieving fascinating photos.

Sascha Hüttenhain on CS2740

Sascha Hüttenhain working on a CS2740.

Portrait Sascha Hüttenhain

About Sascha Hüttenhain

Sascha Hüttenhain (born 1973) is a freelance photographer with photo studios in Frankfurt and Siegen, Germany. He offers his services to customers in Germany and abroad. The mix of technical understanding and creativity matches his personal skills and interests. His style is often described as being reduced and stripped down to the essential. His work mainly focuses on the areas of lifestyle, advertising, people and fashion. He shoots both on location and in the studio.

Sascha Hüttenhain