Dodge & Burn is a series of photo essays documenting local culture with a focus on artful imagery, movement, and light.
Wonderglo was the magical fundraising event for WonderRoot and gloATL that was held at the W Hotel in Midtown on Saturday, March 24, 2012. As a photographer, I enjoy following the exploits of gloATL because of their attention to complete visual presentation. Lauri Stallings and her fellow choreographers always think about more than the dance moves; they consider the setting, the lighting, and the costumes. The dancers are also fearless, and can blend in with the crowds in unexpected ways.
Wonderglo was no exception. The dinner and initial interaction with the dancers took place in a darkened dining hall with abstract projections against the walls. It was so dark in fact that I had to push my camera to its highest ISO settings in order to shoot in the low light. I took some shots with flash, but that really spoiled the mood and produced flat, boring images. My best shots came from my telephoto lens, which allowed the dancers to freely express themselves without a camera right in their faces.
When the dancers initially started moving, diners paid little attention. That changed rather suddenly, however, when the dancers began to squirm under their tables and pop their heads out of holes next to the diners’ dinner plates. Bright, focused light highlighted the dancers’ heads. People gawked, took photos, and continued eating their meals.
The event had attendees moving through several floors of the hotel, and one never knew when to expect another encounter with another gloATL dancer. Other artists were there too, including a sculptor making a hand, another sculptor waxing poetic while making an abstract work, as well as classical violinists and opera singers. Colorful lighting and projections dominated many of the sets. Once again, flash drowns out the interesting colors and patterns, so shooting at high ISO settings was the norm throughout the evening.
The final part of the shoot was the live music performance by the bands. Again, the room was dark except for some very colorful lighting. So don’t adjust your monitors, the Atlanta Opera singers really are green!
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