My name is Carolin Thiergart and I am a dance and circus photographer. I came to dance photography because I danced ballet myself for 10 years. Originally I started with portrait photography, but then I discovered my love for dance photography.
In ballet you work with very ambitious and sometimes very perfectionist artists who demand a lot of themselves. It is sometimes a bit more difficult to take a good photo because not only the photographer has her own demands on herself or on the image material. At the same time, the dancers also want their dance technique to be good.
It is particularly helpful if my camera can support me in this. The FUJIFILM X-S20 is a camera that has all the features that are important to me as a dance photographer.
I like to try out new things, improvise and incorporate the dancers’ ideas. The camera is a useful tool that helps me realise my creative dreams. And the more flexible the tool, the more room there is for photography. Since photography is all about creative interaction with other artists, I try not to focus too much on the technique.
Our dance action shoot with the X-S20 was no different. Before the shoot, I had a rough idea of the locations I wanted to photograph. My plan was to capture one of the impressive jumps in front of the TV tower. The photos on the rather minimalist wall were left to the dancers to interpret freely. I prefer to let things take their natural course. Both I and the dancers are inspired by the locations.
Instead of always photographing one dancer, we also took group shots. This was a special challenge because the fast movements and jumps had to be synchronised. A tricky task, as the good and photogenic moments in ballet are often extremely short. In addition, we had different outfits with us, which gave the overall picture more character and gave the dancers more room for their creative ideas.
In dance and action photography, the photographer has very specific and sometimes high demands on the camera. Today, high-speed shots and autofocus tracking are indispensable. Here you can confidently deviate from the often voiced cliché that the photo must do without continuous shooting. Apart from the fact that it would be irresponsible on location to let a dancer endlessly perform jumps and action-packed movements on unsuitable ground, technical progress today allows us the luxury of high-speed continuous shooting. Combined with autofocus tracking, this is an unbeatable combination. Once the picture of a jump is taken, there is more time and space for other poses, locations and ideas. That’s how it was with our dance photo shoot: with the jumps in front of the TV tower, every shot was spot on and within seconds we could devote ourselves to new ideas again.
For me, a camera has to be as small and light as possible. If there’s one thing I’ve learned in photography over the last few years, it’s one thing above all: be flexible. Change perspectives and locations, be open to other people’s ideas and always keep your eyes open for more cool spots during the shoot. The result will be many times better if you can fully concentrate on having fun and being creative.
The FUJIFILM X-S20 is equipped with a 26-megapixel sensor and features the new X Processor 5, which is twice as fast as its predecessor and reduces power consumption, among other things. With a weight of only 491 grams, it is really small and handy. Even with larger lenses, it fits well in the hand.
Having the longest possible battery life offers me several advantages at once: I don’t have to worry about it ending prematurely during the shoot and I don’t have to invest in various spare batteries. The X-S20 is powered by the NP-W235 battery with 2200 mAh. This is a significant improvement in battery performance compared to the previous model. This is a big plus for anyone who shoots for long periods at a high continuous shooting rate.
I can also keep the weight and size of my luggage to a minimum, as I no longer need to carry 3-4 spare batteries. The preparation time for the equipment is kept within limits. I’m much quicker to be out spontaneously with the camera if I don’t have to remember to charge all the batteries beforehand to get through the day. On our shooting day we were out for a good 8 hours. I didn’t even have to change the battery. In between, we changed locations 2 to 3 times. With the compact size and weight, you can get through longer shooting days very comfortably. The X-S20 is in many ways a clear improvement in my everyday photographic life.
For me, the FUJIFILM X-S20 means flexibility and freedom for creativity. Small and compact, I can always have it with me. In my opinion, the X-S20 is the perfect companion for anyone who is looking for a small, reliable powerhouse to be able to concentrate fully on photography without having to make any compromises in terms of technology.