Ballet in the Woods

“This photo is part of a personal project called The Ballet Project. This one was shot in the woods of Montgomery, NY (about 70 miles north of NYC).

“The Ballet Project” started as an experiment. I had an idea for ballet photos in the woods. I ended up liking what I came away with so much I decided to continue to shoot in other locations around the Hudson Valley region of NY. Then, at some point, I realized I had something unique and might have wider appeal. So I created “The Ballet Project,”an ongoing photo series with my children as the models. My daughters study ballet and I wanted to create images that depicted them in an almost storybook scene so the rest of the world could see the vision I have of them.

My goal was to create a fantasy world but retain the identity of the location. I wanted it to be obvious that these were shot locally. I really wanted to show the beauty of ballet along with the natural beauty of the Hudson Valley. I hope the viewer walks away with a sense of wonder. I hope they recognize the scene but see it in an entirely new way. The way I use lighting I am able to make the scene more saturated and intense, almost surreal, but still retain a sense of reality on the ballerinas. I guess you could say I strive to show the ballerinas in an idealized version of a local setting.

This photo was shot with the sun as the back light and one Nikon SB25 out of frame left on the subject at full power. I used a Nikon D700 with a Tokina 12-24 F4.”- Erik Christian

Camera Nikon D700
Exposure 0.005 sec (1/200)
Aperture f/10.0
Focal Length 24 mm
ISO Speed 100
Lens Info 12-24mm f/4


  • EnticingHavoc

    The basic idea of the image is awesome. However it’s the execution that is lacking. The girl is so small that it almost looks as if she was “photoshoped” into the image later.

  • Leepat Colton

    It’s really too bad there’s no editorial oversight here, of any kind. This is an obvious composite (or terrible flash job), nothing to really learn here but what not to do, sadly.

  • Stephen Sherrill

    This is a good composition, interesting lighting, nice warm color but the subject (the little girl) has been over lightened to the point that she no longer looks like she belongs in the picture. Go back and tone her down. Then the image might look more believable.

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