The Chinese New Year celebrations in Austin are a multi-cultural affair. They bring in different ethnic groups to showcase their culture and dancing. For the second year in a row, I attended the event at a Buddhist Temple. I did a photo essay last year on the numerous events. Arriving later this year, I made fewer photos.
I rarely miss chances to photograph festivals like these. It’s a great way to make more exotic looking photos in my backyard. This year, I was also itching to test my brand new Fujifilm GFX 50R medium format camera. I know perfectly well that the GFX 50R isn’t really designed for action. And, until this event, I mainly shot on a tripod. But, I was looking forward to pushing its limits.
Most of these dancers were not moving fast, so the GFX 50R kept up nicely. I’m used to smaller sensors like in the Olympus Micro 4/3 systems, so I was pleasantly surprised how shallow the depth of field was even at f4.
I only had one prime lens, a 50mm equivalent, so optimal framing was a challenge. But, instead of up-close views of the dancers, I didn’t mind including the environmental context. Including the audience in the foreground and background framed the dancers and added depth. At f2.8, my maximum possible aperture, I got a nice amount of subject separation.
I didn’t write down the countries represented, so I’m unsure of their origin. I do remember that his last person was performing a traditional Korean dance. She moved around more than the others, but I was still able to follow and lock focus. I timed the shutter after her twirl so that I get the billowing effect of her skirt.
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