Long Exposure Photographs of Dancers by Bill Wadman

Dec 22, 2012 1 comments

Photographer Bill Wadman has captured 9 dancers in flowing motion with long exposure photography. The images were captured in a dark room with a single soft light source shining down on the dancers from above. Wadman shot with a Canon 5D Mark II and a 35mm f/1.4 lens using a 3-second exposure with his lens stopped down to f/11.

The series titled “Motion” is now available as a book. His prints images have been featured worldwide in The New York Times, La Monde, Der Spiegel, Times of London, USA Today, and Corriere della Sera, to name just a few. We were a little late.


Wadman tells PetaPixel about how the project came about:

‘Motion’ started as an experiment, a departure from my traditional and conceptual portrait work. I had attended a lecture by old-school sports photographer Marvin Newman where he showed a slow shutter speed image he had taken of a boxer with his saturated glove smearing across the frame as he punched his opponent. I was inspired by the imagery and idea of capturing motion in a dynamic way, so started experimenting with long exposure photography.

My initial plan was to use a broad cross-section of subjects, specifically people who move as part of their job. Athletes, construction workers, cooks, etc. were all on my initial list of potential shoots. However, my first experiment was with a professional dancer and the results were incredible, so I decided all the subjects should people whose use of motion is their living. During the following months I had sessions with nine different dancers.

One of the dancer Amber Bogdewiecz explains what it was like taking part in the project:

This past month, I was fortunate enough to be in some fantastic photos for photographer Bill Wadman’s ‘Motion’ project. It was really difficult to move at the exact right speed to capture the ribbons of movement, but after a few hours, I finally figured it out. If you actually had been sitting in on the session, I would have looked like a crazy, dancing monkey trying to cross about 6 feet of space fluidly in about 6 seconds. But the photos look amazing!

Also see: Unusually Long Exposure Photographs by Michael Wesely











  1. I love them. Sometimes when I am bored while shooting sports I experiment in such ways.


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