Lushi Song Takes Us Behind the Scenes of the Chevalier Ballet in NYC ft. the Lomo LC-Wide

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When we first introduced Rhode Island-based photographer Lushi Song to our community, she shared her love for the versatility of our Lomo LC-Wide camera, enthusing about how she takes it on the go and often finds herself shooting intimate portraiture and heart-warming moments with it.

Today she's back, slightly shifting gears from her usual wedding photography—while still keeping her intimate style and go-to camera—to share some beautifully experimental photos that she took behind-the-scenes in collaboration with the ballerinas of the Chevalier Ballet Company in New York City.

Photo by Lushi Song

Hi Lushi, welcome back to Lomography Magazine! Can you fill us in on what you’ve been up to since your last feature?

Happy 2024! I am so honored to be back again especially after a long hibernation. Since last September, I have been working alongside one of my best friends to collaborate on a personal project, which ultimately led to this ballerina photo series.

Long story short, Andrew and Megan are the founders of John Baer Archive and I am so lucky to be part of their team, assisting in wet scanning all of the archive's film negatives from the 1950s, which were shot mostly on a Leica by Andrew’s dad. It is an absolutely amazing experience of going through so many unseen B&W shots created before I was even born!

Photos by Lushi Song

Can you tell us about your work shooting with the Chevalier Ballet Dance Company?

As part of the John Baer Archive team, I had this opportunity to enjoy their first collaboration with Chevalier Ballet in NYC this past month. I only brought my LC-Wide with me for the trip as I didn’t plan to take any “formal” photos.

When I got there early, I saw the ballerinas were in and out of a backstage room getting themself ready. My gut told me that I needed to do something so I asked, “May I join you guys with my camera?” And that’s how I got these photos.

What made you decide to utilize your Lomo LC-Wide for this particular series?

Like I mentioned in my last feature, LC-Wide has become my go-to camera whenever I have a chance to travel. She is so compact, effective and funny (I even named her Nyad after watching the movie “Nyad”!) After many trial and errors, I have learned that Nyad works so well under tough and challenging situations (right! Just like Nyad!)

What film stock did you load up your camera with and why?

Kodak 400TX. The photos we ended up using for the performance were all black and white—that’s the main reason I felt like using the same kind of shoot behind-the-scenes as well. Another reason was probably because it was New York and B&W is the core color of this particular corner of the world.

Photos by Lushi Song

Your photos take a very experimental approach in documenting the ballet. Can you tell us a bit about how you conceptualize your shots?

To be honest with you, I didn’t think too much about photos in terms of compositions and so on. I think what was important to me was to forget that I had a camera in my hand.

Instead, I visualize myself becoming a dancer at that moment and all the excitement and nervousness are the trigger to click the shutter for me.

The more I shoot, the more I like to compare shooting to writing. It is the same. I write down random words in my mind, and then they become lines and paragraphs, until finally, I can see the whole story by editing the scans.

A lot of the photos are taken behind-the-scenes. Do you have any tips or tricks for making sure your subjects are comfortable while being shot getting ready?

Good question! That’s why I love LC-Wide, because it is basically invisible. It became part of me so most of the time the dancers didn’t even know I was taking photos. Also, don’t direct, just listen carefully. The nice frames will show when you are calm and patient.

Do you have any advice for those interested in shooting dance performances on film?

I am definitely not a professional on shooting performances as the lighting situation may be very difficult sometimes. As we all know how film is limited when it comes to low light and no flash allowed. One suggestion I have is to use higher speed film stock or push your film if you can.

Photo by Lushi Song

Do you have a favorite photo from the series?

A panorama of all the ballerinas getting ready, putting their dresses on in the tiny room. The image itself is telling you the whole story behind it.

Do you have any upcoming projects or shoots that you can share with our community?

Yes! I am talking to Andrew about going on a boat to photograph how fishermen catch squid from the ocean and ship them around to different parts of the world. How interesting!

Anything else you’d like to share?

I just can’t wait to photograph more exciting stories using my Nyad!


To keep up with Lushi and her work, check out her Instagram and website.

written by eloffreno on 2024-04-22 #gear #culture #people #places #wide-angle #lc-a #performance #documentary

Mentioned Product

Lomo LC-Wide

Lomo LC-Wide

Capture your life in wide angle with the world's widest 35mm compact camera with a 17mm ultra-wide-angle lens.

3 Comments

  1. les_enfants_terrible
    les_enfants_terrible ·

    Beautiful images.

  2. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Ballerina are just like Sundaneae traditional dancer 👯‍♀️💃 both of them are having the aura that make every move their make become a very snapable 💕

  3. hervinsyah
    hervinsyah ·

    Typo 🤭 Sundanese traditional dancer

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