Chris Herzfeld
www.camlight.com.au
Leaf Aptus-II 7
Australia

"The thing I love about the Leaf is that it feels the same at the end of 8 hours of shooting as it does at the beginning of the day."

Chris Herzfeld

Chris’ fascination with photography began early. By the time he was 6 years old he was given his first SLR and he won the first photo competition he entered – the Kodak Nikon Supershot. He has since become one of Australia’s leading dance photographers. Working for Garry Stewart at ADT, Tanja Leidtke and Restless Dance, Chris has created a range of highly successful publicity images and documented major new works for the companies.

Chris’s interest in shooting dance is based in the challenge of making risky real life moves as interesting to the viewer/audience in 2D without any trickery as they are on stage. As he has refined the capturing of areal forms and difficult choreographic highlights he has also developed techniques for his personal projects to direct the dancers’ expressions and limbs in order to make the seemingly impossible look effortless. “I’m most interested in that moment which can be called ‘the stillness of motion.” To capture his subjects in full flight, Chris uses stroboscopic shots with a Leaf 33MP digital back since “Leaf is such a fantastic back to use for that sort of shot”.

Long shooting days also represent a challenge for Chris’s style of photography, as dancers are usually exhausted after a full day of long, repetitive shots. When shooting with both Leaf and one of their competitors Chris noticed that, “after a couple of hours of shooting, the dancers actually liked me to shoot on the Leaf as were getting less missed shots which means less reshoots for the tired dancers.” For Chris, Leaf made all the difference, “the thing I love about the Leaf is that it feels the same at the end of 8 hours of shooting as it does at the beginning of the day”.

To achieve the unbelievable quality of his work Chris uses a Leaf 33MP digital back. However, sometimes such crystal-clear quality creates unforeseen problems. While shooting headshots of the dancers without their makeup, Chris noticed on one of the JPEGs an unmistakably green hue around a dancer’s mouth. After finding the same color in the RAW file, Chris asked the dancer what she’d had for lunch. Her answer? Green Thai curry. “No problem with the camera, except that it sees EVERYTHING. So now all headshots shoots happen before lunch.”

Chris has won a number of Australian Cinematographer Society awards, including two gold awards in 2005 for the Channel 7 News promo campaign and two gold awards in 2006 for the Australian Dance Theatre television campaign for Devolution. His work on the Devolution tvc was awarded a Highly Commended at the National Australian Cinematographer Society Awards in May, 2007.

He is currently the Managing Director of Camlight Productions. He works with a number of companies including the Kojo Group, Spirit Films, ZuluMu Post, Channel 7 and Australian Dance Theatre.

About Chris Herzfeld

After winning the inaugural Kodak Nikon Supershot Award in 1984, Chris embarked on a career as a lighting cameraman. He has worked with Channel 10 and 7 in South Australia on a wide range of programs from lifestyle shows to documentaries. He has also worked on a number of commercials, film clips and news services as both a cameraman and lighting director for many local, interstate and international production companies.

He won a number of Australian Cinematographer Society awards, including two gold awards in 2005 for the Channel 7 News promo campaign and two gold awards in 2006 for the Australian Dance Theatre television campaign for Devolution. His work on the Devolution tvc was awarded a Highly Commended at the National Australian Cinematographer Society Awards in May, 2007.
Chris has also worked on five feature movies including The Big Steal; Bad Boy Bubby and Power Rangers.

He is currently the Managing Director of Camlight Productions. He works with a number of companies including the Kojo Group, Spirit Films, ZuluMu Post, Channel 7 and Australian Dance Theatre.

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