Being a fan of the Jitterbug/Lindy Hop dance and its history, back in 2009 I decided to do a studio style shoot based on this dance.  The inspiration for this shoot came from Brooke Burke & Derek Hough's rendition of the Jitterbug on Dancing With The Stars.  They knocked this performance out of the ball park that night!

The dancer models were actors Patrick Bertucci and Annie Eileen Ingham.  Great fun to work with these youngsters on various Jitterbug scenarios for the day.  An interesting aspect of this shoot is the "poodle dog style" dress Annie wore for this particular shot, belonged to her mother when she was a teen!

Shooting this scene was done on a 12 foot wide white seamless paper.  Two studio strobes were placed near the back on each side of the seamless paper and pointing toward the center of the wall of paper.  Front lighting was accomplished with a large 4' x 6' soft box on the right and on the left a large umbrella with a diffusion sock over the umbrella's opening.

This image was re-edited in Photoshop CC 2014.  The file was opened in the raw converter and color corrected and then opened as a smart object into Photoshop.  A duplicate layer via copy was made and then the dancers were extracted and placed on a new layer with a mask. The extraction was necessary since the background was not evenly white and the image extended to the left/right and above of the seamless backdrop.

Below the extracted layer with mask was created a new layer and filled with white.  This placed the extracted dancers on a new all white background.

Non destructive dodging/burning was done by creating a new layer, filling with 50% gray and painting with a 2% opacity brush of white to lighten or black to darken certain areas.  A selective color adjustment layer was created and generally the black was adjusted for each of the colors.  Next a hue saturation adjustment level was created to do a final tweaking of the colors, mainly to lighten the reds, increase the blue and darken the yellow a slight amount.

Faint shadows were added next by creating a new layer between the extraction/mask layer and the white background layer.  A 2% opacity, 20% flow black brush was used to paint in faint shadows around the feet area.  A motion blur was applied to the shadow while adjusting the angle and pixel distance to make the shadow appear realistic. Finally, a slight Gaussian blur was applied to the faint shadow.

Lastly a stamp layer was created so that an unsharp mask of 100 and a noise level of 1 could be applied.


Dancer/models:  Patrick Bertucci, Annie Eileen Ingham

Makeup/Hair/Wardrobe Styling:  Helen Ingham

Photographer's Assistant/Lighting:  Richard Bingham

Studio Location:  Crowne Plaza; Austin, Texas

Photographer: Paul Johnston