Supaman by Sings In The Timber

I love making photos at powwows! As a journalist I love documenting Native American life but as a photographer I want my work to stand out. So without getting too “arty” I try to shake up my photographic style when I hit a powwow. Most of the time I shoot with a wide-angle lens and use my feet as the “zoom”, I physically get closer. That’s my comfort zone. Close and intimate.

Photographing outdoor powwows can be awesome, especially during the magic hour when the sun is low and warm. But many powwows start in the early afternoon when the sun is high and the light is harsh, as is the case with 1 p.m. Crow Fair Grand Entries. The light isn’t flattering so I thought it would be fun to break out an off-camera flash and create my own key light and use the sun as a secondary light source.

I positioned myself facing the sun and my light a few feet to the side and up 6-8 feet. Simple. Then I just start making photos as dancers pass by me. Sure, I have less physical space to work with in terms of light quality but the results can be spectacular.

That’s how I made this photo of Apsáalooke (Crow) hip-hop artist and dancer Christian Parrish Takes the Gun, aka Supaman. One of the perks of being an established Native American photographer is that many dancers like to strike a pose or dance harder when they see you, just like Supaman here!

For the gear heads out there I was using my trusty Canon 5D Mark II equipped with a Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L lens; ISO 50, 50mm, f/4.5, and a 1/160 shutter speed. My light was a Paul C. Buff Einstein 640 equipped with a socked beauty dish, full power.

To see more of my work please visit my Facebook page: Sings In The Timber Photography

Supaman dances during Crow Fair Grand Entry.
Supaman dances during Crow Fair Grand Entry.

Last Updated on December 4, 2013 by Paul G

One Comment “Supaman by Sings In The Timber”

  • Heather Culley


    You got magic realism there. Not always easy with photography.

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