Dancessence by Hal Eastman

Author: Hal Eastman

ISBN: 978-0972388320

Pages: 76 pages

Published: 2009

Author Website:

Printing Notes: The book was designed by Takigawa Design, Monterey, CA, and printed by Hemlock Printers in Vancouver, Canada, as a quintone in a 10-micron stochastic process on 65# uncoated cover paper. The book’s slipfolio cover paper was handmade in Khandbari, Nepal. The free-sliding slipfolio was hand fabricated in Phoenix, Arizona, using bamboo wood, a magnet, and a tipped-in print, and then screen printed.


The Dancessence fine art dance photography book contains thirty-two images exploring the pure heart of feminine dance and the exquisite sculpture of the dancers’ bodies: soft, strong, subtle, powerful, fluid, cursive, rhythmic, and elegant. The images were made in a studio in Carmel, California with dancers from the United States and Europe. The dancers were choreographed in stationary, sometimes horizontal positions, but imagined themselves in full movement, suspended in time and space. The images were made on a light absorbing background in total darkness using a manual 35mm SLR camera with a fine-grained, slow-speed color film. The camera shutter was held open in a long exposure while the dancers’ bodies were “painted” with a hand-held light source developed in collaboration with a fiber optic scientist from New Jersey Bell Laboratories. The film was scanned to a digital format, converted to black and white, and retouched, but not digitally manipulated. This process creates a softer, more painterly look to the images than is possible with conventional flash photography of moving dancers.