Shed Mojahid is a professional dance photographer and Canon Explorer for Canon Belgium. Recently he went on assignment to Iceland to test the new Canon EOS 6D Mark II by mixing powerful acrobatic movements by professional dancers against a backdrop of beautiful landscapes.
As you can see, his resulting images are stunning. Shed took a few moments to speak to us about the project and explain how the Canon EOS 6D Mark II figured into the equation.
How did you get the idea to mix landscapes with acrobatic movements?
This is something I do very often. I like to travel and mix landscapes with acrobatic movements. I have already realized the same project in the USA with artists from Cirque du Soleil in 2013 and 2015.
What were you trying to show in these images?
I love nature and the landscapes they offer us. I find photographs of landscapes really beautiful to watch, but I am a professional dancer.
Everything that I find beautiful I try to mix it with my discipline to create something unique. The most important thing for me in this project was to respect the power of the landscape with a powerful figure. I wanted to create a perfect harmony between them.
How did you source your locations?
I only work on feeling. I don’t prepare anything at all. I discover everything about the present moment – especially in a country like Iceland where the temperature often changes.
Here’s a short video showing the project behind the scenes…
What about the Canon 6D Mark II leant itself to this project?
Dance photography is something very difficult to achieve. Many parameters must be respected and a lot of technical knowledge! I think exercise is perfect for trying out a new camera.
Canon Belgium have understood this very well and we decided to test it in Iceland with my dancers.
I love the challenges.
Did the 6D Mark II’s vari-angle help you achieve some of these images?
No, I dont like to be assisted by technology but maybe if I was in a non-practicable place it would have helped me a lot!!
To make my Time Lapse from the video, I used it a lot.
Do you use touchscreen control a lot in your work?
I think for indoor photos it can be very good, in Iceland I did not have much opportunity to use it outside (with the cold I often had gloves) but when I could do it, I did and it was very pleasant.
How were you able to freeze the models’ movements so well in what looks like low-light in some cases?
I do not think too much about it, it’s an automatism, depending on the interior or exterior lighting I can easily find the right setting. It all depends on the speed of the movement too. There is no predefined setting. It must be done according to the movement, but I am often at 1/800 minimum.
Did you use any off-camera lighting?
When necessary, yes. But the flash must be well controlled! I prefer natural light, especially in a country like Iceland.
Do you think the SLR form still has its place, or do you think there would be mileage in a full-frame mirrorless version?
I’m not a fan of mirrorless systems. I don’t think a different technology will make me make better picture… I think we just have to be in harmony with the device we have in our hands.
A lot of people criticize some cameras, but my question is: Who uses 100% of the features of his camera? Half of the new technologies are not used and are not necessary for shooting a nice image.