My favorite photo: Motion amid emotion

Glow sticks light up the Dance Marathon floor

Glow sticks light up the Dance Marathon floor. Photo by Tim Schoon.

Editor’s note: The members of University Communication and Marketing constantly document the happenings at our fine university, whether they’re clicking away in the classrooms, capturing picturesque moments on campus, or shooting the action at myriad events. Tim Schoon shares this image from a frenzied moment from last year’s Dance Marathon in this installment of the “My favorite photo” series.

Dance Marathon kicks off tonight, and for the first time in quite a few years, I won’t be shooting it. It’s too bad in a way. Dance Marathon is a great event for a photographer.

It’s dark and loud and long and hot and sweaty, and that all makes it hard to shoot. But with the crush of people and the constant energy, it has so much potential for great photos.

Every year when I shoot the event, I spend most of my time focusing on the people dancing. But when they turn off all the lights and throw a couple of cases of glow sticks into the crowd, I forget the people and just see what happens.

This is an image I shot last year, and I love the randomness of it. The dancers painted this picture for me even though they had no idea what they were doing, and, given the conditions, I had no idea if anything would work. I just kept shooting.