Discussion in 'Seeking Critique' started by Supriyo, May 11, 2019.
Thank you for your thoughts.
Great photo. Abstract but recognizable enough. Beautiful use of light and dark, light and shadow, the motion rendered sensuously. It's also got depth and texture and what appears on my screen to be a bit of warm toning provides a nice finishing touch. It's intimate and personal and lovely.
Thanks Sam. I was motivated to try the warm tone after seeing the work of another photographer Fred, who I greatly admire.
Interesting, but I can't help feeling she is missing something...
My first reaction is to strong sense of motion. The slight motion blur is abstract, yet it's clear that this is a woman. We don't need to know any more. The strong backlight is really effective, playing on the translucence of her wrap vs. her body and the rest of her dress. I really don't miss her head.
+1 to Dave's and Sam's comments. Wonderful, evocative image. My only question, and a teeny, tiny one at that, is would it have been better to include more of her head/face in the frame (while recognizing that doing so might have been very difficult given the subject and circumstances)? Nicely done.
I like the informal symmetry. Nicely balanced composition. Don't miss the head at all.
As with everything - it's a personal thing
I wonder what it would look like in colour?
I have been reading all the wonderful comments. It seems the general consensus is divided, some want to include her head, the others don't. I do think, including her head would have made a different picture than this one. I didn't have the head in the original shot (its one of many I took during the live program). However when I selected this one, I felt the lack of head makes it a more abstract representation of energy, ecstasy and as Sam put it, sensuality. Perhaps (and just perhaps), in my opinion, including the head would have made the shot about both the dance and the dancer, while this one is more about the dance and the feelings associated with it.
This is a very nice description of the specific aspects of the shot, especially the translucence which I think sets the mood to a large extent.
Thanks David for your comment. I gave my view in the first half of this post. Although I don't have a version of this shot with the head included, here is another shot from a different dancer with the full upper half of her body.
Informal symmetry is something that I really like about organic shapes. You cannot place a finger on it, but it's there.
Color has its own vibe, particularly, I like how the orange dress looks like flame of fire blowing in the air. However, I still went with the black and white among both versions. Thank you for your comments.
I like it in black and white with the warm toning you gave it.
Interestingly, the photo being headless makes it more intimate to me. Often, having something hidden will do that. One would think seeing a face would provide a desired connection but, in this case, I don’t think that would happen. I think the connection is to the dance, the motion, the sensuality of the tones and shapes and I feel intimately involved in all that without needing or wanting more of an identifier which I think would make it less special.
Like I said, the head is a tiny issue, and I agree wholeheartedly that the image you have is dynamic and full of energy, and that not having a face does make it more abstract and about the dance and its energy. On that basis, I'll retreat and agree it is best as-is.
The no-face image in color is good too, but b&w is just amazing
I also agree its more intimate, and may be because putting a face on the figure makes it more about a specific person with all the aspects of her personality, not just the dance aspect.
Thanks David. As always, your comments are highly valued.
Thanks. This seems to be the consensus, and I agree.
The black and white images and the color one are all interesting in my opinion. I like the movement and the various compositions. A nice sophistication of elements that made me stop and study them. I tend to thing they are all just a little bit noisy and would like to see them less so. You have a good eye for interesting images.
A friend of mine once said something like, "color is for color and B&W is for everything else".
I like everything about the original image- suggestive motion, anonymity, B&W adds the element of abstraction.
IMO the color version doesn't shape up to much, I guess because it is so monochromatic.
I do, however, like the color image of the dancer with her arms spread open.
I love this photo, @Supriyo! My preference is definitely for the B&W version. Your photo exquisitely shows the dancer's motion without the distraction of color.
Two personal notes:
- One of my 2 daughters is a professional dancer, so I've seen many 'dance photos' over the years. Your photos are truly excellent!
- I once took' action photos' of a singer and decided that the B&W version of my ''best motion shot' was the best. She was delighted with the photo and shared it on social media.
Thanks Tholte. I have seen your work over the years and really appreciate your contributions to this community. I agree with you about the noise, due to using a small 1" sensor camera, intentionally underexposed and high ISO to counter the low light. These kind of shots should surely excel using a DSLR or larger mirrorless. I think, I can play with the noise reduction settings in RAW processor to mitigate the noise problem to some extent.
Thank you, Ricochet. I agree with everything you said. I like this image in BW as well (with the slight warm tones).
Thank you, Mike. My little daughter is taking ballet lessons, and she is already showing me moves that amaze me! Dance is one of the great art forms that is not just limited to humans, but is present in courtship rituals of many animal species. I like dance performances and well choreographed ones can give a sense of carefreeness, optimism and euphoria, that are really prized feelings. Thats why I think, dance is also related to spirituality and religious ecstasy in some cultures.
I am currently reading about Alexey Brodovitch, the art director of Harper’s Bazaar (who was also a very talented photographer). His photo-book Ballet is considered a masterpiece and equally rare and expensive nowadays. I found the following excerpt from Wikipedia about his book:
Interesting description and some of it resonates with my thoughts about the expression of dance through static imagery. Although, original version of Ballet is out of print, a sort of compromise version is released by the Errata Foundation. Good for art, and future generations!
I LOVE the color version's emphasis on the light and the incredible, vibrant fabric of her clothes, BUT I think that de-emphasizes her female form and the motion aspect of the image. Hence, if I had to chose one, it'd be the B&W, because of its emphasis on motion and the female form.
OP, are you making a project on the abstract dancers? Would be nice.
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