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First dance
First dance

Photograph Information Photographer's Comments
Challenge: Art of 2016 (Standard Editing*)
Collection: Portfolio
Camera: Fujifilm X-E2
Lens: Fujifilm XF 18-55mm f/2.8-4 OIS
Location: UK
Date: Aug 6, 2016
Aperture: 20.0
ISO: 800
Shutter: 1/10
Date Uploaded: Jan 4, 2017

Saw this lovely young lady enjoying her twirling and she was dancing all over the room in horrible lighting... she caught me shooting her and stopped. Then for some reason she walked to the exact spot I had wanted her and started dancing again. I got a couple these. PP crop/ convert to B/B and some contrast adjustments

Place: 54 out of 150
Avg (all users): 5.7500
Avg (commenters): 7.2727
Avg (participants): 5.8642
Avg (non-participants): 5.3478
Views since voting: 207
Views during voting: 203
Votes: 104
Comments: 14
Favorites: 0

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01/28/2017 07:36:07 AM
Thank you to both sidpixel for the many really wonderfully helpful critiques and to posthumous for the deep appraisal of this challenge. Its a wonderful world we photographers live in.. so many unique opportunities to capture and to share those 'one of 'moments in life . I watched this lovely young lady for ages and the same moment never happened again. I think of our chosen medium as the most amazing artistic canvas and I love the way posthumous describes photographers challenges as being subtractive... This has definitely got me thinking and until now not something I had ever really considered. Its true.. its what we leave out of the shot that predetermines the power of the shot.. thank you so much for making me think differently and apprecaite even more the power of the medium we choose to use as our canvas.
01/27/2017 12:45:23 PM
Hello from the critique club

An appealing image that contributes well to the challenge

How do you follow a critique like Posthumous' ? I'll do my best. This really is a delightful image Jonathon with the dancing girl the obvious focus lit beautifully by that diagonal shaft of light which lights her like a beacon amongst the dark shadows. For me the image appeals most for the motion blur of the child as she twirls, lost in her own private world of discovery, together with the lovely use of negative space and deep shadows. The mono presentation is a must it works so very well. This was a very well supported challenge with a lot of good entries and, though you have received a lot of appreciative reaction, all well justified, for me this ought to be on the front page, a great image Jonathan, well done.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/26/2017 08:02:35 PM

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This photo is a great opportunity to discuss how photography “works” as an art. Each of the fine arts has its own technique, its own modus operandi, and we can gain insight into the different arts by comparing them. The comparison that this photo brings to mind is that painting is “additive” while photography is “subtractive.” The painter is faced by the abyss of the empty canvas, and bravely adds brushstroke after brushstroke of paint, laboriously building up an image. The photographer, on the other hand, stands on the cliff of TMI… every detail within frame bounces photons through the shutter of his camera: a wealth of detail that threatens to be nothing more than the chaos we see every day of our lives. The photographer’s journey from chaos to art therefore seems subtractive in nature. The challenge becomes how to remove information, to highlight and juxtapose certain elements, in order to do what art does, whatever that is.

In this case, information is obliterated by darkness, while what seems like a beam of light directs our eye to an extremely limited scene. And because photography is “subtractive,” this has an element of wonder to it, whereas if it were a painting or drawing it might seem lazy! And what are these elements? A stone wall, some chairs, and a girl dancing… or at least, what seems like a girl dancing. You could, in fact, argue that the photograph is dancing, that the dance occurs in our eyes differentiating the blurry spin of girl from the rough stone pattern and rigid row of chairs behind her. This analysis is on a mostly visual level. The title “First Dance” takes us into more literary territory, suggesting a symbolic or allegorical meaning: a spotlight on a new experience, an experience that is more universal than just one girl dancing for the first time. Blur is good for allegory, because it blurs out those details that make us individual.

But none of this really explains why I chose this photograph above many others. This choice is actually mysterious even to me. After all, when you tell your doctor about some pain or dizziness you’re having, the doctor doesn’t ask why you have it. Actually, you expect the doctor to tell you! Nevertheless, I will try to be the quack who heals himself, and guess at the reasons. It could be how solid (like a tightly rolled scroll) the torso of the girl appears even as it is spinning. I love the complexity of contradictions. I like how her head is tilted down in profile, reducing her face to just a couple of tiny strokes and emphasizing the graceful orb of her head, and I like how this downward tilt is in the same direction of the beam of light that is backlighting her. I like the composition, that pushes all the visible elements leftward, echoing the leftward tilt of the beam of light, and that makes the girl small in the picture, which doesn’t make her seem insignificant, but rather emphasizes the experience that she is having, and therefore makes her more significant. All taken together, along with elements I don’t even realize, this image fills me with hope and a sense of life. Even more, it suggests to me the ability to face something dreadful and reimagine it as something wonderful.

Message edited by author 2017-01-26 20:33:37.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
 Comments Made During the Challenge
01/24/2017 10:13:51 PM
Joie de vivre.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/24/2017 07:31:41 PM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/24/2017 09:52:32 AM
Exudes joy. Love it!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/24/2017 02:31:02 AM
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/23/2017 04:08:49 PM
Tiny Dancer.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/23/2017 12:47:14 PM
Totally charming image. Glad you found and entered this.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/22/2017 10:52:33 AM
I think there is some weirdness with dodging and such here, but perhaps that is what helps to provide a special context and emphasis. perhaps the charm is that one has to sit and think a bit about it.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/22/2017 10:34:53 AM
Wonderful composition. Seems perfect that the little dancer is in a blur.
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/20/2017 11:17:28 PM
great moody shot like the movement in it
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/20/2017 04:28:44 AM
Lovely !!
  Photographer found comment helpful.
01/18/2017 10:31:12 PM
Au claire de la lune.....just like the song
  Photographer found comment helpful.

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