PhotoZAP 70: Shall We Dance?

Our critics praise and pan your pictures

"The dancer's gesture is dramatic and nicely timed, but unfortunately, the figure is hard to 'read.'"—Russell Hart


Photo © Ron Harvey, Littleton, CO. Gear: Nikon D90 with Nikon 80-200mm f/2.8 lens. Exposure: 1/200 sec at f/2.8, ISO 640, zoom set at 80mm, handheld.

Photographer’s statement: “This picture was shot at a local Ballroom dance Showcase and I loved the movement in it, and submitted it because the male is almost like a shadow while her movement and grace become the focal point. I am seeking honest critique from anyone who appreciates the difficulty of low/odd-light, high movement shots.”

Our critics say…

Mason Resnick: The photographer does an excellent job catching the woman’s exuberant expression, and that almost carries the picture. However, the blurred person in the lower right corner, the distracting light at the top of the photo, and the other distracting element make this too busy an image. In addition, both the woman’s fingers and the man’s entire arm is cut off arbitrarily. Either zoom in tight, or be more aware of your background and shift your position if necessary.

Mark Lent: I have to agree with Mason. The expression on her face is awesome, and the pose of her body, too. When I see this image, I wonder why the photographer didn't shoot this as a much more tightly cropped vertical image of her alone (example below). In my opinion, the viewer would be just as intrigued by her expression and upper-body pose without all of the clutter that abounds in the image. In shots like this, you also have to be aggressive and work your way to the front of the line, so to speak. By being near the action, you eliminate the possibility of another person getting in-between you and the action. Additionally, a higher angle would not only draw you into her face more fully, but eliminate much of the overly-busy background as well. Great timing, with less than exciting execution.



Russell Hart: The dancer's gesture is dramatic and nicely timed, but unfortunately, the figure is hard to "read." There's too much detail and color in the background that disrupts the figure's shape. Since Ron shot at the lens's maximum aperture, shallower depth of field to further soften the background wasn't an option. The only alternative would have been for him to reposition himself so that some other, less busy part of the auditorium was behind her. This might have been difficult depending on how much freedom he had to move around. 


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