Piers Blackett  

Indian Dancer by Piers Blackett

August 2022 - Indian Dancer

August 2022 - Piers Blackett


About the Image(s)

The annual Oklahoma State Fair in 2018 hosted an Indian Dancing show which ran about every hour for most of the day. I had a seat for a morning show in the second row. It is traditionally presented by a family who come on stage together and remain with the dancer, but making it is difficult to avoid overlap (see original). Also the dancers tend to look downwards while dancing making it difficult to show the dancer's eyes. Individual dances are dramatic, colorful and vigorous. In this pose the main dancer stops suddenly for a pointing pose while looking forwards. It was taken at f/8.0, 1/3000, ISO 800, 56mm (24-105 lens on a Canon 80D). I have cloned out some of the surrounding figures and bright clothing, added more fence, and cropped down.

14 comments posted

Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Piers, wow, what an interesting story! The dancer is so colorful and there is a lot going on that you tried to cut out. I feel, in doing so, that the dancer is too confined. I think the easiest additional cloning would be of the gentleman standing behind the dancer's left hand. I would try cloning the gentleman with the bush so not to cut off the dancer's sticks. It also feels a bit tight overhead. I realize by cropping the top off it became less distracting, but I'm not sure the outcome is better. This is a very difficult image to manipulate. Great crack at it!   Posted: 08/01/2022 15:08:17

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks for the insight Karen. I have also put the background figure in the shade.   Posted: 08/01/2022 16:54:13
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Martin Newland   Martin Newland
Piers, this image is a mass of colour. I find it hard to distinguish the main dancer from the performers standing behind him. I had a go at separating him from the background but it got too complicated too quickly.
I like your darkening of the background on the right hand side of the image and the inclusion of the tops of the feathers in the reworked image. Maybe the same treatment would work on the left hand side. There again, it might just make the image look "overworked."
Have you tried cropping in really close so that the face and shoulders of the main dancer become the main focus for the eye, rather than the torso, head and arms?
I like the main dancer and it is a pity you couldn't have taken him to one side after the performance and photographed him with a quieter background.   Posted: 08/03/2022 21:35:58
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Yes, I had thought of a separate pose in retrospect - perhaps at the next spring fair. Yes, I agree with darkening on the right. I did try cropping down but the effect of the pose and overall tension is lost somehow.   Posted: 08/03/2022 21:59:11
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Karen Botvin   Karen Botvin
Yes, I like the additional edits. I've been to similar events and know how difficult it is to isolate the main subject.   Posted: 08/06/2022 07:49:40

Shirley Pohlman   Shirley Pohlman
Am I the only one seeing my marbles from another month as the "original?"   Posted: 08/04/2022 15:22:59
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
No it looked fine Shirley.   Posted: 08/04/2022 17:09:37
Martin Newland   Martin Newland
I am seeing two white tulips for this month, Shirley   Posted: 08/04/2022 17:44:57

Jaqueline Whalen   Jaqueline Whalen
I really like the dancer. I also like what you did to isolate the figure as the original was very busy. I think what I would prefer is more space at the top rather the cropping in so tightly. Otherwise, I like this guy. What a great capture under really difficult surroundings!   Posted: 08/06/2022 08:38:11
Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks for your positive comments.   Posted: 08/06/2022 09:20:38

Jim Wulpi   Jim Wulpi
What a wonderfully colorful image. Your editing skills are awesome. That's a lot of work to isolate your main dancer from the surroundings.
With that said, I feel as though the outstretched hand (his left) holding a colorful object, has been cut-off. I feel that that is part of the overall story, and would like to see that as part of the final image. I understand that would be a lot of work in itself.
As Martin suggested, an after-performance pose/capture as this dance being an isolated subject would be wonderful.   Posted: 08/06/2022 15:00:38

Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks for the comments. Yes I agree about the pointer and put it back in (see above).   Posted: 08/06/2022 18:48:02

Bev Caine   Bev Caine
(Groups 24 & 48)
The only thing I did was to brighten up his face a tad using a non destructive layer mask.   Posted: 08/12/2022 12:28:12
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Piers Blackett   Piers Blackett
Thanks, I see the difference. Also it makes me think a view from in front of the dancer would have been better.   Posted: 08/12/2022 12:37:29


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