Stephen Levitas  

Boy in ballet class by Stephen Levitas

October 2021 - Boy in ballet class

October 2021 - Stephen Levitas


About the Image(s)

I went through a set of about 30 shots of our grandson in his ballet class a few years ago. I picked out this one for its pose. I removed the reflection but left a bit of the mirror wall behind for context. My eye kept going to the seam in the glass wall, so I removed that. I did a touch of sharpening. How does the contrast and brightness look?
On a personal note, my wife and I (and our children) have tried very hard to expose our kids to activities without gender categories. Soccer and tennis are pretty universal. This grandson, pictured here, tried dance for a few years, in an otherwise all-girl class. We found his outfit very charming.

12 comments posted

Ata Kemal Sahin   Ata Kemal Sahin
(Group 74)
Hi Stephen, ballet is a great dance & musical show. You already mentioned problems in photo and I tried to re-edit. I congratulate you and your grandson to reach his full potential ballet career to be a danseur. Contrast & brightness are a bit high. Thanks for sharing.   Posted: 10/01/2021 01:58:09
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Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
It is always a pleasure to hear from you on the first of every month, my friend.
Thanks for your suggestions. I did not think to make the juncture of the wall and floor disappear--the result is very good.
As to brightness and contrast (smile), we have very active discussions in my Group 32 about that. I anticipated my Group's reaction, and upped the contrast. I am interested to see what everyone has to say about that.   Posted: 10/01/2021 13:52:10
Ata Kemal Sahin   Ata Kemal Sahin
(Group 74)
Good luck with the discussions Stephen:) Meanwhile, I removed the reflection on the left.   Posted: 10/02/2021 01:58:37
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Wes Odell   Wes Odell
You're right, Stephen, regarding more contrast. I prefer your rendition. The black heavy line in the background does not detract, but gives some "placement" to the boy's activity...... a dance studio.
  Posted: 10/03/2021 16:43:41
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thank you, Wes.   Posted: 10/04/2021 12:46:11

Lance Lewin   Lance Lewin
(Groups 83 & 87)
Indeed, the mirror frame creates a sense of "place", as Wes has pointed out, a very necessary component in creating a narrative.

As far as Contrast - well, as long as you all unleash yourself from the connection to PSA and Club competitions, and other restraining rules manifested by the PSA and many local photography groups - any particular aesthetic that balances the subject is 1. essential in helping to form a narrative, and 2. an artists vision: Art for art sake. (See latest topic in DD-83 Bulletin Board).

As it relates to the featured photograph, and the variety of comments (and edits), I can only suggest more time and patience in finding a position, lens choice and ultimate variations on framing behind the viewfinder could fine other, more inviting and engaging narratives of your grandson.

This all said, the featured work, in my opinion, reveals a very intimate and special time for you and your grandson as he goes through his stretching.   Posted: 10/04/2021 05:09:05
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Lance, thanks for visiting and commenting so extensively. I will keep shooting, and thinking of what I am seeing in the viewfinder.   Posted: 10/04/2021 12:49:53

Lynne Hollingsworth   Lynne Hollingsworth
I agree that the outfit and the pose are both charming. Often in pictures of grandchildren, you see snapshots or standard cliche photos. This is different, interesting, and cropped well. The monochrome rendition is nice, and I like the crop. The mirror does provide context. As for contrast I'm going out on a limb here, but I think it's fine the way it is. Nicely done!   Posted: 10/10/2021 17:37:59
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Thank you, Lynne, I tried, but was not sure I escaped cliché level. It's nice to hear your assessment.   Posted: 10/10/2021 23:50:59

Tom McCreary   Tom McCreary
Your crop and contrast are both good. The area at the top shows us where it was taken. It is a charming image of your grandson. It is good that you have detail in his shirt. If you take some more image there, I would move more to your left, to have his right leg direct you more to his face.   Posted: 10/11/2021 11:28:37
Stephen Levitas   Stephen Levitas
Tom, thank you so much for that good idea about the shooting angle--I will certainly keep that in mind next time!   Posted: 10/11/2021 13:16:52

Diana Magor   Diana Magor
Yes - a different family shot. I hope he never gets embarrassed at the fact that he did ballet when younger. It should keep him in good stead as he gets older if he carries on with some of the exercises. We tried to be gender neutral with our children, but sometimes, friends and situations impinge and they become much more fixed in their outlook. Our daughter can do all sorts of things perfectly well but since she doesn't enjoy some of them, she manages to manipulate male friends to do them for her. She learnt that technique from her Mum and Grandma! I like the way you can see his face under the arm and it is much better without the reflection on the floor. I am not sure whether it is better without the floor/mirror line. Maybe you could tone it down so it isn't quite so stark black?   Posted: 10/12/2021 07:03:22


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