A vibrant festival of dance is held at the venue of 'Arjuna's penance' in Mamallapuram from early January for four weeks. I was lucky to be there at that time, and was able to photograph this dancer set against the magnificent backdrop of Pallava rock sculptures at this open-air performance.
I shot lots of frames to get the 'best posed' ones, and also used a very high ISO to combat the low light. In post I then used noise reduction to get rid of the noise that high ISO produces. I also selected the dancer's profile using the select color range (mainly reds) in photoshop, increased levels of sharpness and saturation, then did an inverse and worked on the background colors and brightness exclusively of the dancer. Also added a little more blur to the background while it was selected.
Critiques | Translate
scobert (5355) 2007-05-11 20:00
This is a fantastic dance photo. Excellent job of shooting in low light abd controlling the high ISO shawdow noise. Well done!
Leilani (1385) 2007-05-11 20:06
Hi David, you did quite a lot of work on this shot. It looks great. The pose and the position of the dancer is very well chosen.
eugeneahn (298) 2007-05-11 20:37
A most excellent and lovely performance shot. Brilliant use of background. You get superb results out of your post work. I would have liked to see the whole standing foot, and a tighter framing on the image's right side.
del7im (40) 2007-05-11 20:41
What a astonishing photo! :D The position of the dancer, the background, the colors, the composition... It's just great!!!
I love India, btw... :P
Dpbours (222) 2007-05-11 20:56
Wonderful moment of balance. You're lucky with the interesting background here and the lighting on it. Intense colours, good result! Yeah, I have a D200 and I know about post processing with high ISO values... Still, I love my Nikon ;-).
JoseMiguel (860) 2007-05-11 23:38
This is a very good capture!
I like the moment catched here, the pose of the dancer is pretty good, the expression on her face, the make up, everything here contributes to enhace this special moment.
Even the background looks very interesting.
You made an excellent vertical composition.
I think your PP works pretty well, and thanks to tell in such detailed way each one of the process done.
Congratulations and thanks also for share it.
My best regards,
Stepan (27210) 2007-05-12 3:46
That's simply gorgeous. Colors and sharpness are excellent, with a great enhancing dark background. A great compo, well realized.
kevinos (7393) 2007-05-12 15:07
A dramatic pose and beautiful framing, David.The background look rich and interesting and the balance between the dancer and the background is just right. You have a really useful technical note as well. regards Kevin
scalerman (26900) 2007-05-12 20:44
David: indeed your were lucky to be there during the festival as these always make for great photo opportunities. None of my Orissan dance images measure up to the sharpness and kinetics of this fine frame. Really beautiful! c
thaprem (2554) 2007-05-15 7:14
Amazing clarity with such low light...
I like the moment in fraction of the time so well etched on the frame.
Your note is very informative & inspiring.
gpsony (448) 2007-05-16 6:55
Well shot! You have caught the moment. This is a very good freeze. The colours and contrast have come out very well. What ISO were you shooting at? Your exif data does not show that.
Her pose depicts Krishna, the Hindu God and reincarnation of Vishnu, the preserver of the Universe. Her right hand indicates the Peacock feather which adorns him and her left shows the flute which is his favourite muscial instrument.
PS: Have added it to my theme.
robiuk (10807) 2007-05-16 15:06
An excellent shot, David!
I would say about 80% is her pose, and
another 20% is the technical part (your
As you say, the BG makes the dancer stand
out... saturation, contrast, everything is
I love it!
oochappan (22043) 2007-06-11 2:14
A nice frozen pose of the Bharata Natyam with contrasting colors to the background well achieved with the low light, a good editing to spot her out David certainly not that easy with your camera.
Bruno40 (6658) 2007-06-12 5:35
Very good technique. I wish I could manage a PP like this.
Would b epossibleto post as WS the original picture for comparison?
Points some other day, I can't now. (updated)
stego (24018) 2007-06-20 20:47
It's amazing, even kind of dazzling, how you managed to captured all the graciousness of her and the dance. One wonders how she balances herself and doesn't fall, her pose suggesting a kind of enchantment. And her big eyes!... The colours are also very catching, the red and yellow making a very nice contrast with the green bg. The bg very appropriate.
Technically is also remarkable. Despite the less than perfect sharpness, it's amazing how you could get it so well and free of noise under the circumstances.
TFS, Regards, José.
noborders (1010) 2007-07-16 12:07
Lovely shot of this dancer, with a perfect background, colours are somptuous,
abulafia (4900) 2007-09-15 7:20
Hi Again David
If i hadn't read your intro, i would have guessed that you did this for a living.
The colors in your shots are great, very vibrant.
And in this one you really got a great background for the dancer, probably a wise move to slightly blur it.
The description of your technique is really welcome.
dareco (17134) 2007-10-01 17:05
A beautiful photo! The colors are excellent. The dance costume is very nice and looks great against the background. Very very beautiful. TFS
manojtnair (435) 2008-05-06 23:00
excellent shot. very good dof. very good exposure. the subject is sharp and clear with good colours. tfs.
- Copyright: David Lazar (dvlazar) (6644)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2007-01-15
- Categories: Festivals
- Exposure: f/10.0, 1/80 seconds
- More Photo Info: view
- Photo Version: Original Version
- Theme(s): favorites.alt, Portraits, India, Indian Dance [view contributor(s)]
- Date Submitted: 2007-05-11 19:52
- Favorites: 1 [view]