I spent the twelve days, August 9-21, serving as a special interest lecturer on board Crystal Serenitys Cruise #9317 . One would think that it would be difficult to identify a single event as the highlight on a cruise that visited ten Mediterranean ports among them, Piraeus (Athens) and Nice (France), Civitavecchia (Rome) and Livorno (Florence) But there was a truly memorable hour, and indeed it came on the last night of the cruise, when the ship was docked overnight in Barcelona.
Although my normal choice of music is manifestly classical, ever since I was a teenager Ive harbored a fascination for the Spanish guitar, and moreso for the flamenco dance. Thus, when I had the opportunity to see a performance of a troupe of flamenco dancers in Spain, and right on the Ramblas in Barcelona, I seized it. I was ushered to a seat next to the stage and just a meter off the floor, and served the customary glass of Sangria. Then, to the accompaniment of hand-clapping singers and string-plucking guitarists, a shapely young flamenco dancer came out, her feet and castanets clattering, and oiled her way around the floor, oozing charm from every pore (as Henry Higgins pronounced in the musical, My Fair Lady). Pure unadulterated poetry! For anyone who has a few minutes, I would recommend watching a performance of a flamenco dancer that I found on YouTube. In the growing archives of the YouTube site there is even a listing of this particular troupe and in this very same setting, Flamenco in Barcelona.
Cameras were allowed, so was the use of flash, but videotaping was not. Since the room was dark, I did use a fill flash with my Nikon D200. The dancer was close enough to me that the flash illuminated her, and very little else. In an accompanying diptych created from a pair of close-up shots one can see the intensity and passion in her face. However, since she was so close to me, and I was using an 18 mm lens, I could not save her right hand. I take solace from the fact that another Mediterranean beauty, Venus de Milo, was successful for 2400 years without hands or arms.
I am submitting this image in commemorating the anniversary of a meeting with José Pires (stego) with whom I spent a fabulous day traipsing along Las Ramblas exactly a year earlier.
Critiques | Translate
ChrisJ (92128) 2009-09-11 20:25
Sounds like it was a wonderful Mediterranean cruise. Well managed interior lighting, here, with good colour, sharpness & fill flash. Have a nice weekend!
nivaldo (15415) 2009-09-11 20:28
you are really a good writer not just a "photographer"!
An interesting note ( as usual ) and a good capture!
"Tesekkür ederim", Gracias Señor! Obrigado!
Um abraço , a big hug!
aadilj (18102) 2009-09-11 23:01
What lovely action and a perfect take with nice lights and light mood. Great composition
snunney (75104) 2009-09-12 0:50
A great capture of this trim young flamenco dancer, whose costume positively sparkles. A great composition with a wonderful atmosphere. Sounds like a very pleasant way to spend the evening.
jhm (130662) 2009-09-12 1:00
Hello Dear Bulent,
Flaminco dance is somewhat apart, very lovely but difficult as solo dancer.
I can very enjoy for look at.
Very well done, TFS.
Have a nice weekend,
kdialyna (3148) 2009-09-12 1:38
Another one representative photo from your cruise, my dear friend.
I am a flamenco lover and in this photo you captured the temperament and the tension from the dancer that what is the most important to a photo like that.
I think the flash gave good light making her dress shining and her movement more intense.
tober (8797) 2009-09-12 1:40
Merhaba Sayın Hocam, benzer bir gösteriyi birkaç kez Sevilla'da izlemiştim ama fotoğraf çekmek sadece son beş dakika için müsaadeliydi. Karanlık ortama rağmen atmosferi güzel yansıtmışsınız. İber Yarımadası insanıyla ve doğasıyla olsun, sanat ve sporuyla olsun çok sevdiğim bir coğrafya gerçekten. Elinize sağlık, çok saygılar... Tolga
TGULUMSER (13252) 2009-09-12 5:11
Hello Bulent Hocam,
A great view in the dark place, reflecting the mood of Flamenco.
Congratulations and best regards,
kandaras (264) 2009-09-12 5:16
eglenceli bir dans gosterisi olsa gerek seyircilerin yuz ifadelerinden cok mutlu olduklari gozlenmekte danscinin kiyafeti ve durusuda da etkileyici.
paololg (31448) 2009-09-12 6:52
Ciao dear Bulent,
surely the dance and the music flamencas are one of the most meaningful figurative artistic expressions, where the intensity and the concentration are transmitted to whom sees and listens. The laying and the curves of this dancer show it thanks to your beautiful image. Excellent management of the light. Compliments, dear friend!
Ciao, have a very nice week end!
stelli (2991) 2009-09-12 9:03
Great sharpness, light and color management! It seems you had too much fun at the cruise!! :) Amazing performances those in youtube! Thank you for sharing! Regards Stella
feather (51128) 2009-09-12 12:48
Many of us are nervous about using fill flash, but here you show how useful it can be, as the movement is perfectly frozen. Although we don't need to see any other detail there is enough ambient light to appreciate the surroundings without them stealing the attention.
Thanks for the link
berek (32296) 2009-09-12 13:33
Merhaba Bülent bey,
burada gösteri harikaydı sayenizde tekrar o ayak seslerini duyar gibiyim. elinize sağlık. selam.
MLINES (12516) 2009-09-13 5:02
Hi Bulent. It is a very sharp and well coloured image you show today. The dress looks 3-D not an easy thing to achieve. I like the details of the hip and hairpiece, which gives a lot to the imagination of the lady's beauty. Well conveyed. TFS. Murray.
subhendu_bagchi (23657) 2009-09-13 9:09
the enjoying mode is everywhere in this photo. You composed it in great manner. Using of flash acts well here. Light are fine. The darker background here appealing more. Peoples in darker side added a lot to it. Great sharpness and clarity. Tfs.
Have a nice time.
maxmitzu (455) 2009-09-13 9:17
Great action shot. I like a lot how she is dressed, she have a lovelly dress.
Your POV is great and the colors of this picture are very good.
All the best
Greg1949 (9011) 2009-09-13 9:51
Bulent, nice shot from a fabulous city. I understand the interest in Spanish guitar. The lighting in this shot is superb, however improvised it is, the fall of the light and shadow from the sconces is the kicker, great work.
cagla (3908) 2009-09-13 12:37
Merhaba Bülent Bey, nefis bir görüntü olmuş. Flamenko dansının tipik figürlerini en renkli ve estetik şekilde yansımış. Elinize sağlık. Selamlar.
yedirenk (11242) 2009-09-13 17:56
merhaba Bülent hocam,
Şartların zorluğuna rağmen çok başarılı bir iç mekan çekimi.oldukça dinamik ve de estetik ayrıca.kadrajı da çok özel olmuş.anı,atmosferi fazlasıyla hissetiriyor.ellerinize sağlık.selamlar
BWJ (3022) 2009-09-13 18:37
How lucky you were to have a front row seat. You timed this superb motion shot of the elegant flamenco dancer just right. The color and lighting are excellent. Using the flash served you well. It is a fantastic shot and a great way to remember the last night of your cruise.
leonorkuhn (16233) 2009-09-14 7:03
I always wanted to do a photo like this. Composition full of charm, perfect light, beautiful colors and great details. Very well done!
Greetings from Brasília
jemaflor (76624) 2009-09-14 12:07
Good choice for the title, nice wear for the dancer, well taken at the perfect moment to give dynamism at your photo, pity that the hand is cropped on the top ...
Wandering_Dan (3449) 2009-09-14 13:58
Merhaba, Bulent -
I generally dislike using flash, and I'm surprised it was allowed here, since it can dangerously distract a dancer, but I have to say that this time the flash was put to good use - highlighting the subject well while leaving the bg properly dim. Not easy to pull off! The audience shows up as it should - a not quite amorphous mass that enhances rather than distracting from the main focus. (I'll even forgive cutting off her hand! :-) As your note to Jean says, Venus de Milo has done well enough without arms and legs, so what's a hand?)
A great atmospheric shot.
archimatica (20196) 2009-09-14 14:06
Great picture rapresentative of Spain.
The figure of the dancer is delicious.
Un caro saluto
Angshu (53665) 2009-09-14 21:09
Hello Professor 'A'
I wish we could see here face...timing is ever so critical in such pictures! The use of the fill-in flash is optimal here, because in one hand it helps us see the details, but at the same time maintains the ambience of this darkish floor. Thanks for the links as well with your as always informative note!
With Warmest regards
Royaldevon (23412) 2009-09-15 1:34
There is still hope for me with my D200 if you can get shots like this! I just love it! I think I would have liked her hands complete but it does suggest movement and, I realise, you were very close to the action.
The textures, the movement, the light, the sharpness, the atmosphere, the dof ... excellent!
Graal (93606) 2009-09-15 23:35
good shot, fine caught moment and scene. Nice Your remembrance from Barcelona. Good complementary WS also. I like it.
JCG (35129) 2009-09-16 4:13
Meetings flamenco which seem to have much success to see the number of people around the scene Good use of the flash here I find allowing to emphasize well the dancer of which we can see his pretty face on your WS. Thank you for small films adding the sound to the image, and for your always interesting note.
With all my friendships of Versailles and with soon,
Emile (20348) 2009-09-17 6:06
Wonderful photo, very well captured. Very good light management with your D200 flash.
Right now I'm on the Crystal Serenity, our cruise started the day before yesterday in Istanbul, at this moment we are at Patmos Island resting with a lovely day, sunny and fresh. Sorry you are not here giving your excellent lectures. Will finish the cruise in Venice on the 26 of September. From there I will go to Milan, Lago Como, Padua, etc. then back to Madrid an return home on the 4th of October. I spent 5 days in Moskou, Russia, that was the first city we visited during our vacation.
Cretense (68675) 2009-09-17 11:50
Hello, dear Bulent!
Beautiful photo, great capture of this lovely dancer, perfect timing for the right move, just in time to say "ole"! Great composition and framing, great light management!
erdna (5707) 2009-09-18 9:43
Your picture and my memory of the city make this photo doubly attractive. The low ceiling, flamenco music and a pretty flamenco dancer with castenets on both hands and you drinking sangria, that is Barcelona!
I wish I could visit it again. Thank you for sharing this.
ManuMay (34357) 2009-09-18 16:08
Merhaba Master Bulent!!
Good, very good!! I must say this is one of most beautiful captures I´ve seen of this topic places, elegant, well done and very good in composition. A difficult light condition really well manegd!!
Have a nice week end...
lraew (42) 2009-09-18 18:02
Indeed a theme that I can share as my minor in Spanish far surpassed my course work for my B.S. or my M.Ed. The courses, the history, the art, the literature and most definitely the flamenco captured my heart while studying in college and subsequently teaching the language for the next 6.5 years. Listen to Ottmar Liebert if you are a fan of the spanish guitar - I love his music. Excellent job as always on the capture photographically and on commentary. I enjoy your work immensely.
Vasa (16658) 2009-09-19 1:47
All energy is on your subject seen from the optimal position, Bulent. As a banal man I like the only subject with all her energy. Many thanks, friend,
NorfolkGirl (170) 2009-09-19 15:06
Beautiful! I love her dress and how the light of the flash has caught the ruffles.
I see you have captured her in the golden ratio (am I right? :D)
jafadabret (56497) 2009-09-20 23:46
Cette photo est superbe. La danseuse du premier plan est mise en valeur par la lumière qu'elle accroche avec sa belle robe et par l'ambiance sombre qui l'entoure. J'aime beaucoup cette composition, dommage que la main droite ne rentre pas dans le cadre (mais la Venus de Milo...), la photo pourrait faire un belle affiche pour le spectacle.
Bonne semaine !
gunbud (34066) 2009-09-21 15:44
Lovely crsip clear colors and sharp details are seen in these difficult lighting conditions.
Love the reflections on the golden stage.
Fine cultural scene.
Bluejeans (64247) 2009-09-23 9:30
Beleza de foto só falta ouvir a musica ao vivo, mas pelo You tube já dá para ouvir, lindos detalhes da dançarina ,bom controle de luz,é uma bela dedicatória ao nosso amigo José , parabéns!!
Um abraço Gonçalo
paura (47166) 2009-09-26 3:45
Very nice framing and excellent lighting to show to all us the interesting festive scene. The flamenco dancer is really a beautiful woman.
AROBN54 (11471) 2009-10-06 12:34
Warm greetings, Bulent,
this is a grand shot! The lighting is perfect and you got marvelous detail even with her moving. I particularly like the way you have composed it so you can see the audience in the BG with lower lighting conditions. The color is wonderfully clear and I like the soft lighting from around the room. Very well done! Many thanks and kindest wishes,
delpeoples (50271) 2009-10-08 14:45
HI Bulent, I know how difficult obtaining a shot like this is especially in the lighting conditions that existed. So great job! I like the inclusion of the audience and the movement in the dancers skirt gives us dynamism ad adds to the character of this typically Spanish subject. TFS, Lisa.
stego (22556) 2009-10-22 16:46
Hi dear friend Bülent,
I feel very glad and honoured with this kind dedicatory in the form of a sensual flamenco dancer. I also feel ashamed for only now commenting it and thank you. I had already seen it, but I was probably at work and then I thought I had already written something.
I did much "stage photo" in my years in college, as in the "photo club" to which I belonged we felt it was our duty "documenting" all the cultural and recreational events in the university, so I know how difficult it is to get a good photo like this one - people can clutter the compo, the artists keep moving, the light is often the most adverse, we have limited choice of angles... But here you succeeded in overcoming all those adversities. One could think that it could just a matter of luck, but we all know that the luck factor only goes to the point of having the scene in front of us, being able to capture it is another matter. And often the "luck" has a great dose of sense of anticipation, that is, knowing how to choose the best place to wait for the right moment to trigger.
I imagine that if I was an Andalusian I would comment that what you show here has nothing to do with Barcelona and Catalonia, but who cares? :-) No matter how Catalonians brag about independence, they are still Spaniards and flamenco is a something that everybody associates with Spain.
You told me in your message that you have little time for TE now. Considering that you are retired, I imagine you are occupied in really interesting projects.
Warm regards to you and Carol Jean,
josepmarin (57069) 2009-10-29 4:28
First, my response to your question is that I do not know this "tablao Flamenco" in las Ramblas, though these places are very visited by the tourists who visit Barcelona.
Also I must say that the flamenco dancing do not form a part of the art, the dance and the Catalan culture.
Nevertheless, I admit that it is an art and that your photo has caught one of its dynamic moments with an a bit dark atmosphere of this crowded place, the majority tourists.
I had liked very much to find you and Jose during your visit in my city. When you return to Barcelona, warn me and I will be your tourist guide. It will be a pleasure for me.
Didi (52437) 2009-11-02 0:26
Caramba ! That's good, the flash is not excessive in the main picture.
For thoose in WS it's possible to correct the red eyes with photoshop.
Best greetings from Orléans
figenya (2842) 2009-12-04 23:58
I guess it was not an easy photo. Very good placemenet of the model. I see the cut of the hand, but it does not effect the value of the photo, do not worry
sabermonajati (8491) 2010-02-10 7:26
you captured nice composition.dancer is amazing.
you have very nice gallery from world.
Urs (14082) 2010-03-26 16:48
Excellent flamngo dance capture, I love to watch this dance and listen to its captivating music. Fine action shot with good details. Your photograph shows accurately the atmosphere in this cave. Very beautiful, also the color hues of the dress are excellently reproduces. Well done. Thanks for your critique and the WS of my reflection shot, Yesterday another TE member pointed the tilt out to me, but I only corrected it on my original and not the shot in TE. Sorry, I should have done it, but I was not sure if the regulation of TE would allow, that I correct my picture within 24 hours.
giorgimer (34722) 2010-04-02 9:11
you well know how to travel and discover the world. Excellent moment capture
Compliments and happy Easter!
Leconte (5795) 2010-06-10 7:12
hello dear Bulent,
a beautiful photo opportunity to dance the flamenco in Barcelona, to wish you a happy birthday, may your day be sweet and cheerful, and long life to you,
colibriav (2146) 2010-08-21 15:33
Tiene toda la pinta de ser una fiesta muy interesante, has captado un buen momento para la fotografia.
serp2000 (35082) 2011-10-08 11:43
Nice to see so expressive shot from Barcelona.
But our TE-friends said me, that Flamenco and Corrida are not a part of Catalunian culture. Yes, we can show it for tourists. But this is not local tradition here.
I think, you know about some sences of Catalonian people.
But your photo is really great, no doubt. Great timing shot, excellent capture of the dancer and outstanding background.
nikkitta (10462) 2012-08-28 16:22
Great capture of the dancing girl, using flash to better detach her of the BG
A question,Barcelona with Flamenco near the rambles? It s Spain, so why not?
Looking at the WS , I prefer the last one to this, question of taste,only
Very good informative note, plenty of links to enjoy Flamenco
TFS y OLe
gus72 (3717) 2012-12-09 19:12
Hi Bulent !!
I started by looking at some of your pictures and I noticed that you have been to so many countries but chose to put so few from each country..... then I saw this picture that I really like and for the next 30 minutes I have been on you tube watching flamenco dancing ...... I love TE
The composition is brilliant, the illumination is perfect and her dress with glossy fabric is so beautiful......... lucky you
You can be proud of this photo.
- Copyright: Bulent Atalay (batalay) (33891)
- Genre: People
- Medium: Color
- Date Taken: 2009-08-20
- Categories: Event, Decisive Moment
- Camera: Nikon D200, 18-70mm DX Zoom Nikkor
- Details: (Fill) Flash: Yes
- Photo Version: Original Version, Workshop
- Date Submitted: 2009-09-11 20:19
- Favorites: 1 [view]