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Dancer at Selugadu

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I took this shot of one of the Native American dancers at a festival this weekend in upstate SC honoring the Cherokee and other Native American tribes.

Camera:Nikon D3000 Check out Nikon Nation!
Lens:18-55mm lens
Recording media:JPEG (digital)
Title:Dancer at Selugadu
Username:SCJohnJ SCJohnJ
Uploaded:21 Nov 2010 - 12:24 PM
Tags:Portraits / people, Selugadu, Sports / action
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Comments

This photo is here for critique. Please only comment constructively and with suggestions on how to improve it.
davey_griffo
21 Nov 2010 - 12:48 PM

A nicely exposed shot, & I like the composition.

For me, the audience confuses the shot a little. It really needed a shallower depth of field (larger aperture/lower fnumber) to blur them.

You can do it if software, but this sort of thing lives & dies by your selection technique.

I put the shot into Photoshop, copied it onto a 2nd layer, then did a rectangular selection around the top half. I blurred it (4 pixels Gaussian blur), then used a layer mask to mask off the dancer.

As you can see I only did it quickly. You'll want to spend more time & do a proper job. I got confused by the log in the BG, & thought it was part of the headdress...D'oh!! Smile

Still, it gives you the idea.

Last Modified By davey_griffo at 21 Nov 2010 - 12:49 PM

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LynneJoyce
LynneJoyce e2 Member 6LynneJoyce vcard United Kingdom97 Constructive Critique Points
21 Nov 2010 - 1:45 PM

I agree with the comment above about the background so the mod is an improvement. That doesn't alter the fact that it was a worthwhile shot in the first place, but setting the camera to get a smaller depth of field would have saved the grief of modifying the image.

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CathR
CathR  7139 forum posts United Kingdom563 Constructive Critique Points
21 Nov 2010 - 3:08 PM

This kind of event always gives you loads of opportunities for taking great photos. Inevitably though there are crowds of people all looking to do the same.

You don't give us your camera settings (always a good idea to do so - it helps us to know what is going on and give you the best advice) but as Davey Griffo says the aperture is too small to give you a blurred background. You don't need much depth of field to get the dancer in focus - something like 5.6 or even less might have done it. You would have had more chance of making the dancer stand out then by blurring the background.

It's always good to experiment with depth of field/aperture so you can see the difference changing the settings makes.

Best wishes

Catherine

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paulbroad
paulbroad  681 forum posts United Kingdom843 Constructive Critique Points
22 Nov 2010 - 8:12 AM

i don't think there is much you can do with this. It's a perfectly good record of your experience, but for general viewing the crowd are very obvious and far too sharp.

If you required full length, then try and get a lower viewpoint, looking up, or with a simple background with a minimum number of muted colours.

The other possibility is to zoom in much closer filling the frame with the performers head and shoulders which will also decrease depth dramatically making the background far more indistinct.

Paul

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