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dancer in the snow
  
 
friscoron
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p.1 #1 · dancer in the snow



The idea was to shoot into the sun with blue skies, but about half an hour before the shoot, some thin clouds came in and took away that shot concept. As an alternative, I moved to the side to catch some nice golden light on her hair. I was shooting in this area with frozen snow drifts. Before you get to the drifts, you're in about a foot of frozen snow, so I put this board on the snow for the dancer to jump off of, and land on. I thought the snow drifts looked pretty cool in a kind of arctic sort of way. It's been a cold winter here in Chicago.

Still, not sure if it worked best to have the drifts in the shot, or cropped so the drifts were out of the shot. I'd like to hear what you think on that. Then just included a third shot next to the mostly frozen Fox River. It was around 15-18 degrees outside during the shoot, so that limited what we could do.

Comments welcome.

1. Cropped version






2. Version with snow drifts






3. Shot next to frozen river








Feb 24, 2014 at 10:11 PM
Eyeball
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p.1 #2 · dancer in the snow


Sounds like you were shooting in some tough conditions, Ron.

I don't mind the drifts/ice formations in the first shot. I think they add an interesting element that doesn't interfere with the dancer.

What I do think takes away somewhat from both shots is how the horizontal background elements (lakeshore, treeline, river) cut through the subjects. A longer lens and/or different camera angle might have been helpful if conditions would have allowed.

The girl's attire in the second shot also takes away the "dancer in the elements" vibe I am used to getting from your images, but I can certainly understand why she would be dressed like that given the weather.



Feb 24, 2014 at 11:00 PM
Wildcats_Fans
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p.1 #3 · dancer in the snow


I like the 2nd over the first because it gives a better perspective


Feb 24, 2014 at 11:19 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #4 · dancer in the snow


Eyeball wrote:
Sounds like you were shooting in some tough conditions, Ron.

I don't mind the drifts/ice formations in the first shot. I think they add an interesting element that doesn't interfere with the dancer.

What I do think takes away somewhat from both shots is how the horizontal background elements (lakeshore, treeline, river) cut through the subjects. A longer lens and/or different camera angle might have been helpful if conditions would have allowed.

The girl's attire in the second shot also takes away the "dancer in the elements" vibe I am used to getting from your images, but I can certainly understand why she
...Show more

Thanks, Larry. I'm used to the snow in NW New Mexico and southern Colorado at the base of the Rockies. You get a gorgeous snow and then you play in it at 35-40 degrees. I've skied sometimes in a t-shirt. But here in Chicago, the temperature starts getting cold -- like really freaking cold -- in early December and it never recovers until sometime in March or April. Not a fan of the Chicago winters, but I love my wife so I deal with it.

I get what you're saying about the horizon, but not much I could do with it. I was sitting in the snow to give her an elevated look, which is how I shoot my leaps. I was shooting with my long lens, my 70-200.

Agree about her attire in the second shot, but it was freakin' cold, and I had her in dancer's tights already for the first round of shots. It doesn't help that she's from Brazil. I like the idea of having a dancer in regular clothes doing dancer things. Jordan Matter did that sometimes in his "Dancers Among Us" series, but obviously to a much higher level. I just thought I'd try it out, still not sure how much or if I like it.

Thanks for your comments, always appreciate them!



Feb 25, 2014 at 02:40 AM
friscoron
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p.1 #5 · dancer in the snow


Wildcats_Fans wrote:
I like the 2nd over the first because it gives a better perspective


Yep, thanks. That's kinda my thought, too. Wanted to run it by the group.



Feb 25, 2014 at 02:41 AM
Steve Wylie
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p.1 #6 · dancer in the snow


Hey, Ron,

I'm going to disagree with the others and vote for the first version. Why? Because my eye goes to the snow drifts below, and I wonder about where she's going to land, rather than focus on her skill. As for the background elements, they're so far away they don't bother me at all.

Nice shots, as usual.



Feb 25, 2014 at 05:51 AM
Chris Fawkes
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p.1 #7 · dancer in the snow


Could you crop it with just the top of the snow drifts along the very base of the image. I kind of like the balance they provide but there is too much attention being drawn from her.


Feb 25, 2014 at 06:22 AM
jbouchard
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p.1 #8 · dancer in the snow


I like the first one too. It's just flying into the abyss.

On the second my eye goes to the snowdrift and my mind says "if she doesn't get her feet under her, she's going to destroy her knee". Why does that pop into my mind? Because I learned as a kid frozen snow banks hurt. A nice soft snowdrift might be a completely emotional feeling.



Feb 25, 2014 at 04:39 PM
oldrattler
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p.1 #9 · dancer in the snow


Steve Wylie wrote:
Hey, Ron,

I'm going to disagree with the others and vote for the first version. Why? Because my eye goes to the snow drifts below, and I wonder about where she's going to land, rather than focus on her skill. As for the background elements, they're so far away they don't bother me at all.

Nice shots, as usual.


I am going to agree with Steve. Jim



Feb 25, 2014 at 04:46 PM
calk
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p.1 #10 · dancer in the snow


If you don't mind, I'll weigh in for the first one, too. There's less to distract from the beauty and athleticism of the dancer.

Both of you are conspicuously brave to venture out in this kind of weather! Thanks!

Cal



Feb 25, 2014 at 04:58 PM
 



annbennett
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p.1 #11 · dancer in the snow


I really like shot 3. I think I'd like it a lot more in a dance costume (pretty tutu or something) but I realize it was probably really cold


Feb 25, 2014 at 05:02 PM
canerino
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p.1 #12 · dancer in the snow


Hey Ron!

I like these, with the second being my favorite.

My suggestion for the first would be to compose her differently so that her head/torso is clear of major color breaks from the background. It's kinda hard to explain what I'm talking about so I'll do my best. Take the first for example. I love the simplicity of the background. Its almost three perfect thirds that go white (sky), dark (trees), white (snow). Parts of her body intersect all three of these parts of the background. I think it would be a stronger image if her whole toso/head was in the dark portion of the background and her whole lower body was in the snow portion of the background (this would have given great contrast with the black pants).

Not sure if it makes sense?



Feb 25, 2014 at 05:21 PM
Herb
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p.1 #13 · dancer in the snow


Hard for me to decide....I like the first, but the second gives the feeling that she is flying over rough terrain which I really like.....so having typed this reply, I like the second one the best......


Feb 25, 2014 at 05:45 PM
tonyfield
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p.1 #14 · dancer in the snow


All three work well as off-the-wall dance environmental images. The ladies have the obvious grace of a trained dancer and this comes across well.

The first shot seems less appealing to me in the sense that the two horizon lines slice the body - which I find awkward. In the second shot, the full environment gives a context for the image which makes the horizon lines "invisible" to the mind.



Feb 25, 2014 at 06:22 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #15 · dancer in the snow


Steve Wylie wrote:
Hey, Ron,

I'm going to disagree with the others and vote for the first version. Why? Because my eye goes to the snow drifts below, and I wonder about where she's going to land, rather than focus on her skill. As for the background elements, they're so far away they don't bother me at all.

Nice shots, as usual.


Thanks, Steve! Still struggling with it.



Feb 25, 2014 at 06:55 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #16 · dancer in the snow


Chris Fawkes wrote:
Could you crop it with just the top of the snow drifts along the very base of the image. I kind of like the balance they provide but there is too much attention being drawn from her.


This is a great suggestion, Chris. This might be the happy medium that isn't a sold-out compromise. I'm going to try that and add it.



Feb 25, 2014 at 06:56 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #17 · dancer in the snow


jbouchard wrote:
I like the first one too. It's just flying into the abyss.

On the second my eye goes to the snowdrift and my mind says "if she doesn't get her feet under her, she's going to destroy her knee". Why does that pop into my mind? Because I learned as a kid frozen snow banks hurt. A nice soft snowdrift might be a completely emotional feeling.


I hear ya. The shot I was originally going to go for would have made the icy snow banks look really dramatic, really cool. But we lost the blue skies just half an hour or so before the shoot, and the sun became this huge, wide behemoth in the thin clouds. I thought I'd see how it worked from this angle.



Feb 25, 2014 at 07:00 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #18 · dancer in the snow


thanks oldrattler, calk, annbennet and Herb!

Ann, I'm a dance photographer and have been working on a series of photographing dancers out in the elements of nature and architecture for five years now. In the Nutcracker, there is a Snow Queen, and one of my dreams is to shoot a dancer in the Snow Queen costume outdoors in the snow. The problem is that I live in frigid Chicago. If I could go back to the mountains of northern New Mexico and southern Colorado where it's warm enough to pull this off in the snow, that would be golden!



Feb 25, 2014 at 07:04 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #19 · dancer in the snow


canerino wrote:
Hey Ron!

I like these, with the second being my favorite.

My suggestion for the first would be to compose her differently so that her head/torso is clear of major color breaks from the background. It's kinda hard to explain what I'm talking about so I'll do my best. Take the first for example. I love the simplicity of the background. Its almost three perfect thirds that go white (sky), dark (trees), white (snow). Parts of her body intersect all three of these parts of the background. I think it would be a stronger image if her whole toso/head was in
...Show more

Chuck, totally makes sense and I thought that's kind of what we were going for in this shot, then she went horizontal on me instead of a straight-up vertical jump -- but I just really loved the angle of her legs and body with the lower part of the tree line behind her. That's the one thing I really like about this shot.



Feb 25, 2014 at 07:06 PM
friscoron
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p.1 #20 · dancer in the snow


tonyfield wrote:
All three work well as off-the-wall dance environmental images. The ladies have the obvious grace of a trained dancer and this comes across well.

The first shot seems less appealing to me in the sense that the two horizon lines slice the body - which I find awkward. In the second shot, the full environment gives a context for the image which makes the horizon lines "invisible" to the mind.


Thanks, Tony! I want to like the first shot best, but I think what you mentioned is what I'm struggling with on that shot. I just can't seem to put my finger on it. Normally, with these types of shots, I either like them or I don't. But this one, I really want to like, but something holds me back. It may be exactly what you just said, along with what Chuck was getting at.



Feb 25, 2014 at 07:09 PM
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