Picture of the Week 26 – Japanese Dancer

Canon EOS 60D ,Canon EF 70-200mm f/2.8L IS USM
1/100s f/3.2 at 145.0mm iso3200

Every couple of months, the Museum of Man in San Diego puts on a special event called Tower After Hours that features the culture and food of a particular country. A few days ago, Japan had its turn.

This shot of a colorful Japanese dancer illustrates two points: proper equipment and vantage point.

It is often stated that it is not the camera, but the photographer who creates a good image. That is certainly true, but at the same time, certain shots simply would be very difficult or impossible to get without the right equipment. The exif information of this photo shows how dim the light was. A typical kit lens with an aperture of say f/5.6 would have almost certainly resulted in motion blur because of longer shutter speeds. (I would not use flash out of respect for the performers.)

The high vantage point of being up in the balcony was also a crucial ingredient to this image. Other people watching the dance weren’t in my way. More importantly, looking down on the performer allowed me to get rid of clutter in the background. There were only two areas in the upper image corners where I cloned out distracting elements: a microphone or music stand, and a table leg. Had I been on the main floor, the background to this photo would have contained a lot of equipment.

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