Expert advice and tips on improving your photography from Damien Demolder. He gives his appraisal of Dancer by Sophia Apostolidou and offers advice on how it might be improved.

Photo: Dancer

Taken by: Sophia Apostolidou

Nikon D3200, 18-55mm, 1/125sec at f/5.6, ISO 100

Before: While this image has plenty of light, the girl is rather indistinct in the frame

Before: While this image has plenty of light, the girl is rather indistinct in the frame

I like this idea very much. Sophia has made a great distinction between the curved elegance of the dancer and the harsh, crumbling, hard-edged surroundings, and I love the idea that we can look out of the window at the view. This adds great depth to the frame and gives us an idea of where she is.

The problem, though, is that while there seems to be plenty of light streaming in through those windows, the dancer isn’t benefiting from any of it – she rather blends into the background, instead of standing out so we can see her. There is a lovely bit of light on the side of her face that’s facing away from the camera, but not nearly enough on this side of her to lift her away from the wall.

Ultimately, Sophia needed to move the girl into the light, but she also needed a reflector to throw some of the illumination back onto the dancer’s rear and shoulders. Less exposure would have made the background darker, giving a better chance of making the girl stand out.

After: Midtone contrast has made the dancer stand out

After: Midtone contrast has made the dancer stand out

I can’t move the girl into the light, but I’ve added some midtone contrast to create a greater difference between her and the background, and darkened the ‘exposure’ so that the highlights of the distant town and those on the pillars of the windows become much less distracting.

It is a very nice idea, Sophia, but giving as much attention to the light as you did to the girl and the background would have made this an excellent image.