Photo Review - Street Dancers by Greg Arnold

About to be run over by the street dancers at Cuba Dupa!

Wellington, NZ

F6.3, 1/2000s, ISO400, 70mm

Initial Thoughts by Reviewer:

Let’s begin with the good things with this picture and then move on to some constructive criticism.

  • The focus is on point, really sharp on the lady’s face, exposure isn’t shy of perfect and the shutter speed has been nailed as there is no motion blur which is extremely important when trying to freeze a moment as you did wonderfully here.

  • The composition is also good, no useless space above their heads, main subject is in the left half of the photograph and the other women are forming a slight arch around her which portrays her as the leader, the one in front.

  • The colours are outstanding, they aren’t dull and they aren’t too vibrant either. The skin colour is on point and so are the colours of their clothes.

  • The sky isn’t blown out as is tends to be sometimes, it is perfectly balanced with its natural blue colour.

Making Improvements:


Taking another look at the composition, it looks pretty good, maybe a wider field of view would have been better but given that this is photographed in the streets without controlling the situation it is still really nice. You could have levelled out the picture but the slight tilt really gives it the impression of movement, it all depends on the feeling you were going for.


This image portrays motion in the background but the main subject seems almost frozen in the moment and with the focus on her it really isolates her from the people in the background. If that was what you were going for, good job. Maybe another alternative would have been using a narrower aperture and getting the other girl behind her in focus too as it would contrast the woman standing still with the one dancing.

Post Processing

Regarding the post processing, the people on the sides are darker than the one in the middle which really focuses the eye towards the main subject(s) but I would still try lifting the shadows on the sides (shown by the arrows) and in the overall picture too as it almost looks like a bit of vignetting when it really isn’t.

This is a really easy fix, while editing the image just select the dark areas and lift the shadows via the shadows slider.

The above image is an example of how the image would look after lifting the shadows. It gives the photograph more of an open and happy look resulting in more motion being perceived.

Everything else seems solid and I have no further suggestions.

Personally I like the approach you took with this picture and I think it did what it was meant to. It can really be challenging shooting subjects whose movements you can’t control and you did a very good job with it!

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