It was the swirl of orange, red and yellow that first captured my attention. The photo was in a large grid, in thumbnail form, and I assumed it was a bird of some sort, some exotic beauty ruffling its feathers or engaged in some kind of mating dance. I clicked on it to see more. (I love birds; it was worth a look.) What kept my attention was altogether different and completely unexpected. Definitely no birds in this shot.
Bernie De Guia Bulan’s photo of dancers at a Filipino festival is remarkable because it’s not only beautiful but it’s layered and wonderfully complex. You can look at it over and over again, each time finding a new detail to ponder.
Here’s what else I liked:
His timing was spot on; he captured the dancers when all of their faces are visible to the viewer. His choice of cropping locks the viewer into the moment. He could’ve shot the dancers from a wider angle, shown more of the environment around the edges, but I don’t think the photo would have had half the power.
I love the way the costumes frame each dancer and and how the men are layered within the composition. The viewer’s eye moves easily through the image, from left to right and back again. I love the expression (and the eye contact) on the face of the dancer in the foreground.
I like his use of a slightly slow shutter speed so that the movement of the costumes is underscored by a touch of blur. I also like the diagonal lines created by the dancers’ torsos and the triangles formed by their legs. All in all: this picture rocks.
Here’s what De Guia Bulan had to say about the origin of this image.
“The Dinagyang is a religious and cultural festival in Iloilo City, Philippines held on the fourth Sunday of January. It is held both to honor the Santo Niño and to celebrate the arrival on Panay of Malay settlers and the subsequent selling of the island to them by the Atis. Warriors would dance to the beat of the drums for their offerings and celebrations.”
What do you think of this photo?
Click here for more Photos I Wish I Had Taken.
Categories: Photos I Wish I Had Taken