<<< o >>>pole dancing 48 comments + add yours

First of all, thanks for all the great comments on chromasia's birthday shot yesterday – they're much appreciated :-)

On which note; on with year three ...

I went out with John for a couple of hours yesterday afternoon and came away with three shots that I'm reasonably happy with (there may be a fourth. I haven't decided yet), of which this is probably my least favourite. What I do like about this one are the two boys in the background. It wasn't my intention to photograph them – I was composing a rather minimalist shot of the iron pole and the pier when they ran into the shot – but I quite like the way it turned out.

As for the other two shots: I suspect that the one I'll put up on Wednesday is my favourite, but tomorrow's will probably generate more interest.

Update: I've got into a bad habit in recent weeks of feeling pressed for time, going out and getting a few good shots and a couple of not quite so good ones, and posting the weaker ones first – of which this is one. Anyway, lame excuses aside, I've done a different version of this shot – minus the pole and the odd angle, which I've posted here:


Update #2: Ok, well I've been thinking about this one and have decided that it just doesn't work with the pole in the shot. So, I've switched them around and now have the minimal version as the main entry and have put the one with the pole here:


Let me know how you think they compare.

shutter speed
shooting mode
exposure bias
metering mode
image quality
RAW converter
1.47pm on 5/2/06
Canon 20D
EF 100mm f/2.8 Macro USM
aperture priority
C1 Pro
2x1 + piers [Fleetwood] + abstract + children + fylde coast
comment by Jem at 09:02 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

I'm not sure about this shot - I understand your reasoning behind it for minimalism and simplicity, but apart from that it doesn't do that much for me i'm afraid. Still i'll be interested to see what else you got if this is your least favourite :)

Hope you got my email by the way, and have time to reply :)

comment by Roger at 09:02 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Neat DOF. Very interesting shot. I think my favorite is the title :)

comment by Ash @ Nighthawks at 09:10 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

nice idea....i like the background more than the foreground object.....

comment by Paul Courtney at 09:21 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Hi Dave,
I find this a bit irritating in the fact that the pole isn't horizontal. I love the DOF and even the kids behind, but it goes upwards. Sorry.
Look forward to the next offering.

comment by cj at 09:28 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Would you be short sighted at all? This is what my world looks like when I take my glasses off.

I like the way that I can concentrate on the children, the pipe, the lattice work in the background, or all of them at once.

The children's legs make a lovely bracket for something which isn't there.

There are so many stories that you could associate with this intriguing picture. And you promise better ones over the next few days as well!

comment by ps at 09:33 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

nice... pipe, hehehehe :)

comment by Benjamin Riley at 09:48 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Hey David,

I like this shot, not as much as the brevious day's, but this one has some unexplainable appeal. I agree with you that the children in the background add to the visual elements. I think the colour in their clothes and skintones makes this shot more interesting. I also agree with Paul, in that the pole should have been cropped to be exaclty horizontal......Looking forward to tommorws post....

P.S. Happy Birthday Chromasia

comment by Rob at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

The lack of any clear vertical or horizontal lines bothers me for some reason. Like the creativity and don't mind the basic concept, but something is lacking here to me.

comment by joeyjojoshabador jr at 09:52 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

its a good shot.

who cares if it isnt horizontal or not, in a world of photoshop, just cos you can make the pole perfectly horizontal doesnt mean you have to.

i like it just the way it is.

comment by Kyle A.M. at 09:55 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

As another photoblogger that can't resist a good pun, I commend you on your headline today.

(The image isn't half-bad either)

Happy belated e-Birthday as well, and many thanks for the constant inspiration.

comment by nuno f at 10:07 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

I know I come late, but congratulations on Chromasia's second aniversary. Many more will come, I know that. : )

About today's photo, the DoF is amazing and the presence of the two kids makes this shot more interesting, but It seems there's something missing. I believe is the lack of strong contrast and vivid colors that I'm used to see from you. My fault. : )

comment by Lee at 10:22 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Clever title, but there is just no connection between a couple of kids and a rusty pole that I can think of. But to be fair it would of been worse without them in the background.

comment by michael at 10:37 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Does pole dancing have some meaning that an American would have trouble understanding? Over here, pole dancing is a term reserved for scantily clad female dancers and seeing it as the title of a photo with children in it is risque to say the least.

As far as the photo goes, I like the DOF. It kind of throws into question what we as photographers put into focus and why.

comment by Ibarionex at 10:46 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Yeah, this image really works. The pipe is paralleled with the verticle shadows in the background. Without the figures of the kids, this would have be an interesting graphic shot, with the indistinct form of the kids, it elevates the shot with a bullet. Great shot.


comment by Nick at 10:47 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

For me, this is a dark image. It has overtones of children of the intifada attacking tanks in Gaza with slings and stones, until you start making sense of the background and the pier reappears, and it's just the seaside again. It's the angle of the pole that invokes the image of struggle; if it had been horizontal it would have far less powerful.

Lots of your images are technically superb, but every so often you bring me up with start with something far more disturbing. And it's not always your "best" pictures that do that.

More power to your shutter finger; I'm looking forward to another year of inspiration from you!

comment by Matt Simpson at 10:52 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Have I mentioned that I am a whore for selective focus? Because i am and I like this shot :D

comment by djn1 at 11:10 PM (GMT) on 6 February, 2006

Jem: thanks, and yes, just haven't had a minute to reply. My inbox is a veritable feast of unanswered messages at the moment :-/

Paul: the whole shot is off kilter, not just the pole ;-)

cj: yep, I'm short-sighted ;-)

Rob: what's lacking is coherence - it's a jumble of ideas and bits and pieces that are vaguely interesting, and I guess that's why I put it up, but it's not a great shot in the scale of things.

nuno: stop by on Thursday - I have a much less vivid one than this that I'll be putting up then.

michael: the title was just a play on words rather than an invitation to equate teenage boys with the soft-porn industry, but I take your point.

Matt: yep, I like selective focus too, not least because the first several hundred images on chromasia were shot with a Canon G5, and it was almost impossible to get any sort of selective focus with that camera.

comment by jbp at 12:41 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

can't say i am a fan of this one...

the use of selective focus is well demonstrated, but the manner is ineffective.

My eye wants to focus on the background, keeps coming back to it, but is interrupted, always returning to the uninteresting, blighted pipe in focus. it's just something i don't care to study. i'd much prefer a picture of people to one of pipe. :)

comment by Craig at 01:46 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

I just think it's kinda cool 3D looking. First thing that came to mind was "Woah! Look out. That thing is going to hit me in the head."

comment by Partha at 02:44 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

I definately prefer this version. Clever title... made me look for strings and guess what, they are kinda sorta there! Very nice. (Perhaps because of the setting, the kind of dances that pole dancing is commonly refered to did not even cross my mind, I thought of puppets and such)

comment by Robert #2 at 03:18 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Have to go with Nick. I think I've seen to too many National Geographics where the kids play on abanoned tanks, but the first thing I thought of was that a long-ago war left remnants for kids to discover.

Personally, I like the slant in the pole. Adds to the elevated gun barrel impression.

comment by BigA at 05:02 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Damn pygmies are everywhere these days.

comment by thaqif at 09:31 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

this is crap! makes me feel like im blind! total crap! sorry dude!

comment by djn1 at 09:33 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

thaqif: cool, I've got a lot of time for photographs that can have such a profound effect on a person - hope your eyesight returns to normal soon ;-)

comment by rhodyl at 09:43 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

nice one.. can you give me some tips or techniques in photoshop... thanks... :)

comment by Nick at 10:13 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

For my money, you had it right the first time round. The second version feels unbalanced vertically with the figures too large for the space they're in, and not enough detail in them to warrant that size. It does however perhaps illustrate nicely your own ambivalence towards the images!

comment by djn1 at 10:30 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Nick: the problem with the original was that it was neither one thing nor the other; i.e. the pole wasn't sufficiently interesting in its own right to warrant such a restrictive DoF, nor did the image make sense. So, that leaves us with an abstract shot (minus the pole) the kind of works, but not quite. Oh well, at least the next two that I'm putting up are quite a bit better, in my opinion at least.

comment by Robert #2 at 11:25 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

I'm trying to look at this with no reference to the original, and it's interesting in an effect sort of way. The supports on the pier form the only somewhat straight lines and are partially visible through the figures. Neat, but I looking forward to your next ones.

comment by Mr Nyo at 11:32 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

d, I had alot to say about how I wasn't crazy about this shot , but when you get here over 12 hours past posting enough has ben said either way.
So instead I'll say Happy Birthday. Love your sight. I hope you achieve your record of 365 because fans like me get withdrawal symptoms, even if we're not crazy about the shot. Also we like to hear that our buddy dave and the fam are doing well.
Congats on 2 Years.

comment by Jide at 11:55 AM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

TO be honest when I saw the first shot last night I wasn't too sure it worked for me, I decided to look again this afternoon and saw that you had changed it and now it seems to have some focus to it (ironically) and yup the pole was distracting in my opinion.

To me it speaks of the mistery behind the blurr. Your mind can think without the distraction of the detail in the shot. I like blurred shots alot and this is right up there. Nice one David. Well done.

Jide Alakija
www.alakija.com - Why not check it out!

comment by GP at 12:19 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

WOW! I wear glasses and when I saw it first, I thought: "Where my glasses are?!" touching around on my desk... :-) Joking!

comment by garyx at 12:35 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Crikey! My eyes started watering looking at this shot djn. Maybe its the cyber cafe's monitor I'm using? I'll try again tonight when I get in, maybe it will all be a lot clearer then?

comment by JD at 12:51 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

I think the original was definitally lacking something. Its possible that the inbalance between the horizontal lines of the pole, pier, people and sand puts me off (not like this could be corrected tho).

When I saw the updated I missed the pole, but going back to the original I just wasn't sure anymore.

For some reason with the pole there it was more obvious that the people were children (or seemed to be), and without it more like adults!

comment by Paul Courtney at 01:02 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Hi Dave,
Since commenting last night at lot has changed. I have now turned 40 and you have changed a shot on your site as a result of one of my comments (over-inflated ego aside!!). Anyway, as it is my birthday I'll say something nice, because I actually think this shot works really well now. I like the diagonal lines that the pier, sand and children follow. I like the blurred effect and even the somewhat washed out colours. Great stuff, keep them coming.

comment by Chris at 01:22 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Dave, another interesting piece of art!

comment by djn1 at 01:55 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

An interesting observation, that may have some bearing on how you view this image ...

On my home machine, viewed on a 19" Iiyama 455 Pro monitor, there's a lot of interesting detail/shading in the legs of the pier. On my machine at work though (a cheap Belinea CRT), there's almost no evidence of this detail.

comment by pierre at 02:39 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Dave, you just reproduced my own vision after half a bottle of tequila here :)

comment by Brett Admire at 02:46 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

I liked the othe version of this shot.. but the kids blurred is really neat and mysterious

comment by mariann at 03:15 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

i'm afraid neither one does much for me.
your anniversary shot was fun though. pretty cool that i recognize most of them!

comment by Damien at 03:37 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

I guess if all people can say is nice dof you know that you are on to a loser I think this is totally rubbish, but i do wish more people on blogs would post photos like this instead of giving the impression that all they do is wonderful you tried something it did not work and you are not afraid to post it you have gone up in my opinion " not that , that means much" then again you have tried other things and they have worked wonderfully thats photography

comment by djn1 at 04:17 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Thanks all. As I think we've said all that's worth saying about this one I'm going to put today's shot up a couple of hours early.

comment by amy at 09:28 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

I really like the 'cross lines' in the background of the picture, but it's too blurry for my taste.

comment by MrFocus at 09:50 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

Oh cool another out of focus shot. Dave, your stink must taste good for all these people to be up in that all the time.

Osenoa has a similar shot up:


comment by djn1 at 10:39 PM (GMT) on 7 February, 2006

MrFocus: good old Osenoa (aka Miklos), he's certainly a highly talented satirist and no mistake. I'm humbled by his efforts ;-)

comment by Michael Dominic at 04:07 AM (GMT) on 8 February, 2006

Now that's just blurry.

comment by l懒人谷 at 09:43 AM (GMT) on 9 February, 2006

Hi, I am from shenzhen chia.some one told me that you are NO.1 photoblog,so I come here.your picture is very beautiful,specital this picture.i like this kind of way to take picture.

comment by TED at 11:28 AM (GMT) on 11 February, 2006

Ouch...this hurts my eyes!

comment by ashley at 01:32 AM (GMT) on 14 February, 2006

Better with the pole in the picture!