Photo Challenge: Between

Why have my posts been a little infrequent of late?

Because I have been doing a bit of globe trotting and belly dance training.

Just to prove the point…

Here is a snap shot of me BETWEEN the great pyramids of Giza.

Egypt is such a great place, sigh….

Bellydancer Giza Egypt

On a more serious note here is a little snap shot from a  bit earlier in the year. The quality of the image is not great (we were focussed on the quality of our performances instead). But what the image represents to me is poignant. The woman in the picture that is not in costume is the lovely Rachel. She was one of my most enthusiastic dancers for several years. Work issues came up and she took a break for a while, only to find out that cancer had decided to revisit her. Basically she found herself BETWEEN arock and a hard place. She wanted to try some other therapies and so her friends had a fund raiser for her. Women from my class that had danced with her, got together and entertained the guests. It was a beautiful day.

For Rachel to have been surrounded by all her friends in such a challenging moment of her life was wonderful.

Bellydancers rally to help cancer patient

Weekly Photo Challenge: Eerie

A few months ago a friend asked me if I could belly dance at their Steampunk festival in Dorrigo (NSW Australia).
I happily agreed as I had been mulling over a robotic dolls dance ever since their last event. Not exactly a traditional belly dance theme I know, but I just had to give it a go. I got my good friends Tess and Max to join in and we managed to shock, entertain and even scare our viewers!

Success! (evil laugh)

Unfortunately we didn’t get much in the way of good photos and footage but here is a snap shot of us on the night. It doesn’t include our puppet master (Max) but you get the idea. It was a lot of fun.

 

We were just about to be (theatrically) electrocuted at this point.

We were just about to be (theatrically) electrocuted at this point.

Have any of you danced at a steam punk event? I would love to hear about your experiences please comment below.

Discount on fast, easy photo retouching

Got some great photos of yourself, fellow belly dancers or students that are pretty good but could do with a bit of work?

It all can be done using photo programs like photoshop etc but you need a fair amount of time per photo and quite a lot of knowledge on how to use the program.portrait pro logo

About 2 years ago I stumbled upon Portrait Professional. You can download a free trial for either Mac or PC and see what it does for yourself but what I like about it is that it is dead easy and fast.

Before Portrait Pro

Before

So part of the reason that I haven’t posted much lately is that I have been swapping from PC to Mac and its taking me some time to work out how to do everything the apple way. BUT because I had to re buy the mac version of the program I was left with this little coupon. I don’t get any advantages from telling you but if you like the program you may as well get the discount!

“Give your friends the coupon below (which they need to enter in the coupon box at the bottom of the buy page) and they can save 15% off the cost of any edition of Portrait Professional. ”
Coupon: LERC-OXBE-GXLH-VPAR

After using portrait pro

After

I prepared a much more obvious example of its use (below) and have struggled for nearly an hour to find where the files were put grrrr (so annoying working out a new system!). I finally succeeded though. In the example above I just rushed through and used the presets. Normally I would use it subtly and just correct a bit of lighting and remove any untimely blemishes . I am not a big fan of it resculpting faces but hey if you are into it then it can do that too.

Original picture - just a casual snap shot at the beach - no portrait pro.

Original picture – just a casual snap shot at the beach – no portrait pro, just a bit of lipstick.

I don’t use it for all my shots. When you have good lighting, make up and a good photographer it is often not necessary but it is nice to tidy up those that are almost a good picture but not quite.

Using Portrait pro for a more natural look. I.e. no face or hair sculpting.

Using Portrait pro for an improved but relatively natural look. I.e. no face or hair sculpting. Basically I fixed the lighting on the face and brightened the eyes and teeth. Photo: R. Conroy

What would have been a good idea to do here is to extend the skin smoothing to the torso as well but I only did the face as I was just doing for an example for this post. All photos took less than 5 minutes to alter – even if you have no background knowledge of how to do it, it is very easy.

Glamorous preset and hair smoothers used form portrait pro. I think it is over done for a beach scene but I did it so you could see the differences.

Glamorous preset, face sculpting and hair smoothers used from portrait pro. I think it is over done for a beach scene but I did it so you could see the differences.

So have a look at the free trial program and see if it is for you. If you like it then use the discount code above and save some money.

What programs do you use for your dance photos? Please comment below with your dance photo related tips or tricks.

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