When I led a photo tour to Turkey last October, we had an evening photographing the famous Whirling Dervishes. The men dress in white while female Dervishes are in color.
The normal room in which they perform is beautiful, but this particular evening it wasn't available. Instead, we were stuck with another room that was less than ideal. In addition, there was scaffolding in it so workers could do some maintenance of the high ceiling. The dancers performed right in front of the metal scaffolding. I was very disappointed because, to be honest, the background looked pretty bad.
The only approach to this photography composition challenge was to abstract the background. This is what I explained to the people in my group. We blurred and zoomed the background as the dancers performed, and I also took individual shots of windows and door frames as I zoomed my medium telephoto lens during the hand-held exposures of 1/2 and 1/4 second. As it turned out, the resulting abstracts looked great behind the dancers. I love turning a negative experience into a positive one.
Digital photographers face challenges of all sorts. Much of the time there are solutions either photographically or within Photoshop to fix the problem. In this case, I used both.
Note from the Editor: Jim Zuckerman is a published author and a top professional who teaches many excellent online photography courses at the BetterPhoto digital photography school, including Techniques of Natural Light Photography and Creative Techniques in Photoshop .