Quinn had her first dance class on Wednesday at Powell-Moise School of Dance. It was accomplished with a minimum of tears, although Quinn did throw up on Anna as they were crossing the street towards the studio. That messy incident aside, both of them seemed to take it in stride.
Any jitters rapidly disappeared as the door was shut on the dance space and parents and onlookers were hidden behind a reflective window. The line of eager little girls danced and tumbled and twirled. There was a great deal of cuteness on display. Sadly, the reflective glass made taking pictures of Quinn and her new classmates a bit difficult, but some clean up in post (thanks Nik Dfine 2.0 and also the unpredictable magic of auto-level) rendered a few serviceable images.
Once the class was through it was all smiles and lollipops. Anna was one proud momma and Quinn seemed to devour the praise as quickly as she did her cotton candy sucker. Quinn was the youngest child in the class, or near to it, but she took to the instructions with the same determination and grace that is hallmark of her mother. I felt pretty special to be present on the first step of what will undoubtedly be a long and happy life voyage for Quinn. This studio is where Anna first took dance lessons and where she still teaches them today. Oh, the tightly wound circle of experience.
As a side note to those more interested in photography than cute kids in leotards, Nik’s anti-noise software, Dfine 2.0, did a good job of cleaning up the haziness that was cast over the photos by the reflective glass. This is certainly not what the software was intended to do but it did salvage some clarity from otherwise murky images.
I just picked up Nik’s HDR Efex Pro. I have had some unkind words for HDR photos in general in the past, but I felt like I need this is my tool kit for particularly thorny split-lit landscapes. What I am discovering as I make my way through the software is that is has some lovely filters for creating subtle effects that would take a while to accomplish even in Color Efex Pro much less a basic post-processing program like Lightroom or Aperture.
Subtlety and HDR are often not mentioned in the same sentence, but this program gives you a tremendous amount of control over stacked exposures and it defaults to more gentle renderings than I have seen in other HDR programs. In fact, it proved invaluable in some shots I took yesterday (and which I will post tomorrow). So, HDR… I am sorry for bad mouthing you all this time.