Dancing with the Dragon

Dancing with the Dragon, Chinese New Year 2019 - Austin, Texas

Dancing with the Dragon, Chinese New Year 2019 – Austin, Texas

Years ago, when I went to my first Chinese New Year celebration, I thought the big colorful dancing creatures, animated by people inside, were the dragons. I had heard of the dragon dance and I suppose there was some logic to my misunderstanding. But then, I discovered there were two popular dances at these events — featuring the dragon and the lion. My confusion was quickly settled as I saw the long, slender, and sinuous creature brought alive by a team of energetic dancers.

Today’s photo, of course, features the dragon, which I find more elegant than the messy lion. I was born in the year of the dragon, which I’m sure, doesn’t bias my preference one bit.

This maybe my favorite photograph from this year’s celebration. There’s a layering effect caused by the shallow depth of field. The dragon’s body and the background of spectators are out of focus, while the dragon head and dancers are sharp.

It’s also a challenging photo to shoot properly, but I’ll be lying if I said I planned it this way. I was lucky enough just to get the quickly moving dragon in focus. The layers of sharpness and composition just fell into place.

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