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The magic of the Tanoora dance

Tutorial by Editor Michel Romaggi in collaboration with the author Mohamed Shawki
Edited and published by Yvette Depaepe, the 27th of  July 2022




Indistinct shapes swirling in the darkness and projecting uncertain glows, this is what Mohamed Shawki's  photos offer us. He kindly revealed some of the secrets of his beautiful creations.


Dear Mohamed, can you tell us a little about yourself and about your practice of photography?

It’s an honour to me to write a tutorial for the 1x magazine. I’m pleased to present myself through the world’s most exclusive curated photo gallery which crossed the barrier of physical reality …
I’m an Egyptian photographer. I started photographing in 2015. I create my images in various artistic categories and I offer commercial services for medical conferences, surgeries, and the medical sectors in Egypt and the United Arab Emirates.
Many of my pictures were published in international magazines and sites related to photography. I'm very interested in the
Tanoora dancers”, love to take pictures of them and to edit them creatively.
Although I was awarded in local and international competitions, I’m working hard to win one of the international specialized prizes in the category creative editing.




Can you tell us in which circumstances you took your wonderful pictures titled 'sins'?



'Tanoora dancers' photography is more than just presenting images. The movements and signs drawn during the dance, are a summary of a spiritual state of self purity, its connection to the sky and its isolation from the earth. I know very well that it might sound complicated and strange especially to those who never had the opportunity to see this state of mind closely, but trust me, it's like a spiritual puzzle.


Can you tell us about the different steps from the beginning till the end to obtain this very aesthetic-al and graphical result? And what equipment, settings did you use?

'Sins' is a single image taken with long exposure techniques. I photographed it at the Bibliotheca of the Alexandrina theater in Egypt on the occasion of the performance of the most famous Sufi band 'El Molawya'.

I was using a Nikon Z7 camera and 14-24@ 14mm Nikkor lens - 1/10 s - f 5.6 - ISO 1250 I took it 'handheld' from the first row of seats in the theatre.

The choice of lens and the focal length mentioned helped me to show the dancers without cutting any part of it in the photo. I had to choose an appropriate opening, as mentioned above, so that I get the details of the dancers.

I chose not to use a tripod because I didn't need a very sharp or focused photo. This is a very important point when you want to offer a different view on your photos: a variant on the normal and ideal ways to photograph.

Thus, thanks to the long exposure, you can see two dancers in this image but the scene suddenly is becoming lesser familiar. It is now impossible to say whether this part we are examining belongs to this or that part, when and where.


What manipulations and post-processing allow you to achieve your images?

The processing here is an integral part of the image. Adobe Photoshop and Camera Raw have been used. Some elements have been processed such as l the light, the contrasts, the white balance, the geometry and colours.
The original image had four dancers. But I preferred to present these two only by making the background darker and adding some additional animation effects with very simple Photoshop features and filters such as Zigzag or Twirl.
Although the appearance of the bright subjects on a dark background may seem a bit stressful to the eye, I still think it is one of the best for this type of image.


Finally, as positive as our outlook might be, we can only admit that in many ways it represents us and the world of today. And more than that, it looks like a summary of our lives as ill-defined as they are vague. They are sins”.






congratulations, one of my all favorite photographers im learning alot from you
Thank alot for your nice words, Appreciated
Excellent interview! Have learned a lot! Inspiring!
I am pleased that you like it, thank you/
Thank you very much
Great images and subjects, like your use of colour and movement.
Thank you dear
Fantastic photos and interesting subject! Illuminating article! Thank you, Mohamed and Yvette, I really enjoyed it!
Thanks, dear Ludmila !!! Michel led the tutorial with Mohamed. They did all the work, I just published it ;-) Anyway, I'm glad with your appreciation, my friend.
Congratulations to you Mohamed, you have a great profile
Congratulazioni Mohamed una bellissima galleria e grazie per il tuo articolo molto interessante e culturale. Grazie Michel e Yvette per la presentazione del fotografo
Thank you, dear Francesca!
Thank you very much dear
Thank you Francesca
Thanks for this introduction Michael - Mohamad these images are mesmerizing. Bravo.
Thank you very much dear
Thank you Michael
Congratulations my dear Friend
Thanks a lot our dear Artist, you do a great work which is inspiring me and many other Photographers.. thank you
Absolutely mesmerising work Mohamad, congratulations
Thanks a million dear Anita