Photographer's Note

Ofra Harnoy has established herself as one of the greatest cellists on today's world concert stage. She is one of Canada's most celebrated personalities and was recently appointed to the Order of Canada by Canada 's Governor General. By joining the international artists roster of RCA Victor Red Seal in 1987, Ms. Harnoy gained an exclusive worldwide contract with this major record label.
Listen to her incomparable, mellow versions of
G. Faure Sicilienne, C.Debussy La Fille aux Cheveux de Lin, all the way up to bravado madness of Dinicu' Hora Staccato is one thing.
Trying to photograph Ms.Harnoy, is quite another one.
Despite my repeated requests to turn her chair more to my desired direction (light!!), she refused to do so with her most charming smile available.
So here she is... As much as possible against the sun, against my wishes and burning my Kodak 400 (and my heart, as well) into ashes.

Photo Information
Copyright: George Grabarczyk (Polonaise) (18354)
Date Taken: 1993-07
Photo Version: Original Version
Theme(s): Canadians, Musicians, Celebrities, Jews of the world, Music in the streets, Polonaise' women, Smile is the way to go [view contributor(s)]
Original date submitted: 2006-09-29 7:56
Viewed: 1718
Favorites: 2 [view]
Points: 94

pasternak, berek, rasmis, prezntime, Cuba-Junky, keribar, battousai, bantonbuju, gramma, Rinie_Hoff, AnimeshRay, Clairedelune, antek, Henryk_Bilor, plimrn, andante, ruisc_pt - has marked this note useful

Thread Thread Starter Messages Updated
To maki: English, please !!!!!!! Polonaise 12 10-04 08:12
To battousai: Artystki Polonaise 5 10-02 13:16
To Clairedelune: Claire full of grace Polonaise 1 10-01 16:21
To jasmis: Trzy razy tak Polonaise 1 10-01 12:53
To Rinie_Hoff: Involving the whole body... Polonaise 3 09-30 07:59
To starbug: Milosierdzia... Polonaise 1 09-30 07:31
To faubry: Looooong time no see Polonaise 1 09-29 18:10
To bantonbuju: Jewish - Canadian delight Polonaise 1 09-29 14:17
To Cuba-Junky: Good ol' Gabriel Polonaise 1 09-29 12:42
To jinju: "Seeing things" Polonaise 2 09-29 09:19
To pasternak: Never ending play Polonaise 1 09-29 09:03
To entrelec: Amateur Polonaise 1 09-29 08:18
[Create a new discussion]

Original critiques previously posted:

Ulishna (2236)
[2006-09-29 8:10]
Hello George,
very nice portrait of music-girl! Good emotions and dinamic.

entrelec (8336)
[2006-09-29 8:12]

Exquisite, yes, but I was thinking about the musician...
excellent compo,all in diagonals; the frame is partitionned by the cell and the bow, the body being partitionned too by this way.
The hard light is a good thing, all the details disapearing, just to let us see some beautiful greys.
Ofra seems to be a good photographer, as well as one of the greatests cellists, refusing to turn her chair, she allowed you to make a really nice shot...
Have a good day.

PS: being an amator of chamber music, how not to appreciate such an image?

pasternak (11836)
[2006-09-29 8:58]
Hi George, I think you did right with the BW conversion here. The portrait is stunning, all these diagonals are so strong and produce a very dynamic effect, although she wasn't even playing at the moment of capture.


oriolm (408)
[2006-09-29 10:04]
Soft and sweet shot, nearly perfect!

berek (21689)
[2006-09-29 10:12]
Hi George,
I like this mystic portrait with beautiful smile. very good composition and framing. thanks for your sharing. have a nice day.
MOE -> :-))

rasmis (291)
[2006-09-29 10:31]
Really impressive shot. I like the choiuce og B&W. A very dinamic photo indeed. Well done.

prezntime (3891)
[2006-09-29 10:54]
Hello George.
Straight to my favorites.
Jinju captured my words before I had a chnce to write them, angelic. A beautiful smile and such a lighthearted feel. Great angles and I think the light is incredible...different and that makes it wonderful.
Great in B&W.
Really very fantastic indeed,

Cuba-Junky (2767)
[2006-09-29 12:30]
I looooove Gabriel Fauré's requem ... (im paradisum)

Although noot quiet sharp the picture has a terrific mood. The b&w makes it even stronger.
Great picture

keribar (37109)
[2006-09-29 13:02]
Hello George,

You know me little, and how could you guess the the cello is my favorite instrument, Ofra Harnoy one of my favorite cellists, and that I know by heart all the pieces you mentioned above. But let's leave my love for classical music apart and let's talk photography. Despite the fact that she did not turned in the direction you asked her, I find the picture extraordinary good. The light is what a master in photography would have chosen, no direct light, back light. What else can we say here, her expression ( She is a good looking person of course ) is also excellent, perhaps the fact that her her left hand is missing : By the way I didn't know that she was left handed, or is the picture printed on the wrong side ?

Best and friendly regards - Izzet

battousai (701)
[2006-09-29 13:32]
Ale sliczny portret :)))
Tak mi sie ta miekkosc podoba i jej usmiech. Sliczna dziewczyna. Scena swietnie uchwycona, taka ciepla i mila. Tez mam slabosc do Pan-artystek.

Pozdrawiam i dzieki za odwiedziny u mnie :)


Gustaw (17752)
[2006-09-29 13:44]
U, bardzo ladne artystyczne zdjecie. Nadaje sie na jakas okladke magazynu albo cos takiego. Ciekawie pokazana postac. Pozdrawiam.

bantonbuju (42141)
[2006-09-29 14:05]
Absolutly stunning,
Not because of compo, b/w conversion, dof and all that bullswing;
for the smile of that woman, for the smile, my dear, would she smile so naturally, so widely, so openly if she didn't love what she's doing?
this smile is worth millions, and forget about all the tech stuff, its her endlessly pleased face (and maybe also a that uncovered part of her body below her neckle);
isnt photography a beautiful thing?

(rafal is too nice a boy to get THIS woman :-))

gramma (3427)
[2006-09-29 14:37]
Hello George,

Beautiful portrait. I understand that she was burning your heart ! Well done.


designsoul (21302)
[2006-09-29 14:53]
Ofra does look like a beautiful Renaissance apparition, George, and indeed plays like an apparition as well. Of course her smile is angelic and really lovely, but what I most like here is what you were given as a gift from her (besides her music): the LIGHT! Yes, the light you were not happy about but the light that makes her bask in the halo as it were... a beautiful touch! And the diagonal of the cello is also great. Too bad the scroll of it has been truncated, but never mind, this way we get a closer look of her!
Thankfully Canada has now a fair share of exquisite Classical musicians like her as well as Angela Hewitt, Nadia Cole, Isabel Bayrakdarian, Ben Heppner, Gerald Finley, Tafelmusik, to name a few...

Rinie_Hoff (9310)
[2006-09-29 18:20]
Oh yes, and there is Ofra Harnoy. Maybe I was too quick with saying that your fireman was one of the best in the series ;-)
There's a lot of tension in the picture because of her arm holding the cello, and the diagonal of the cello itself. And then there’s the delicious B&W and her gorgeous smile. I can hear her beautiful music even without listening.
If I weren’t a passionate (amateur)singer, I would probably play the cello (or the oboe), also because like with singing, your whole body is involved and the dark tones of the cello can be felt all over.
Beautiful George, maybe she was right by refusing your requests ;-)

rbcy1974 (20084)
[2006-09-29 18:40]
Hello George
Very beautiful portrait
I like the action captured here,
very nicely captured, I like the soft grain,
well done

kensimage (6811)
[2006-09-30 0:31]
B/W works great here, George, as does the backlighting. The look on her face says she is a regular down-to-earth person, and the whole portrait has a very relaxed feel, perhaps due to everything being on gentle diagonals. Really well done!

Based on her bio online, she was almost 40 when you took this shot--she doesn't look it!

Regards, Ken.

P-S-I-G (20617)
[2006-09-30 2:08]
Hello George,
What a successfull portrait !
I like the expression and the smile captured.
Well taken,
Best regards,

drewniany (1086)
[2006-09-30 3:31]
Witaj. rewelacyjny portret-na pewno jeden z lepszych jakie ostatnio widzia³em. Dobrze zrobiony, widaæ emocje, technicznie dobre-ca³o¶æ zas³uzenie na wielki plus. da³bym wiecej jakbym móg³

jinju (14571)
[2006-09-30 4:40]
what a capture. Stunning woman, angellic actually, and all thar white, are those clouds in paradise or am I just seeing things George? Women who play instruments have always been a big favorite of mine, they have a great soul and sensitivity which shines through this shot.

partha (12690)
[2006-09-30 5:17]
Excellent emotional representation.Nice smile and well composed shot.

starbug (6924)
[2006-09-30 5:26]
przepiekne zdjecie Jerzy, zazwyczaj cos mnie u ciebie raczej intryguje, zaskakuje, tym razem to czysto niebianski zachwyt nad tym swiatlem ktory niebiansko otacza niebiansko usmiechnieta kobiete. a moze to swiatlo od niej bije, gdybym mogla ja posluchac na zywo, mzoe takie rzeczywiscie mialabym wrazenie. tak to widze na tym zdjeciu wlasnie.

faubry (26681)
[2006-09-30 5:55]
hello George, very beautiful portrait, i like this choice B&w!! a lot charm!
well done

ben4321 (9335)
[2006-09-30 13:21]
The difficult lighting has worked well for you here, George; the burnt-out background has given this a great mood and I like the backlighting of the hair.
Despite her non compliance with your requests to move her position and despite the lack of eye contact, you established a good emotional connection with your subject; her genuine smile is testament to that.

maki (0)
[2006-09-30 16:05]
Piekny, wysublimowany, niesamowicie promienny ten portret wiolonczelistki. Podobnie jak Jinju mam slabosc do kobiet uprawiajacych ten rodzaj sztuki. Jest w tym wielka gracja, styl i pasja.
P.S. Zawsze mnie poruszal widok pieknej kobiety z tak wielkim instrumentem miedzy udami :)
This portrait of a cellist is gorgeous, sophisticated as well as utterly radiant. Like Jinju, I have a penchant for women who cultivate this kind of art. There is so much outstanding beauty, style and passion in it.
Best regards
P.S. I've always been moved by the sight of a beautiful woman with such a big instrument between her tights.

Click3 (1847)
[2006-09-30 23:57]
Certainly a different & beautiful high key compo...just lovely. Great moment, great expression. Muy Bueno !
saludos, Robert

AnimeshRay (8645)
[2006-10-01 2:52]
Oh what a palette! She exudes charm as much visually as she does aurally. What a portrait! Who cares about light when under the shadow you have her...

Graal (39744)
[2006-10-01 3:16]
no to jest super, juz sam widok tej usmiechnietej, pieknej buzi wywoluje u nas wtorny usmiech. Bdb kadr i kontrast, takie zwiewne i mieciutkie, pasuje do tej urokliwej kobiecosci.
Pozdr. Al.

andante (6501)
[2006-10-03 7:06]
Beautiful portrait, George. Some people say that it is easy to make beautiful pictures of beautiful people... I think that your talent captures the soul of the subject. Cheers,

Henryk_Bilor (18400)
[2006-10-04 8:07]
Hello Jerzy
Nice woman. Nie wiedzialem, ze w Kanadzie sa tacy wspaniali instrumentalisci ;). Swietne ujecie pod sloneczko - rozjasnione brzegi na postaci dodaja jej sporo uroku.
Jedyna wada tego zdjecia, to ze nie slysze muzyki pana C.D.

michalpok (304)
[2006-10-06 13:03]
very nice portrait. B&W is good conception.
regards Michael

banyanman (7274)
[2006-10-09 11:08]
The backlighting in this is superb, George, and the exposure on the face is perfect. You call yourself an amateur photographer, but this is the output of a professional. Cheers . . . David

plimrn (14981)
[2006-10-18 14:42]
Hi George,
I've been wanting to get to this lovely cellist. You have done amazing work against huge odds. The detail of her face is perfect and the light blows the background into insignificance, as it should be with such a lovely main subject.
Regards, Pat

askiblair (116)
[2006-10-20 17:18]
I really like your compisiton, the blackand white is fantastic! Her smile is illuminated, so it adds so much brightness into the photo!
Keep Up the Great Work,

Luan (15871)
[2006-10-21 12:02]
Bonjour George,
c'ets une tres belle image, j'aime son sourire qui semble eclairé toute la compo. Quelle volupté, sensualité...bref c'est beau.

goodwill (2701)
[2006-10-25 12:32]
You are one of the artists with original ideas.....and your info is mindboggling...and to the veteran with almost 4000 points, I must say..this shot is music not only to mine ears but also to mine eyes.
If you could get the English Translation of a Hindi best seller;""Aap ki Kashish..sarfrosh hai..Aap ka Nasha..Yunh Madhosh hai"",
your heart would revive again from the ashes.
Who cares and who bothers that the Sun has overexposed the image, when your subject is as beautiful as an angel.
Man I am jealous of you!!
Greetings from India,

Vincelavisse (443)
[2006-10-29 23:36]
Hi George,

I like this portait a lot. The depth of field is great. I suppose that this musician is turning her music sheets. I think that it would be interestnig to see thos one: the musicisian and her written music. The black and white does a great job: the mood is perfect.

Thanks for sharing!


everlasting (9435)
[2006-10-30 1:53]
Such light and such a smile, she is obviously so deeply involed and enjoying what she is doing, Sheer beauty

oochappan (34060)
[2006-11-19 16:05]
This portrait is full of dynimisme by her pose, her hair, tight to the essence, suggesting all the rest on a light OOF enhancing backgrpound, a beauty George beyond all te abstract B&W.

sayat (2421)
[2006-11-20 9:13]
Very nice portrait under difficult conditions. I wish she starts playing one of the Bach's cello suites right away. I keep looking to the photo and waiting. :)

Ber (5930)
[2006-11-20 15:48]
Zatrzymalam sie przy tym pelnym radosci i optymizmu portrecie. Odnosze wrazenie jakby za chwile ozyla i zagrala z pasja rowniez dla mnie.
Swietnie ze nam zaprezentowales to cudo!
Pozdrawiam Ber

valdec (6405)
[2006-12-11 15:55]
piêkna ta Twoja Kanada, i jaka usmiechniêta, dobry portret - pozdrawiam serdecznie

uccia84 (720)
[2006-12-12 17:16]
una foto all'armonia...non è da tutti.

sixTL (8554)
[2006-12-18 15:20]
Witaj, ¶wietna komozycja obrazu. Bardzo ³adny kadr. Podoba mi sie zarówno przedstawiona scena jak i mi³a jasna pasuj±ca do motywu tonacja "high key"


sadeik (3135)
[2006-12-25 16:53]
Its got loads of points and I tend to think, ah I'll find one with not some many and just as deserving. However I keep looking at this one, its, well, just one of those images you just can't help to look at. She is just beautiful and made more beautiful by the composition.


pascal-harbi (700)
[2007-10-17 9:14]
Hi George,
This woman looks like an angel, her natural and incredible smile together with the b&w choice and the depth of field, gives an almost holy aura around it ;-) Very nice shot!

ruisc_pt (4107)
[2008-06-25 13:45]
Great shot, fantastic music and her gorgeous smile...
What a photo !

quillo, ninaL, zmey, jonathan_hart, Clairedelune marcou esta nota como útil

Photo Information
Viewed: 7042
Points: 24
Additional Photos by George Grabarczyk (Polonaise) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 1785 W: 111 N: 868] (5802)
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