Photographer Massimo Bassano shares one of his favorite pictures from an upcoming story in Traveler magazine.
I had my baptism in authentic Georgian culture within 24 hours of arriving in Tbilisi, the capital of the country of Georgia. That evening I decided to check out Phaetoni, a popular restaurant with locals, and it was packed with people celebrating a birthday and toasting with Georgian red wine.
Suddenly two men dressed in vivid purple and red outfits began to perform a traditional folk dance. Wheeling rapidly and twirling swords even more quickly, they moved into the center of the restaurant. I jumped onto a nearby stage to get as close as possible to the action, kneeling down to avoid the swords whirling over my head. Using a wide-angle lens, I concentrated on getting the best composition I could of the scene with these dancers, including a table with guests, the painting and writing in Cyrillic on the wall, and the flickering lights and candles. I never felt in danger despite being so close to those swords flying around, but it was a little scary.
Photo Tip: To enhance the action, get in close with a wide-angle lens (16-35mm with the zoom set to 30mm/3.2). Shooting from a low angle and using a slow shutter speed of 1/50 sec also add dramatic elements.