Tuesday, June 29, 2010

On Layering

BEHIND THE SCENES: These photos were taken during a variety of situations during the last month. The photo of the ice cream truck turned into a shake-delivery truck uses a reflection to add layers; the photos at the park which were a last-minute request (about 1 hour to get something for a weather page and then they didn't use them) were taken taking into account the repetition of shapes and the usage of negative and positive space. And then there is the basketball photo of a youth center which is scheduled to close due to lack of funds according to Boston City officials. The latter was composed with the main subject in the center of the composition while all the other elements within the frame lead the readers' eye to him. What these have in common is the layering of elements which makes them more visually appealing. The photo of the three people by a TV screen with the lady in the foreground was for a story on an interactive art installation in a street corner. The lady at the bottom of the frame simply walked into my composition and I didn't fight this but embraced it. There are points of entry leading you to action within the frame. As far as composition goes, the layering effect was also used while keeping the subjects with clean backgrounds as much as possible. Any photo can be turned into a more appealing situation if we take the time to compose cleanly and to add layers.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Basho Brasserie Boston

Boston, MA 062510 Basho roll, Oyster Shooter with caviar and cucumber ponzu, Tofu Hamburg steak and Robata Grill from Basho Brasserie on Boylston St in Boston. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ G BEHIND THE SCENES: Every once in a while I get sent to photograph food for a review and all the stars just line up. This time the owner happened to be there. Apparently he was at some point a sushi chef and an art director so his sense of aesthetics was impeccable. For all intended purpose he is the one who styled the shoot. TECH STUFF: Like most food shoots I do, I used my 100 2.8 macro lens, ISO 200, aperture 4.0, speed about 60th of a second (the corner of the restaurant I chose was dark enough where I didn't have to worry too much about available light; thus, there was no need for high aperture speed.) I used two off- camera strobes, the one with the major output of light was placed from behind at about 45 degrees with the table- about 2 o'clock on a clock face-- and perhaps about 6" away. The other strobe was positioned slightly to the side and to the front between 7 and 8 on a clock face- in order to c create texture. I had a nice PR woman, Emilia, helping me hold this strobe in a couple of the shots since I like to vary its position while shooting.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Slained MA State Trooper Walk By

Brockton, MA 062210 About 600 officers paid their respects to fallen comrade MA State Trooper Sgt. Douglas Weddleton at Our Lady of Lourdes Church in Brockton on June 22, 2010. Sgt Weddleton was a father of four and 27-year veteran of the state police who was killed this past weekend after he was struck by a vehicle after making a traffic stop. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: I had been on vacation the previous week and was disconnected to daily news so it caught me by surprise that my first assignment coming back was such an important event. After reading some back issues of the paper I felt a little better about covering this assignment. All the officers and troopers assigned to detail of directing traffic and alike were extremely courteous to everyone. We, the media, were not allowed into the church but other than that we could get as close as we wanted as long as we did it in a respectful manner. EXTRA NOTE BEHIND THE SCENES: The young man and his father saluting is a good example of what I always tell my students: When you think you have a good photo in front of you, take the time to look behind just in case. TECHNICAL STUFF: As always I came prepared with two cameras but as luck has it one of these quit right after I got there. So I had to shoot the whole event with one camera and just kept switching lenses. I used my 24-70mm 2.8 and a 300 2.8. ISO went from 250 to 2000 as the day progressed. For the blurred images I set my camera on aperture 16 and dragged the shutter to about 1/8th of a second at 250 ISO.

Saturday, June 12, 2010


Boston,MA 061310 Gay Pride Parade in Boston brought out thousands of spectators and participants despite the flash torrential rains. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff0/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: Photographing such an event is a photographer's dream. These are happy people who love to express themselves and some do it in the most outrageous manners. It is what I call pure joie de vivre. TECH STUFF: Lenses: 24-70 2.8, 80-200 2.8 w 1.4TC. WB Cloudy, ISO 400-800 depending on the weather. Speeds about 400-800th of a second with an aperture of 4.0 for the tele and no more than 5.6 for the wide angle. WEATHER TIP: My cameras are water sealed so they work pretty well under most rain situations however eventually the lenses get water inside. What I do is I put my cameras on my shoulders and then I put a rain shell on which ends up protecting them until I bring them up to shoot.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Food: Summer Dinner Dishes

Watertown, MA 060910 Dishes for a story on summer dinners. Photographed at the Boston Globe's food editor's home. The dishes are grilled lobster, corn chowder, roasted chicken, jambalaya and baked ham. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)/ G/ Food. BEHIND THE SCENES: Shooting at the editors home entails bringing a studio on location. She has all the props you can think of and she is heavily involved in the styling of the photos. I get there and I'm told what needs to be photographed and how it is going to be used which in turn will dictate the way the dishes will be shot. All I'm responsible for is to light it properly and some minor aspects of composition. TECH STUFF: lens 100macro 2.8, iso 100ASA, speed max synch 320th of a second, aperture is about 2.8- 3.5. Light system Elite 1200 pack and I used two lights for this one. One from behind to the left at 45 degrees and one across from it in the front and to the right. I used neutral density gels on both lights in order to cut the output down to be able to use the shallow depth of field. This battery pack has three possible output power: 300, 600 and 1200 watts. These were shot at 300 with the gels taking the output down -2 stops in the one in the front and -1 stop on the back light. This gave me the feeling of strong window sunlight streaming from behind the dishes. EXTRA: The lobsters were shot with a hand held strobe to the left and behind held about 1.5 foot away and at about 45 degrees.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Punta Cana... just for fun

Punta Cana, Dominican Republic June 4-7, 2010. These were literally just for fun. I took my gear just in case. My wife and I spent a couple of days at an all-inclusive resort in Punta Cana. Took a dune-buggy tour. Some of these photos are from some kids re-living the experience and a family washing off the mud after the trek. TECHNICAL STUFF: lenses 24- 70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8. WB Cloudy. ISO 250

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Vigil for 17-year old Stabbing Victim

Mattapan, MA 060110 Mirveline Chambers(Cq) the mother of Ivol Brown (Cq), 17, who was stabbed to death a couple of days prior, and over 100 friends and relatives held a vigil at his home in Mattapan on June 1, 2010. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: This assignment came in within the last hour of my shift. Once I arrived at the scene and realized I was the only member of the media present I knew I'd want to stay for a while regardless of how long it'd take. It was a very sad situation where there was grief and anger palpable in the air. However the mother made sure I was well taken care of and she allowed me to remain closed to her. This was one of those rare instances in which I as a journalist feel privileged to be taken in by my subjects despite the pain they are feeling. I was honored and humbled. TECH STUFF: ISO 10,000, aperture 2.8, speed 60th- 80th of a second. Lenses 80-200 and 24-70 both 2.8s.