Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Listening to Light

Boston, MA 072710 Berklee College of Music students hang out at the common area in Commonwealth Ave on July 27, 2010 as some picked at a guitar and others enjoyed the sweet aroma of a hookah. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)G BEHIND THE SCENES: I'm under strict instructions to find a feature per shift so I'm always on the lookout for something out of the ordinary. In this case I was driving down Commonwealth Ave and I first noticed how this one shaft of light was hitting this group of people. This is what I called "listening to the light" where the light makes itself noticeable by its quality and then you start paying more close attention to what is going on. I try to always "listen" to the light around me. As I approached the group, I immediately was taken by how the light hit the one guy with the guitar. Then as I circled around I noticed there was also a picture to be made just by looking from the other direction. (REMEMBER ALWAYS TAKE THE TO CIRCLE YOUR SUBJECT) TECH STUFF: Lens 24-70mm 2.8, Aperture: 2.8 on the horizontal/ 22 on the vertical, ISO 320 on horizontal/ 1000 on the vertical. Speed 1/800th of a second for the horizontal/ 1/60th of a second for the vertical. MORE TECH: When I looked at the light coming off the reflection off the windows I realized two things: first, I needed to overexposed my foreground in order to capture enough meta data in the image which in turn would give me over exposed beams of light; second, I also knew I could use these beams of light to my advantage by creating a "starburst" effect. The latter can be accomplished by stopping down your lens to 16, 22, 32... etc. It is the optical aberration of the rays of light filtering through the blades in the iris of the lens which creates the "starburst" look.

Friday, July 23, 2010


Boston, MA 072310 A gazpacho dish from Post 390 on Stuart St in Boston; Beso del Diablo and Mojito Carteluo cocktails from Orinoco in Brookline. And Summer Melons and monkfish and shrimp sausage dishes from Rocca at Boston’s South End. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)/ G
BEHIND THE SCENES: There are days the Globe editors simply set a photographer aside to shoot food all day. On this day I had to photograph a total of 8 dishes and two cocktails. These are all from three different eateries all located in the Boston Metro area. TECHNICAL STUFF: Surprisingly enough all were shot with the same set up. Two off camera strobes hooked to Pocket Wizards which were set off by the transmitter on my camera. Speed was usually kept at the max-synch speed of my camera :1/320th of a second in order to make the background go dark. Lens: 100 macro 2.8. D.O.F.: 2.8- 4.0. WB: Strobe. OTHER TECH STUFF: I have a tendency to start by always setting one light behind and another light in the front. So basically at about 11 and 5 or 2 and 7 if you were looking at a clock face. If I think the lights are too even I usually increase the power of the strobe in the back. From there I keep tweaking their heights, distance and angles until I’m satisfied with the resulting image.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010


Boston, MA 071610 Three-year old Lamar Pina (cq), 3, of Dorchester, listening intently to a Boston Police officer's instructions, and other Boston Metro inner city children as they attend a tennis program at the Sportsmen's Tennis Club in Dorchester on July 16, 2010. The program is to expose the children to the sports of tennis and to get them familiar with police officers. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: This was a visual candy store for photos. I spent a couple of hours at the tennis courts with the kids and it was just tons of fun. The Asian-American twins in the photo were very funny. I approached one of them and ask for his name and age. He didn't answer he just pointed to his brother and ran away. I went to the brother and asked him the same questions and then I said, " what's up with your twin?" He said, "well he doesn't like talking." I added, "MMmhh... Ok, so how do I tell you guys apart in the photos?" He gave me a tired look and said, "That's obvious, he is the one who doesn't like to talk, duh!" TECHNICAL STUFF: Gear: two cameras w two lenses 24-70mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm 2.8. White balance: AWB and fluorescent. ISO: 800- 3200 depending on where in the courts the subjects were located. Speed: 125th, all the way up to about 640th of a second.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Rain n Cupcakes

Cambridge, MA 071410 Pedestrians on Church Street in Harvard Square walk by a mural at the Harvard Square Lowes Theatre buidling as they try to remain dry as sporadic rains hit the Boston metropolitan area on July 14, 2010. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: Among the beauties of my job is that of never knowing what am I going to be shooting on a daily basis. For example today was spent shooting cupcakes at a new bakery and then I was told to once more look for an N/S (this stands for an image without story, a stand alone, a feature, etc, etc.) Since I really didn't want to spend too much time chasing people to get their names while under the rain I went for a more abstract look in the image of the raindrops running down the side of the glass. And I decided focus on the mural instead of the pedestrians on the other photo. But the story of rainy day was told the same either way. TECH STUFF: The cupcakes were shot available light with a 100 2.8 Macro lens, at 200ISO and 1/160th of a second exposure at 2.8-4.0 aperture range. The rain art was shot with a telephoto 70-200mm 2.8 and my trusty 24-70mm 2.8 while focusing on the water and waiting for the right amount of color to come into my frame.

Saturday, July 10, 2010


Boston, MA 071010 Jacquie Garrity (cq) foreground, enjoys the rain as her friends Caroline Cadieux (Cq), and Faisal Balghunaim (cq), all 17 and students at the Tabor Academy in Marion, MA try in vain to remain dry as they walk by the Boston Public Library as torrential flash rain hit the Boston metropolitan area on July 10, 2010. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET The other photo is people just walking down the street in Boyslton St. BEHIND THE SCENES: I had just finished covering the Natl. Govs. Assoc. meeting at the Sheraton in the Back Bay and right after I got into the parking garage it started pouring. At that point I had to decide whether to get wet in order to get photos or shoot from my high vantage view point. Thus, the second image. The first image I shot through my car window and I thought I was smart by staying dry until they came closer to give me their names after I called them and as they lean their umbrella just poured a ton of water into my passenger seat... TECH STUFF: 70-200 2.8 @ 4.0, ISO 400, WB Cloudy, speed 325th of a sec... pretty straight forward.

Tuesday, July 6, 2010


Boston, MA 070610 Eager bathers await to go back into the Reilly Memorial Recreation Center pool at Chestnut Hill Reservation on July 6, 2010 while a water check was being performed. Afterward divers and children mingled alike. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: The hot day is not over yet so my editor sent me out again to make some more weather features. Photographing in a public pool is a very easy endeavor. It's the proverbial fish in a barrel. So I try to use the angles and composition to make the pedestrian seem a little bit more visually appealing. TECH STUFF: Shot low ISO again: 200, aperture in the telephoto at 8.0 because I wanted depth in all the subjects' feet and at about 10 aperture with the wide angle counting on the fact that someone, the jumping girl in this case, would come into my frame. WB still at Cloudy to add warmth to the scene.


Charlestown, MA 070610 Firefighters seek relief from the heat under the shade while covering their heads with wet towels and by getting hosed with cool water after battling a four -alarm fire at the intersection of Cross and High Streets in Charlestown on July 6, 2010. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENE: I showed up to the office today one hour earlier to catch up on some editing and the moment I sat down they sent me out to cover this four-alarm fire. The fire turned out to be structural damage and no injuries so the focus of the assignment immediately switched from the fire to the close-to 100 heat wave we are experiencing. TECH STUFF: Pretty straight forward shooting low ISO 200, high speed about 3000th to 5000th of a second; thus, the frozen droplets of water. Lens 70-200. D.O.F. at about 2.8- 4.5. WB cloudy

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Ghost Box Orchestra

Watertown, MA 070310 Members of the band Ghost Box orchestra: Chris Johnson (cq) tall with glasses dk clothes, Martin Rex (Cq) black T-shirt and tall, Nazli Green (cq), Jeremy Lassetter (Cq) cowboy look long hair all in black, and Dennis Noble (cq) plaid shirt glasses, were photographed on July 3, 2010 in Watertown,MA (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ G BEHIND THE SCENES: The original assignment said to meet the band at at the entrance of a local cemetery. I gave them a call and after chatting with them for a little we realized that shooting in a cemetery might not be the best idea due to legal issues with trespassing and alike. So I came up with this alternative location near my place in Watertown. The band was ecstatic and said it reminded them of the series "Lost." I was pretty happy with the outcome myself. TECHNICAL STUFF: Images were shot late morning but artificial Norman 400 heads were used to light the scene. By using artificial lights I was able to add drama to the scene by underexposing about three stops below the ambient light reading. For the outside I used two lights, one from either side and the one on the left mostly working as a highlight. For the inside shot I only used one light because we barely could fit all of us in this space. The light here was pretty much above my camera which I knew would give me the gritty contrasty look of straight on camera but I also knew that the space and my subjects could handle such harsh light. Aperture 16, speed about 250/ 100, ISO was 100. Equipment: 24-70mm 2.8, Nikon D-3. EXTRA TECH: I used a Pocket Wizard to set off one light and a long PC chord to set off the other one since at the last minute one of my battery packs decided not communicate with the transceiver despite the fact I had checked my lights and remotes about one hour prior to the shoot. (IMPORTANT: Always have back up systems ready when using lights because something Can and WWill Always Fail.)