Saturday, January 22, 2011

Fire & Ice

Boston, MA 012111 The wind blows snowflakes in between buildings on Forsyth St in Boston on a day that brought a myriad of weather conditions ranging from heavy snow, to light snow, flurries and then the sun finally breaking through. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENE: Today was a tough day to document weather conditions in the city because of the extreme range of weather conditions in a short period of time. The early morning was heavy snow, then it tapered off and finally the sun broke through. So the question was: what would resonate with readers the following day when they look at photos of this day? I kept my eyes open for an image that would showcase this variety and I found it while walking to an assignment when I noticed how the sun would light from behind the falling snow crystals. It was then a matter of waiting for a human to come into my frame. (REMEMBER: People will react to other people in a frame, it gives the image a sense of familiarity and scale) I got a couple of people walking by and I thought that would be the shot but as I started walking away I noticed this guy actually going down the alley. I rushed back and barely had enough time for a couple of well-composed shots before he veered into one of the buildings. Notice how the about-to step frame epitomizes the quintessential decisive moment in the photo. TECH STUFF: ISO 640 @ 9.0- 1/320TH Of a second. AWB.

Saturday, January 15, 2011

Myopia 2011 Sled Dog Races

Hamilton, MA 011511 Myopia Sled Dog Races at Appleton Farms in Hamilton on January 15, 2011. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: I had covered this event last year so I had an idea of sorts what to expect and where to be to get the best possible photos. The only problem is that I arrived there kind of early and walked about a third of the course (couple of miles) sometimes kneed deep in snow without snow shoes and without having brought water with me. By the time noon time came about I was wind burnt, thirsty and exhausted. To the point that I completely forgot to make a crowd shot. TECH STUFF: three cameras Nikon D3S, Nikon D3 and a Mark III. Lenses: 44- 70mm 2.8, 70- 200mm 2.8 with a 1.4 TC, and a 300mm 2.8 with a 1.4TC (now you can see why It was so tiring to walk around). ISO 100, apertures 4.0- 5.6. Remember when shooting in the snow to compensate for all that white. Also if shooting through dappled light, as in light filtering through the trees, you are better off with matrix metering and Aperture mode.

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Norestah' hits Massachussetts

Watertown, MA 011211 Boston metro area residents cope with the first major Northeaster winter storm of 2011. Photographs taken onJanuary 12, 2011. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: It is a fact weather is news, specially in New England. Today I didn't have to travel too far for images. I pretty much stayed on my neck of the woods and got plenty to work with. In contrast with the last storm that hit the area, residents heeded the official advise and a lot of people stayed home. TECH STUFF: Two camera bodies as always. Two lenses 24-70mm 2.8 and a 80-200mm 2.8. I also had a 1.4TC on the telephoto which I usually do when I know I'll be making images outside. ISO 250, speeds 1/250th to 1/100th of a second. Apertures 3.5 to 8.0 depending on the situation. Mode: aperture priority to begin with ... and as I usually do then Manual Mode. When shooting in the snow you have to open up your aperture or slow down your speed in order to allow more light in. The camera will easily be fooled into darkening the image because all the white in the frame. REMEMBER: CAMERAS ARE SO SMART THEY'RE DUMB!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

First Night in Boston

Boston, MA 123110 Among the First Night celebrations in Boston there were dancers from the Chu Ling Dance Academy of Boston performing on December 31, 2010 at the Hynes Convention Center and fireworks. And then on first day of the year the traditional L Street Bath House Polar Plunge in South Boston. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ Met BEHIND THE SCENES: Photographing the First Night activities this year was much easier than in previous years since I wasn't assigned to cover both the parade and the fireworks. I'd be the first one to admit that shooting fireworks is not my forte. It has never been anything I particularly care to shoot. I think these two images are okay and represent the spirit of the festivities and that is about it. BEHIND THE SCENES POLAR BEAR PLUNGE: I have covered this event about three times already and after the first year I figured out the only way to get good images is from the water itself otherwise you don't get to see the faces of the people running in. So I put on a pair of fishing waders and go in the water up to mid thigh. In past years this has worked out but this year due to warm temperatures the number of people who showed up to take the "arctic" plunge, mind you it was close to 50F, numbered in the hundreds. Perhaps as many as 1,000 people showed up on this day and several hundred more came to watch. Needless to say this presents a whole new issue of safety regarding the well being of the cameras. As the first wave of swimmers approached the water's edge, I heard alarm bells going off in my head since I saw how much water they were displacing as they ran in. Both of my cameras became soaking wet with salt water just from the splashing and usually these can take a beating and keep on ticking. This time the issue was aggravated when someone bumped into me and I took a step back to regain my balance and one of my cameras, the one with the wide angle in it, slid off my shoulder and into the water. I found out through a colleague at work the best thing to do in a situation like this is to clean all the salt water of the cameras and lenses... even if it means completely dunking these under the tap or submerging these in distilled water. I did this with the camera and lens that were submerged in the water and it was a painful experience. It was a first for me to actually hold these under the running water for whatever brief amount of time it might have been. I'm keeping my fingers crossed while waiting for the repair diagnose. Wish them luck... TECH STUFF: Fireworks ISO 640, time 3", aperture 9.0 and of course on a tripod, WB auto.