Monday, February 28, 2011

The Resiliency of a Child

Brighton, MA 022311 Six-year old Melissa Orosco (cq), walks with her parents Salvador and Jobita Orosco (Cq) of Allston as she was getting ready to be released from Franciscan Hospital for Children on February 23, 2011 She was the victim of a hit and run a couple of months back as she was holding hands while walking with her mother. According to her mother, the still-to-be caught driver never stopped nor slowed down as he left the scene after he struck the little girl. According to her mother, Melissa was literally thorn away from her grasp. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: This was one of those assignments that are humbling. Here in front of me was a little girl who only two months ago had had her neck, pelvis and left arm broken as well as suffering brain injuries. Yet you couldn't have known that while she played a game of Wii tennis with her dad. The human spirit is truly indomitable and its will to survive its at its strongest in children. TECH STUFF: Two camera bodies with a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 80-200mm 2.8, ISO 1,000, WB:A, speed 160th of a second, aperture between 2.8 and 5.0.

Thursday, February 17, 2011


Dorchester, MA 021711 A red tail hawk enjoys the fruits of a successful hunt, a pigeon at a nearby perch in Dorchester. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: Today while at the Boston Globe's office I was walking by a window and I was caught by surprise when I thought at first I was looking at huge snowflakes falling. I did a double, and after closer inspection I realized I was looking at feathers flying as a hawk tore into a pigeon it had just caught. I ran back to our pool-lens cabinet and got a massive telephoto lens. I watched this amazing spectacle for about 20 minutes as it ate everything, including legs, heart and innards. While looking through my viewfinder I couldn't help but to be amazed at the raw power of nature. It was a humbling experience to witness this through the intimacy of my viewfinder. TECH STUFF: DSLR with a 600mm 4.0 lens, ISO 500, speed 1/4000th- 1/5,000th of a second, aperutre 4.0-5.0, WB cloudy.

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Food and three Flashes

Boston, MA 020811 This first image is a Squid ink Risotto dish from Erbaluce restaurant Boston's Bay Village area on February 8, 2011. The rest of the dishes are from Canary Park in Jamaica Plain. These are fried twinkies, criminy pickled mushrooms and a plate of charcuterie. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)/ Food BEHIND THE SCENES: I have been assigned to photograph at least three restaurants per week in the last three weeks. This is mostly due to my schedule which is usually afternoon to early-evening shifts. At first a couple of years back when I started getting these many food assignments I used to resent these since I thought my talents were being misused. I have since learned to appreciate the extreme efforts chef put into their culinary creations. Thus, I've come to the conclusion that it would be a disservice not to do my best to make these dishes look their best. TECH STUFF: First of all I must say that I pride myself in the fact that I can shoot food under any situation. I don't need a lot of space to work and my gear consists of one camera body usually with a 100 macro 2.8 or a 60mm 2.8. The latter tends to offer a certain degree of optical aberration so I try not to use it unless the food that I'm photographing is many dishes at once. Until very recently I used to use only two off-camera strobes and a remote atop my camera. The strobes are usually positioned across from each other at table or food level on their own little stands at the 7:00 o'clock and 2:00 o'clock positions. Lately I've been experimenting with a third strobe and I position this at the 11:00 o'clock position. By adding an extra light the set up allows me to move around the dish and try different angles without really having to do anything but minor adjustments to the strobe positions. The strobes behind the food are usually about 1/3rd higher than the one on the front and they are all synched on TTL mode.

Friday, February 11, 2011

Valentine's Day Pooch Party

Charlestown, MA 021011 Dogs and their owners attended a Valentine's celebration at Durty Harry's, a dog grooming store in Charlestown, on February 10, 2011. The store owners tried to set up a red-carpet for the dogs but that lasted about 30 seconds before the dogs thought it would be more fun to chew on the carpet than to walk on it. According to the store owner about 50 dogs and their owners attended the affair. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: Every once in a while you get an assignment that when you read it you can't help yourself but to smile. This was definitively one of those occasions. Because I know the best way to photograph dogs is from their eye level I put on a set of knee pads I always carry in my car. When there were just a few dogs and a few people things were working out beautifully but as the night progressed and the small space became crammed with more canines and their owners being on my knees was not as much fun anymore. By the time I was done I and all of my gear were covered in a thick layer of drool. TECH STUFF: Two cameras. A 16- 35mm 2.8 and a 80-200mm 2.8. The camera with a wide angle had a camera mounted strobe unit. The place presented several technical issues when it came to lighting because of the flood-light style fixture in the ceiling. These created pockets of bright light and left the non-lit areas very dark. So black dogs and white dogs running to and fro under the lights made for interesting exposure issues. There was as much as 2 1/2 stop difference between the light areas and the dark areas. Even while using a strobe it was very challenging to try to balance the ambient light with the strobe output just because of the constant changing exposure situation. But alas the world around is in constant flux so we must adapt.

Saturday, February 5, 2011

Pond Hockey Tourney Lake Winnipesaukee, NH

Meredith, NH 020411 The second annual New England Pond Hockey Classic took place at Lake Winnipesaukee, NH on February 4,5 2011 where 14 rinks where carved into the lake surface. (Cq). (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff) BEHIND THE SCENES: This was a pretty good assignment. I got to drive away from the city and all of its bad traffic due to snow pile ups. I got to go the NH Lakes area which is beautiful anytime of the year. And most important of all, I got to charter a small plane to do aerial shots of the venue. Shooting from an airplane gives you a perspective on things you normally just wouldn't get from ground level or even a tall structure or building. Despite the temperature up in the air being in the minus 10-25 F range and catching the brunt of it while shooting through an open window. It was worth it. TECH STUFF: ISO 250, aperture 5.6- 22, speed above of 1/400th of a second for the aerial stuff. Gear: two camera bodies, a 24-70mm 2.8 and a 80-200mm 2.8 with a 1.4 TC.

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

Chefs and their Food

The Globe has now created a new feature in our G Food Section in which we showcase a chef(s) and their creations. I kind of like this better than just photographing the food since I will always be partial to photographing people than inanimate objects. Here are a couple of recent examples. The first one is chef Pedro Alarcon from La Casa de Pedro in Watertown and one of his delectable creations which he named "Faldas de Yayi" dish made out of skirt meat also known as skirt steak, Thai chili, cherry tomatoes, smoked salt, red onion and flour tortilla. The second set is that of the owner and chef, Peter Liu and chef Lijun Liu, of the Sichuan Gourmet Restaurant in Sharon, MA. The dish shown is double- cooked and spiced pork. BEHIND THE SCENES: These assignments are pretty straight forward. You are given a restaurant, a chef (s), and a couple of dishes to photograph. It is my responsibility to make every single photo as visually appealing and interesting as possible. TECH STUFF: the set up is pretty standard. I use a mid-size square soft box with a Travel-lite Kit at about 45 degrees in front and to either side(s) of the subject (s) making sure that the light source is slightly above the subject" (s) head level; thus, creating classing Rembrandt lighting ( Equipment: 24-70mm 2.8 or 16-35mm, a 100mm 2.8 macro and for the food photos two to three strobe units on controlled by a camera-mounted remote. Exposure: portraits 1/125th @11 ISO 250 for the two chefs and 1/10th @9.0 ISO 500. With the two chefs I wanted crisp contrast between the light and the shadows and fast fading as to emphasize the cool frosted glass design in which they were standing behind while being photographed. With the other (the single chef) I wanted to capture some of the ambiance of the place; thus, the lower speed.