Friday, July 29, 2011

"Go the F_ _ _ _ to Sleep"

Foxboro, MA 053111 At the Francomano residence in Foxborough putting their four-year old Jack (Cq) to sleep is job which involves everyone due to Jack's endless procastination tactics. We photographed the daily ordeal to go along with a story on a book who has become a hit with parents: " Go the F**K To Sleep." (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)/ BEHIND THE SCENES: The first thing you want to do in a situation like this one where your job is to document is you have to let the whole family become acquainted with you. This includes the children in the household. The best possible scenario is that they become bored with you and start ignoring you with is the best thing that can happen to a photojournalist. In this specific situation the second most important thing is you have to shoot from a child-eye's level. This is how they see the world from below up. In other words: BEND YOUR KNEES when photographing kids. Jack was such a veteran of elongating the ritual he didn't really pay much attention to me or the videographer who accompanied me that day. My job that day was to try to become the proverbial "fly on the wall." I think I accomplished this quite well since the whole family went about the business of trying to put Jack to sleep and Jack went about his job of trying to outsmart the rest of the family so he wouldn't have to go to sleep. TECH STUFF: I used extremely high ISOs on this shoot because I knew the strobes would take away from the natural ambiance, away from the daily natural routine in the household. I used my Mark IV and I just kept changing lenses. On that night my second camera, a MarkIII, was basically just a lens holder since it really doesn't do well on low light situations. ISO: 1,000 to 8,000; speed 1/30th - 1/60th of a second; WB: Auto; lenses 16-35mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Of Colors and Layers

Boston, MA 072311 It is true that sometimes we photographers are asked to make images of an event or activity which we might not consider to be too visually interesting or appealing. But it is our jobs as visual communicators to bite the bullet and to try to show our daily, mundane, pedestrian world in an interesting manner regardless of the subject matter. Mind you I'm not trying to take away from the importance of an event. But assignments can be clearly divided into visual and non-visual. We can accomplish this by utilizing tools such as layering, juxtaposing of elements and learning how to utilize the full impact of colors in an image. Here we have three different circumstances: The Susan G. Komen Walk for the Cure. Basically this is people walking for three days through different settings some rural, some urban. I'm not given three days to illustrate this story. So I had to figure out a way to show something visually common (people walking) in an interesting way. In this case while I was trying to locate the walkers I came upon them around a curve on the road and as I parked across the street I noticed the reflection in the rear-view mirror and the pattern distortion occurring because of the effects of the optics of the lens I was using ( a 70-200mm 2.8 with a 1.4 TC), the reflection in the mirror itself and the yellow and white lines painted on the street. The result is a fairly interesting image. In the second case I was asked to make a photo(s) at the annual Puertorican festival in Dorchester. The problem is that usually when I've gotten this assignment in the past, it is for it to be shot in the middle of the day where there are not that many people due to the sweltering mid-day sumemr heat. The other factor here is that this two-day festival is known for the hordes of people showing up on Sunday... never on Saturday. Yet it is still my job to show an image which may capture a bit of the essence of celebration, of pride, and the sense of the place and of its people and to do this fairly quickly. I found these two clowns playing a guessing game with children as they gave away free midway rides. I tried several different ways of documenting the scene but none was as effective and sophisticated as the one shown here. There is an immediate flow of information being passed on to the viewer by the flag, then you look at the clowns and finally at the overall scene. The last image is of the Bastille Day Celebration a couple of weeks back. This one was a bit tougher since this basically was documenting a "gathering" of people. This is much harder to do unless there are extravagant or strikingly-unique looking characters or activities. None of these applied here. Earlier I had noticed the adornments on the rail at the entrance to this building and the garlands hung around the door and how the light from inside spilled out a bit into the waning evening. It was only a matter of time to wait, observe and to be ready when all elements aligned themselves into what I consider to be an interesting array of moments, layering, and composition.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Charles River Kayaking

Cambridge MA 071411 For our Summer Series we visited the Charles River Canoe & Kayak in Kendall Square off Broad Canal on July 14, 2011. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)/MET BEHIND THE SCENES: The Globe has been doing a water/ summer series on things to do in the city and this was one of the things a writer decided to investigate. No complaints, great weather, beautiful scenery and end-of-the-day light. It's amazing how you really don't know a place until you've walked through it. This is the case with the Kendall Square area in Cambridge which offers amenities like these that you normally wouldn't find out while driving. TECH STUFF: No brainer: two cameras, one w a wide angle and one with a 1.4TC on it. ISO 320-640, speeds... up there. Not much to add on this one other than I'm a sucker for patterns, triangular shapes and pretty light so this was a very easy and enjoyable assignment.

Friday, July 15, 2011

Sand Castle Competition Revere

Revere, MA 071511 Competitors in the Revere Beach National Sand Sculpting Festival at Revere Beach on July 15, 2011 work on their entries: The Veil and Castle, as beach-goers stop by to catch a glimpse of the artwork. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe)/MET BEHIND THE SCENES: I've photographed this event a couple of times in the past but this time the weather was perfect and some of the sand sculptures were simply breathtaking. TECH STUFF: As always my trusty wide angle zoom 16-35mm 2.8 and the 70-200mm 2.8., WB cloudy, ISO 320, Aperture 11-16, speed 1/500th of a second plus. In an environment so filled with competing visual elements creating separation between the many subjects and the backgrounds is what makes this a challenging scenario.

Sunday, July 10, 2011

South Sudan Flag Raising Boston City Hall

Boston, MA 070911 Maria Ajang (cq), who was kidnapped into slavery in Northern Sudan at the age of nine-years old , was with her family and over 100 Sudanese now living in the New England area to celebrate the independence of Africa's youngest nation: South Sudan. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: Sometimes we cover events at City Hall Plaza and they are just not that visually interesting. However this one proved to be the contrary. Brightly-colored dresses, white feathers ( I was told this symbolize pride), dark skin against bright skies all framed by high emotions. It was a visual cornucopia. TECH STUFF: I usually go by the rule of using my camera at first in Aperture priority mode and then after taking a couple of shots and looking at them, I then switch to manual and take over. This was an extreme case since it was a bright and sunny (high contrast) day and some of the subjects on these photos had skin so dark that it completely threw the camera's internal light- meter readings completely off. So there was a lot of trial and error until I was satisfied with the exposures. But even then the slightest movement on their part, just looking up versus looking down made the exposures change all over again. Lots of patience required for this one but the results speak for themselves. EQUIPMENT: 16-35mm 2.8, 70-200mm 2.8 w 1.4TC. ISO 200-320, apertures 2.8-5.6, speeds 1/800th of a second and above.

Friday, July 1, 2011

Charlestown, MA 063011 The Sunset Parade at the Charlestown Navy Yard on June 30th, 2011 is designed to celebrate the neighborhood's naval heritage and the New England's patriotic roots. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: On this day I spent all day today covering "patriotic weekend" activities. Earlier I was on the Charles River on the fireworks' barge. Later on the day I was sent to the mooring pier of Old Ironside, USS Constitution, for this parade. I thought I was done after I got the image of the kid being helped with his shoes by another member of the band. But the moment I was driving away the clouds parted and the sun just shone in. So I turned around and got these amazing- light images. Never give up on your natural light. TECH STUFF: 24-70mm 2.8, 70-200mm 2.8 w a 1.4TC, ISO 200, aperture 4.5- 5.6... and exercise patience.