Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Italy on a Point and Shoot

Italy October 2011 I recently had the blessing of celebrating my 20th wedding anniversary and my gorgeous soul- mate, Sara, and I agreed Italy was a place we both wanted to visit. I being who I am and she knowing me as well as she does, immediately told me, "this is not going to be a photo trip." I said, "Of course not..." But in reality I was not very happy about the prospect of visiting such a visually-rich environment without my trusty DSLRs at hand. So I came up with a creative solution: instead of taking my big cameras and all the lenses that come along with it I convinced her that if I bought a point- and- shoot camera that would be all that I'd need. I did a lot of research and I asked a lot of professional photographers their opinion. At eh end I concluded I would try this specific "point-and_shoot" (which I now think is a blatant understatement and misnomer):the Leica X-1. I've always heard these camera brand and its legendary optics celebrated reverentially. As someone who'd never tried one, it always seemed to me as if such high praises had to have contain a great degree of exaggeration... that is until I tried one. The optics performed magnificently and the degree of control afforded by the camera when it came to aperture and speed control as well as its many yet simple features made it feel just as if I were using one of my big "guns." By using this tiny camera and making the photos I was able to make, I was once more able to prove one of the mantras I teach during my photo workshops: "It's not about the gear, it's about how you- the photographer- sees the world around you." However I think now I must add to that statement,"... it doesn't hurt if you have great optics backing you up." So if you don't want to log around your big cameras while on vacation or while simply not on assignment, or you simply want to give your weary shoulders and knees a break, then the Leica X-1 is a great alternative.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

2011 Head of The Charles Regatta

Cambridge, MA The 2011 Head of the Charles Regatta took place under a perfect New England fall day which brought thousands of spectators to watch the competition. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe) BEHIND THE SCENES: I have photographed this event about four or five times in my career and I can not recall a more beautiful fall day. The temperatures were in the 60's but the sun was shining for most of the day. On top of having to get enough images for a gallery in boston.com they wanted me to get features that said fall, thus the beautiful wide angle shot with the rowers, crowd and clouds. I was also asked for other features. Regularly I try not to photograph children and babies for the sake of them being cute. I believe these to be too much of an "easy" subject to photograph. I usually require a moment within context in order for a situation to appeal enough for me to make a photo. In this case the mother hoisting her six-month old worked beautifully because it was a way to show the reader/ viewer the crowds attending the event plus this was a bona-fide moment. The same with the man and his dog. It is because I caught the jump in mid air and how this slice of time blends with its environment and how it told the story of the good weather and the crowds watching that I deemed the scene worthy of this photo. The clean black background in the rower images is because I know where the sun is going to come from and how it hits the faces of the rowers and the dark background of the bridges that I knew enough to be in that spot. However this year I'd forgotten where it was originally and it took me about 20 minutes of walking around to find it again. TECH STUFF: low ISOs between 200- 340. Speeds in the 1000th's of a second. WB at cloudy. EXTRA NOTE: The image of the boat, the crowd, the clouds and the sun starburst I designed by closing my aperture all the way to 22 to make sure I would get that beautiful effect. GEAR: Two bodies a MarkIII and a MarkIV, three lenses: 70-200mm 2.8, 17-35mm 2.8, 300mm 2.8 and a 1.4TC.