Thursday, May 31, 2012

70-200mm 2.8 airborne

\ New York, NY 052812 In order to get the images from above for the below blog "Tall Ships." I had to climb the riggings. I was looking forward to this and I had planned accordingly by borrowing a lens from Nikon- a 14mm 2.8 I took the US Coast Guard safety training. I signed my life away. I took off my wedding band, my watch, and my waist pack. Anything that could fall was not to be brought on the climb. So all I took was two cameras which I crisscrossed across my chest. One with the 14mm 2.8 and the other with a 70-200mm 2.8 and a 1.4 TC teleconverter. The harness system the USCG uses is somewhat different than the type I've used in the past. Theirs secures the legs, a bit in the waist and then it loops over your head and hooks (kind of modified carabineers) to the waist strap. Two straps come off the sides of the harness at hip level and these in turn end in two massive hooks. In reality you are free climbing most of the time and it is not until you stop that you secure yourself with the hooks. I had climbed pretty high up, I’d say about 50' and secured myself so I could keep shooting as I had been doing during several stops along the way. The 70-200, which was on the camera on my right side, had proven somewhat unwieldy and kept slapping against my side as I climbed, so this time when I stopped I positioned it in front of me between the strap and my body. As I turned to the left to make a photo with the wide angle, all of a sudden I felt that “something” was not right. I looked down to my right and all I saw was a camera body and no lens. Somehow the 70-200mm had come off the mount of the 1.4TC. In panic I looked down and I saw a bunch of crewmembers looking up at me. I screamed, "Is everyone okay?" I got the thumbs up from one of them. I felt relieved and decided there wasn't much point in coming down right away so I kept shooting for about another half and hour or so. However, while on the deck and about to take off the harness, I someone saying, "Yeah, you know the girl that got hit by the lens." I froze. I turned to him and said, "What are you talking about???" He proceeded to tell me the lens on the shoulder had indeed hit one of the crewmembers. I immediately asked to be taken to the infirmary so I could see her and after pleading for a bit I was allowed in. I walked in expecting the worst but I found her on a chair with an ice pack on her shoulder. As she was sitting down, I got down on my knees so I could be eye-level with her and then apologized to her over and over to her. I kept telling her, “I’m so sorry, this is not supposed to happen. This never happens. In 20 years I’ve been a photographer nothing like this has ever happened to me.” Thankfully, she was kind enough to accept my apology. She had suffered just minor bruising. The lens hit the meaty part of her shoulder and then kept tumbling onto the deck. The hood cracked in half and its parts couldn’t be found. The filter was shattered. Interesting enough. I assumed the lens was useless after such fall but still I tried removing the shattered filter and examined it. I couldn't remove it myself, so I took it the next day to a repair shop and they managed to remove it. I put on a new filter bought a new hood and incredibly enough was able to use the lens for the rest of the assignment. I will still send it to be "tightened" but the sturdiness of this lens is a credit to Nikon and my luck on not having maimed or kill this poor woman is a credit to my guardian angels.

Tall Ships NY Harbor

New York, NY 052812 Tall ships USCG Barque Eagle and the Ecuatorian Buque Escuela Guayas docked in New York at the end of May 2012 before taking off to Norfolk, VA, and then Boston. (Photo by Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe Staff) BEHIND THE SCENES: I was sent to NY to photograph the tall ships before they got to Boston so we could have a package ready for that weekend when they finally arrived here. The original idea was to do the journey from NY to Norfolk but then we were told it would last seven days and it was decided we didn't have that much time. The alternative was to depart the harbor with them and then when the NY harbor pilot was picked up we'd get off the ship as well and return to the port. I was looking forward to this assignment, specially because I had borrowed a "fish-eye" lens in order to climb the riggings and get the overall of the ship. However as my next blog will explain. Things didn't go as planned. TECH STUFF: Gear/ two camera bodies: Nikon D3 and Nikon D3s. Lenses: 24-70mm 2.8, 14mm 2.8, and 70-200mm 2.8 with a 1.4 TC, ISO 200- 1600. WB mostly sunny mode.

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

"Dandelion Moments"

Boston, MA 050912 Tatiana Cueva, a graduate from the School of Fashion Design on Newbury St, and model Heather Seeseldt wearing Cueva's designs were photographed on May 9, 2012 for a story on a new batch of designers graduating this year. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ G BEHIND THE SCENES: The assignments here, as it happens this time of the year, was to photograph designers and their models. The relevance of these images is to illustrate what is known as "Dandelion Moments." The story goes that photographer took the subject of a portrait to a prairie field to shoot them with the setting sun. However while waiting for the light, the bored subject takes it upon themselves to pick up a dandelion flower and starts blowing on it. The photographer captures moment when the little seedlings take flight. The resulting photo is a beautiful image of a backlight subject, and flowers in the air. The question to debate here is: Was this a portrait or was this a moment? I truly believe there is no black and white answer on this one. Purists would tell yo, the shooter took the subject to a controlled environment therefore it is not a moment. However others would say that despite this what happened once the subject was there happened on its own, without any directing or guidance from the photographer therefore they'd call that a moment. What is Your take on this issue??.. Anyway, these images of the designer with her model were my dandelion moments.

Designer Amanda Erickson

Newton, MA 051212 Lasell College fashion graduate Amanda Erickson with models wearing her designs on May 12, 2012 at the School of Fashion at the college campus in Newton. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff)/ G BEHIND THE SCENES: When I spoke with the designer the previous night she kinda neglected to mention there would be these many models involved in the photo shoot. Usually I say the more the merrier but in this case the problem was that I planned accordingly and only brought a one-head light kit. This is a setup which normally works great for portraits of one to two people max. Never did I have to try to light these many subjects with only one light before. So my challenge here: How do I maximize the only source of light I can control? I decided to go with bare bulb on the head with a small silver reflector on the light. I then bounced it on the ceiling, knowing that because it was a white and low ceiling the light would spread pretty evenly among the subjects. Also the "look" of this collection was kind of punk, industrial with Gothish palettes so the stark black and white worked best in my opinion. TECH DETAILS: One Travel Lite kit, this is the Calumet brand. One lens: 24- 70mm 2.8, one camera: D3s, ISO 100, Speed: 1/250th of a second, WB: Flash.

Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Cape Verde

Cape Verde April 17-24, 2012 These are just some images from my first visit to Cape Verde off the coast off Africa. This is an island nation made up of 10 islands. I visited the capital city of Praia and the island of Sao Vicente while on an education assignment for the Boston Globe. The first image is in Cidade Velhia which used to be the main port where slaves brought from Africa were traded. The second image is of a 20-year old man who had not been able to finish his last year of high school because his family didn't have the $37 for the whole year's tuition. The other two images are children being children which I encountered at a couple of different beaches. (Essdras M Suarez)BEHIND THE SCENES: I never stop making an image because it might not make the paper, or because it might not have to do with the story I was sent to cover. I'm a true believer that when I see something worth photographing I just photograph it. TECH STUFF: Two cameras: D3 and D3s. Two lenses 24-70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8 sometimes with a 1.4 TC on it. ISO anywhere between 100 to 3,200. If you want to see more images go to :

Friday, May 4, 2012

Boston Ballet' Fancy Free Rehearsal

Boston, MA 050112 Boston Ballet's troupe members rehearse for the company's production of "Fancy Free" on May 01, 2012. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe Staff)/ G BEHIND THE SCENES: One of my favorite subjects to photograph has always been dancers. To me they seem like sports cars, which even at a stand still are sleek-looking and ready to exploit with movement. It helps too that these dancers are real pros and it's very easy for them to ignore the constant clicking of my camera's shutter. That and the fact that I have been photographing their rehearsals now for about 10 years and they know me well. TECH STUFF: Easy enough, most of it shot with the 70-200mm 2.8 and the 24-70mm. A Nikon D3 and a D3s. ISO 1600. Speeds 1/160th- 1/250th of a second depending of close they got to the windows. WB Auto (mixed light from the windows and fluorescent overheads present.) EXTRA NOTE: Funny enough after having photographed these guys for these many years, this was the first time I noticed the reflection on the side of the piano.