Saturday, June 30, 2012

Celtics Dancers Tryo outs

Waltham, MA 063012 Close to 300 young women attended tryouts in order to become official Celtic Dancers on June 30, 2012. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe staff)/ MET BEHIND THE SCENES: When it comes to newspaper assignments you truly never now what you are going to get. After having had to photograph male exotic dancers on Thursday, today I got to photograph young women trying out to become dancers/ cheerleaders for the Boston Celtics... there is after all a balance to the intricate design of life after all (:-) It is by no means a hard thing to photograph. There were photos everywhere. If anything you have to curtail your shooting as to not overshoot the assignment. I've done this a couple of times in the past and whenever galleries like these get posted on the Boston Globe's site the hits reach the six digits pretty fast. I expect this time to be the same. TECH STUFF: Two cameras: D3 and D3s, Two lenses: 24-70mm 2.8 and 70-200mm 2.8. ISO 2,000, WB: auto, Mode: Manual.

Friday, June 29, 2012

Exotic Male Dancers

Boston, MA 062812 We interviewed local exotic dancers from the Boston area about their take on the new movie "Magic Mike" which opened on theaters this weekend. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe staff)/G BEHIND THE SCENES: The fact these images came out as well as they did is a testament to how much of a professional I am when it comes to photography and an ode to good lighting techniques. Anyone who knows me knows this wouldn't be my favorite subject to photograph but alas I work for a publication and like one of my editors always tells me, "Essdras! What do you gat? what do you gat? The beast must be fed!" Anyway, I'm of the believe if it has my name by it then I better have given it my best effort. With the premier of the movie "Magic Mike" coming up this weekend our intrepid sartorial writer Christopher Muther thought it'd be a good idea to talk to local dancers after they attended the premiere of the movie in order to get their opinion on how accurate to reality is the movie. Their take was a mixed review. Some thought it was an entertaining movie but not too close to reality. Others thought it wasn't that great but it did show a lot of what exotic male dancers go through and have to put up with. Out of the four guys, two of them were kinda wildcards when it came to personalities. The other two were a bit more mellow. One because he was young and the other, the fourth one- on the black and white image- because he had been doing this for 17 years. He called himself the "grandpa" of the group at 42 years of age, and he said he mostly did mceeing shows and managing of dancers. TECH STUFF: This is a bit of a complicated lighting set up. I knew beforehand I was going to have a minimum of two dancers but that more could be coming as well. As you can see three showed up at first and then a fourth one came in late so we added him for another version of the same image. I enlisted the help of a couple of female writers and a former co-op, also a woman, to help us by throwing money at the subjects. My idea was to make the scene resemble the kind of scenario in which they'd normally would find themselves performing. Kind of: night club with spotlights. There a total of SIX lights being used in the color portrait of the three and then only FOUR in the black and white. Again, SIX lights for the individual portrait. There is one Elichrome 300 monolight with a big softbox: Calumet Illuma X-Large Soft Box - 54 x 78 x 25 behind me being used as a fill-light. This light is what gives you your metadata "baseline." Then there are two Dinalites with grids to the side even with the dancer in the front. Then two more Elinchrome 600 lights with grids slightly behind the guys pointing diagonally across toward the torso of the dancers and then one more Elinchrome 300 with a red gel coming from below and behind the dancers and pointed toward the black- paper backdrop. My idea was to sculpt their bodies with lights and I believe the effect was indeed achieved. EXTRA NOTE: At the end the Dinalites couldn't keep up with the Elinchrome and they started faltering. So the black and white image was done only with two Elinchromes on the side and slightly behind and then the other two Elinchromes: one behind me with the big soft box and the one against the backdrop on the floor. I'm also including a lighting diagram for the image of the three dancers.

Thursday, June 14, 2012

Time Square, NY as a tourist

New York, NY Time Square 052912 Street photography at Time Square. (Essdras M Suarez/ EMS Photography) BEHIND THE SCENES: After having finished my tall ships' assignment at the NY Harbor, I decided to go out and be a tourist the night before flying back to Boston. It was a rare pleasure not to have to worry about getting the names of the subjects in the photo and to simply make images strictly based on their visual appeal and to satisfy my need of being creative. At some point it started raining and people ran for cover. I decided my Nikon could take it so I stayed out and I was rewarded by the girls jumping under the rain and posing for photos being taken by a friend. And with the sailors running for cover right in front of my lens as I was shooting from a low angel. I had seen the Elmo character earlier in the day while I was heading back to the hotel and I made a mental note to find him if I went back out. I found not one but two Elmos; thus, the two different images. THEORY OF PHOTOGRAPHY: The photo with Elmo where he is to the left and there is a man to the far right; I decided to use despite cropping the arm of the man on the right at one of those "uncanny valley points." This is something I'm always drilling to students attending my workshops: "be careful not to crop the human figure at the wrists, elbows, knees etc." Even though, It seems as if I didn't follow my own advice on this one. It is important here to remember the following: When it comes to the hierarchy of elements which make a photo a good photo, decisive moments trump all other elements. Thus moments are the kings when it comes to content. The body language of Elmo on this was a definite decisive moment. I only had one frame where his body language was so unique. TECH STUFF: One camera a D3s and one lens: 24 2.0 manual focus. I went out there to play so I took the most basic set up I could think of. ISO 800- 2500, WB: A, speeds 1/60th to 1/250th of a second. And I just had a blast!