Sunday, April 21, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing Suspect Watertown Manhunt

Watertown, MA 041913 Massive manhunt for the Boston Marathon bombing suspect took place in Watertown for 20 hours after a shootout was reported in the adjacent town of Cambridge. One of the two brothers was killed during a confrontation with police where more than 200 rounds were exchanged and then the second suspect was arrested while hiding inside a boat sitting in someone's backyard. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe Staff) BEHIND THE SCENES: It is very frustrating to be thwarted by police barricades when you know such huge story is developing just around the corner. So I adhered to what I always tell my students to do when shooting: Keep in mind the best photo happening for you is the one you have right in front of you because that is all that you can control.

Impromptu memorial site in Boylston Street for the Boston Marathon Bombing

Boston, MA 041813 Days after the Boston Marathon Bombing an impromptu memorial was created by those wishing to pay their respects to the victims of the disaster. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe©) BEHIND THE SCENES: On this day my assignment was to hang out on this site and to get the best possible images of the site and those visiting the area. These included overall shots. One of these two shots ran six columns across on the cover of the Boston Globe Metro section.

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Boston Marathon Vigil 04/16/13

Boston, MA 041613 Vigil at Boston Common in honor of those who perished during the Boston Marathon bombing one day prior. (Essdras M Suarez/ Boston Globe©) BEHIND THE SCENES: I have covered so many events like this one in my two decades as a photojournalist, you would think I no longer become affected by what I photograph. Instead I find myself in a mad frenzy to keep shooting, to keep focusing on composing and finding moments just so I won't time to process the magnitude of the events I've witnessed and photographed. Echoes of Columbine, Newtown, Iraq, Indonesia and so many more are nowadays always present in my mind when I'm confronted with documenting grief. Perhaps that is why I cling so tightly to my mantra of "Keep shooting, keep moving, keep adjusting..." just so I don't have time to think on what's in front of me. TECH STUFF: Cameras D-4, D3s; lenses: 24- 70mm 2.8, 70- 200mm 2.8 with a 1.4 TC; ISO: 640- 4,000; WB: cloudy and AWB

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Boston Marathon Bombing Aftermath

Boston, MA 041513 Two explosions spaced apart by seconds tore through the finish line at the 117th Boston Marathon in Boston. Authorities confirmed three dead and more than 100 wounded. (Essdras M Suarez/ Globe staff) BEHIND THE SCENES: On this day I had been assigned to be on the women's elite media truck ahead of the female runners. I got to Hopkinton close to 7:00AM. The race itself was the predicted outcome: A Kenyan runner pushed forward and won. Once I arrived at the finish line I saw no reason for me to stick around there since we already had two staff photographers on site. I went back to the office, filed and went home to see if I could catch some well-deserve shut eye. This was shortly after 2PM. My wife called me a bit after 4PM as I was taking a shower and she asked, "Why are you home and not out there shooting the bombing? I told her I had no idea what she was talking about. She told me what happened and I immediately tried to get back into the area I had just left a couple of hours prior. The city was shut pretty tight so I ended up parking my car a couple of miles away from the epicenter of the blast. I walked in and spent the rest of the day while not being able to get images of the scene aftermath itself. I kept trying to tell the story of how the City of Boston had changed at a moment's notice by showing the heightened security and the reaction of those I encountered. Thus, the two friend embracing after a couple of hours of not knowing each other whereabouts. The firefighters on this picture were first responders on site. Off the record one of them told me what he saw and how he helped the people. The only thing he told me before being off the record was, "See my pants, that is blood and skin all over them."

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Uncommon Images from Common Circumstances: A bit on the thought process and more

I made this image yesterday and it was used large on the cover of the Boston Globe's Metro section. I had previously called my office and asked my editors if they were looking for weather features for which I got a resounding Yes! from them. I've been around long enough doing my job as a newspaper photographer that I know weather is always considered to be "news." Especially here in New England where the weather patterns are so fickle. Afterwards, I did what I always do when I'm looking for features and hoping to stumble upon something unusual: I got out of my car and walked. Yesterday, I was already ahead of the curve because I happened to have just finished shooting an assignment near the Boston Common which is a favorite gathering spot for those enjoying the weather. This meant I didn't have to go searching for a visually-rich environment since I was already there. However, there were so many people sun bathing or just simply lounging around that at first it was visual overload. The scene immediately reminded me of what a couple of my Boston University students recently said to me during a photo trip to Cuba: "There is so much going on I don't even know where to begin or what to shoot?" No worries, this is a feeling commonly shared by beginner and seasoned photographers alike. Instead of yourself become overwhelmed, you need to step back in your mind and assess what's in front of you. Compartmentalize what you see in segments and then asses these based upon what's in them and for their photo potential and uniqueness. Then you go back to a bit of circular logic: Why am I here: To make photos. And not just any photos but good, better than average photos, and hopefully even great photos. If you don't take the time to compose and capture interesting imagery you are not doing your job: What is your job? Your job as a visual communicator/ documentarian is to see and document the world from a different perspective. To see beyond what the average person sees. Allegedly we do what we do because we think we can see better than the rest. We need to strive to prove this to ourselves every single time we press the shutter. And not all the time will we succeed but if you make trying as hard as you can a common routine you are bound to get better at it. And then others will start noticing that you indeed can see better than they can. Remember: You want the reader to look at your images and to do a double take. Your goal is to make them spend just a little more time looking and analyzing the images you create. You want the viewer to spend just a bit more on your photos than the other thousands of other photos the average person gets exposed to on a daily basis. You want to create images which move people, images which make people react one way or another. This we achieve by choosing our subject matter, and then capturing moments, interactions, altering angles, perspectives and paying close attention to composition. Going back to the above image: Yes, we all have seen people lying face down with their feet up out on a park, on a bench, at the beach etc. But if you photograph this scene from a standing point of view, then my friend you have just succesfuly managed to bore the living daylights out of your readers. This is how I strive not to do this. I follow this mantra every time I have a camera to my eye: "keep shooting, keep moving, keep adjusting..." These are interchangeable actions and their end result is that you force yourself not to take things face value but to go beyond what is in front of you. And then I don't stop shooting this subject or situation until I feel satisfied that I have explored every possible permutation or possibility of the situation at hand. Your images have to be interesting otherwise you are not doing your job and you are wasting people's precious time. The worst thing that can happen to you as a photographer is for your photos to be ignored. TECH STUFF: ISO 100, WB sunny, Spee 1/640th, Aperture 2.8.