My Granddaughters have become accustomed to my camera being around and the constant clicking of the shutter in their direction. They are so cool because they love our portrait outings or literally in this case my seeing a great background and suggesting portraits. They loved the idea probably because I allow them to be themselves. We had so much fun. These are a few of the ones I really liked.
I listen to a lot of photography podcasts, read a lot of photography books, and also see the work of many photographers. I was listening to a photographer on a podcast about discovering and working with more abstract images as a way of self-expression. Abstract usually translates into, you either love it or hate it. There's usually no in-between. The image above started out as an abstract image that was a mistake. Literally my shutter went off as my camera was moving after making an image. I saw the result and decided to put some work into it in several image programs. The result is what you see. Like I said, you probably love it or hate it. Enjoy either way.
Natalia Loves Wearing RedI had a photo-shoot yesterday with Natalia in Wynwood. This is in Downtown Miami, and my favorite place to make images due to the various backgrounds provided by walls of art. Natalia wanted to do the shoot in Wynwood with performance artwear designed by herself. I used mainly existing light with just enough flash, backed down two stops, to get the eyes to sparkle. The key in all portraiture is to do your best to get that sparkle in the eyes. The same thing can be done with a reflector or even having your subject look at a brightly lit wall opposite them. It was a bright sunny day so I used the shadow side of the street the entire time to avoid harsh shadows. I shot with my Canon 5D Mark III, Canon 600 Flash and a Canon 70-200 mm 2.8L Lens. All of the images were shot between f2.8 and 3.2 to allow the background to drop off out of focus.
A friend was kind enough to notify me of the "Submission Fetish Ball" produced by Antonio Angelo, additionally, an excellent photographer. The event was a first for me in the world of Fetish. I met the nicest, warmest people that immediately accepted me into their world. I made it a point to respectfully ask before making images and it was appreciated. I will write more on the event, however, I wanted to give a bookmark to those that attended. In respect of privacy the more explicit images where individuals are identifiable will be posted to a private password protected web gallery. The images and Gallery will be forthcoming this evening. For event participants, click on the image above or on the FaceBook tab of the website. You will be directed to my page. You will then see a post with the link to a private gallery. The password information is in the post. This is being done for as much privacy as I can give you and still view your images. Enjoy. If you like the images please like my page.
I was asked by my wife to do a portrait session for a young lady celebrating her 15th birthday. I really did not know what to expect. Her 15's as it is known in the Cuban community is equivalent to a Sweet 16 or Coming Out party in the Anglo-American community. The spectrum of these parties range from one extreme to the other. Jeans and t-shirts to a Ballroom Gown with the celebrant coming out of a large clam shell. When I got to the party I found that the girls and the celebrant, Amelia were all in nice but not over the top dress. Amelia was rather reluctant at first to pose for the images but after a few discussions agreed to pose after dinner. I was a little worried because she appeared to be slightly shy but I could see that she was fun. After dinner I started to setup and decided to pose Amelia against some curtains standing and sitting. The location where the party was located limited me to select an area that was rather small. We started the session and Amelia really came into her own. She truly posed and took direction like an experienced model, and also had the body type of a model. I made some images and we talked about doing a session with her and her friends on location in the Wynwood Area of Miami, with brightly colored street art to use as a background. Her friends seemed excited about the opportunity and I will be able to make more images to boost my portfolio. All around a win-win and I had a great time. Looking forward to our Wynwood Session.
I honestly, did not know what to expect when the call went out to cover the South Florida Tattoo Expo in Coral Springs. I knew though that the color and characters that I would encounter would certainly provide for interesting photographic opportunities. I checked in to get my Media Credentials and the ladies at the registration table were very pleasant and as far as I could see free of bodily markings or anything else. On my way to the main Expo area I passed the Pirate tables. Theses are the Doctors, Lawyers, and various other Professionals that dress like bad asses in all kinds of Harley stuff. I truly did not see anyone there that looked scary and acted the part. On the contrary everyone and I mean everyone was very pleasant and more than eager to get photographed. In a couple of cases this was sans clothing. Ok, so I did not do this assignment just for the pay. Then again a Publix Bagger would not do it for the pay either. I do kiosk after another this because I love photography and interacting with people. After passing the many vendors that mainly consisted of Sex Toys, body implants of various types and Drug paraphernalia, I made it into the main hall. The main area of the Expo was one Tattoo Kiosk after another. I would say probably fifty in all, and they were all doing brisk business usually by appointment only. I definitely had Tattoo envy with my one and only Ironman Tattoo. On owner stopped me and showed me his latest work of art. Seeing that I had my media tag on, he said I missed all the excitement. About half an hour before I arrived he Tattooed a woman's Anus a Green Blue which he proudly showed me on his Iphone. Really? I would not have believed it had I not seen it with my own eyes. The Expo was not a place for the bashful. If you can imagine where someone can get a Tattoo, they were getting them there and in some very private places. Funny thing, I did not see any of the typical guys, you know who they are with the Tribal Armband.These were hard core Tattoo people. The real story in my opinion and what provided for the most interesting images were not the customers, but the artists. The different looks of concentration showed that they have a genuine dedication to their craft. These are not the slouches that misspell words on peoples knuckles with rudimentary instruments. The Tattoo Artists I saw there were true professionals in their interaction with the public, their adherence to cleanliness and safety, and the works of art they were creating. There was also a tasteful burlesque show, and piercing contest, though I missed the later while watching a young lady receive several piercings on her chest and back that were then laced with leather. I spoke to her afterward and she told me that she was an apprentice at the Tattoo Parlor that was performing the work. I guess that could be a tax deduction. Anyway enjoy the images I posted and follow the link to my Facebook Page to see the rest. Thanks for reading! [nggallery id=11]
[caption id="attachment_1375" align="alignleft" width="940"] Vision on the Tracks[/caption] On our second to last day of vacation we were walking through the town of Dillsboro, North Carolina. Normally during my other summertime visits this is a bustling little tourist town with a number of shops, and a station for the Smoky Mountain Railway. On this visit it looked like a Ghost Town. That thought stuck in my head as I passed each closed shop and we found ourselves as the only people on the street. The girls needed to use the restroom, so I took them to the restrooms by the railroad track and waited for them outside. I stared at the tracks thinking of different types of images to make as my eyes followed the tracks toward the overpass where the tracks merge with another section creating an interesting design. The girls finally came out and started walking the track like a balance beam together toward the overpass while I snapped images of them. As they passed me and I was behind them I could imagine them standing on the tracks and the overpass framing them, with the intersecting tracks leading the viewer into the image. I made a bunch of images as they were balancing down the track and then I asked them if I could have some fun now and pose them after I let them walk down the tracks forever. They liked the idea and for the first few images I had them holding hands at the same intersection you see above, but facing away from me. Then I thought that it would make more sense if they were coming out of the tunnel made by the overpass. I made several iterations of that composition with arms down and up at a good distance away. I was happy with what I had and we left on our way back home. When I got home and started editing the remainder of the vacation images I spotted one and decided to tone it as a slightly dark Black & White image. As they image got darker the concept and feel of the image also got darker. I kept adjusting with some other tools until it actually started getting kind of frightening. I started thinking about the Ghost Town thoughts I had and the girls playing on the tracks. The thought came into my head to make them look like spirits from this Ghost Town. Maybe kids that were playing on the track at one time, were hit by a train, and now haunt the tracks. Too weird. Too bad, that's what was in my head. I kept making major and minor adjustments until I was satisfied I'd achieved that look. And here it is. I hope you like the image and the narrative of it's creation.
I made some wedding images for the daughter of a very good friend last weekend. I love weddings. Better said, I love experiencing the human interaction at weddings from the standpoint of an active participant. The photographer is probably the only person that sees everyone more often, more than once. At their best, and at their worst sometimes. The challenge when shooting for a friend is managing the stress in making sure that the images are perfect and to ensure that you get both families as equally as possible. It's too easy to be drawn to one side if you are friends with many of the same people. In this case I have known the Bride's Mother and Father for many years. I will say though that whatever event I shoot I am always a bit stressed. Why? Because I care. I often tell people that I should stop shooting events the day I stop getting stressed because it means I've stopped caring. Some advice: I would never suggest that a friend photograph another friends wedding unless they have a lot of professional experience photographing weddings. Many friendships have been lost this way.
I wanted to make images of a Dancer, but I did not want the typical Dance pose. I decided to use a more dramatic pose that matched the personality and grace of the dancer. Additionally I added the film and imperfect paper effect to give it a feeling of being aged. Someone left it in the bottom of a drawer for many years as many of these types of images are found.
I photographed the 2012 Art Wynwood VIP / Press Preview Night and After Party at Wynwood Walls for NewTimes Miami. Here are selected images from that event. The art was amazing. About thirty percent was photography. Of course I was very focused on the photography. Photographers, Henri Cartier-Bresson, Andy Warhol, and Douglas Kirkland were among the most notable ones featured.
I'll be exhibiting "Images of Cuba" this evening at M&R (8825 SW 129 St. Miami). I am part of the Falls Art District Gallery Walk in Miami this evening from 7pm till whenever...Last month we got Rained out, however, tonight it should be great. The interesting thing is that M&R is an Auto Repair location by day and Art Space for the Artwalks. Come and enjoy the Artwalk.
I went to an art show a couple of weeks ago and many of the artists and craftspeople had signs reading "No Photography." I guess they were either ignorant or hoping that fair goers were. How can someone demand that when they are in public and there is no expectation of privacy? It was really ironic because some of the artists either photographed or painted things that other people had made, I.e. buildings, famous structures, copies of artwork etc. you would think that the rules that people further should apply to them also. Just saying!