Carlos Fernandez Photography

Back to my Roots

Last weekend I headed over to Muizenberg to pick-up my surfboard after a repair from a mishap the previous weekend. The waves in Muizenverg were nonexistent so I took a drive to see some of the other breaks that I have not visited yet, namely Kommetjie (co-mick-ee) and Long Beach.

Well I never got to Kommetjie as I spent much of the late afternoon watching and photographing surfing at Long Beach. There were quite a few people in the water and as I was unfamiliar with that break, and recognize the territorial nature of surfers, I decided not to surf but watch and shoot. I titled this "Back to my Roots", because my professional photography career started out by photographing sports. I really like the action and the fact that you have to anticipate where the peak point of action will happen to get a good shot. Additionally, I've always preferred shooting sports in Black and White. I converted this and made specific adjustments to my taste. I like the overall drama of the image. The point at which you don't know if the surfer is going to make his turn and the dramatic sky and mountain behind him. I did not have my long lens with me, but I quite like how this wider shot turned out.

Surfer, Long Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Surfer, Long Beach, Cape Town, South Africa

Spring is Here in the States

So that means the majority of weddings are here also. Here are some things to think about when hiring a photographer. Remember a photographers website will only show the best, so if it doesn't look good, walk away! If you go for the $500 wedding photographer, that's exactly what you're going to get. GET AN ALBUM! You'll look at that a lot more than the video. Do you really need video? Most photographers can do video clips for you. Whomever you're hiring for video is not Steven Spielberg. Don't expect a Hollywood production for $3000. Not gonna happen. Remember that when the expensive meal, flowers, chair covers, DJ, and cake are gone all you have left are the images. If your photographer does not initiate a meeting or lunch or portrait session with you prior to your wedding, do not use that photographer. The first words out of a good photographers mouth will be to ask what you expect as a final product. When you hire a photographer you will probably not have a detailed schedule so you can't be very specific about time. Remember his time is money. The average time of a wedding from start to finish can be up to 8 hours so don't book the photographer for 4 hours.  A good photographer will attend the rehearsal to meet the important people. The  Best Man and Maid of Honor should actually help in keeping the Bride stress free. Let them know that they may be asked to be a trouble-shooter. Don't pick a drunk. Make sure the DJ knows to announce important points in the event and does not let those happen without the photographer present. Have the wedding planner organize as much as possible. That is why they get paid. And last but not least remember that if everyone at the ceremony jumps in front of the photographer with their iPhone when you are walking down the aisle, you images will not look good!

 

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Spring is Here in the States

So that means the majority of weddings are here also. Here are some things to think about when hiring a photographer. Remember a photographers website will only show the best, so if it doesn't look good, walk away! If you go for the $500 wedding photographer, that's exactly what you're going to get. GET AN ALBUM! You'll look at that a lot more than the video. Do you really need video? Most photographers can do video clips for you. Whomever you're hiring for video is not Steven Spielberg. Don't expect a Hollywood production for $3000. Not gonna happen. Remember that when the expensive meal, flowers, chair covers, DJ, and cake are gone all you have left are the images. If your photographer does not initiate a meeting or lunch or portrait session with you prior to your wedding, do not use that photographer. The first words out of a good photographers mouth will be to ask what you expect as a final product. When you hire a photographer you will probably not have a detailed schedule so you can't be very specific about time. Remember his time is money. The average time of a wedding from start to finish can be up to 8 hours so don't book the photographer for 4 hours.  A good photographer will attend the rehearsal to meet the important people. The  Best Man and Maid of Honor should actually help in keeping the Bride stress free. Let them know that they may be asked to be a trouble-shooter. Don't pick a drunk. Make sure the DJ knows to announce important points in the event and does not let those happen without the photographer present. Have the wedding planner organize as much as possible. That is why they get paid. And last but not least remember that if everyone at the ceremony jumps in front of the photographer with their iPhone when you are walking down the aisle, you images will not look good!

 

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Raleigh Concrete Company at Night

B&W Leica X2, Raleigh Concrete Company at Night

I made this image in Raleigh, North Carolina using my new Leica X2 camera. I really enjoy night photography and industrial photography. The key about this image was that it was hand held. The X2 has a leaf shutter in the lens that makes it much easier to be able to make an image using slow shutter speeds. The image was made at ISO 400, f 2.8, and shutter speed of 1/4 second.

Art and Bodies: A Celebration of Self Expression

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]

How a Concept Becomes an Image.

[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.

Making a simple image a little more interesting and dramatic!

Let It Be dancers from Dance Attack at the Diplomat Hotel in Ft. Lauderdale. Taken by Ana with an iPhone 4S and manipulated in a couple of programs for effect. Now you don't need fancy computer programs to do this there are thousands of apps on your phone that can come pretty close. Search the app store for photography. [caption id="attachment_1336" align="alignleft" width="640" caption="Let it be, Dance Attack,2012"][/caption]

My perspectives on Wedding Photography

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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.

2012 Art Wynwood

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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.