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Photography

Ballet Class

A few months ago I attended the open ballet class of cuban teacher Chery, a legend in the cuban school of ballet. It was interesting to watch her way of teaching and correcting students.

Also I admire her passion and energy of still touring the world to give lectures and workshops at her age. I don’t know exactly her age, but if sometimes I get tired of travelling I can imagine her passion to keep doing it. She later told me she was going to other places in Mexico, then south america before going back home. I guess doing what you love, following your dreams and passion will take you to far places and keep you going even at an old age… and let’s not forget the government regulations regarding travel. She’s an example that your passion and hard work can overcome any obstacles.

Maestra Chery

Ballerinas on instructions

Men dancers jump

Ballet teacher corrections

Ballerina concentration

Stage lights

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Maestra Chery dando instrucciones

Ballerina jump

Ballerinas in mid air

Ballerinas final salute

Maestras Angelica y Chery

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Clase abierta con Maestra Chery, Mayo 2014

Backstage talks

She’s also writing a book about ballet, a mixture of historic references about the cuban school and teaching tool. She told me she hasn’t had the time to publish it but she’s done with the writing part. I hope she finds that time and publishes that material soon.

Categories
Photography

Nutcracker rehearsals by the Academia de la Danza Mexicana

Photographing dance is a tough task. Specially when it is an indoor low budget theatre with poor lighting setup. In these situations, you push your gear to the limit, not because you set the gear to the its maximum settings but because you need to explore the limits between capturing the moment and haivng a technically “good shot”.

The high noise in these images are because of my high ISO I needed to use. I’ve come to the conclusion of sacrificing image quality for capturing the right moments. And if you enjoy these images, I hope I’m not wrong.

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These are some shots I took at the theatre rehearsals. Because of schedule conflicts I couldn’t shoot the main events, but I enjoy the rehearsals more because I get a better insight and feeling of the complexities and hard work that is put into these events.

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Everyone involved, from the dancers and the musicians to the technical staff, makeup artists and most of all, the teachers and choreographers put a lot of effort for ballet to seem like an effortless dance with magic and princesses and where all is fine and beautiful.

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Yes, there is a lot of “magic” and beauty, but also a lot of hard work and effort. In these images I hope I could capture both, the beauty and the hard work by everyone involved for you to have a glipse at what is is to be in the dance profession.

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I’ve been sitting on these images for way too long. I took them on November 2013 and I didn’t want to continue publishing more material without sharing these first.

For me, seeing these images again after many months and remembering how I also struggled to capture them, I realize that in this business everyone involved, even the by-stander-photographer pushes themselves to the limit to deliver their art.

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Let me know what you think, and if you feel identified with this story, I’d like to hear your stories of art delivering hard work in the comments.

Categories
Photography

Theatre and Dance

Back in September I took some photos of this very creative outdoor theatre and dance at the UNAM. People were walking around the green areas and fountains of the University campus, and suddenly musicians and dancers start their act among them.

They gathered the crowd to the stairs of one of the theatres and they presented three numbers there. It was an interesting art proposal and very entertaining.

I was there because I knew this was going to happen, since my girlfriend was part of the project and she invited me to witness it, as she had talked to me about it and also another friend of mine, Jose Serralde, participated as the music director.

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That day I had my zoom lens in the shop for repairs, so I had to manage how to shoot dancers on stage with a 50mm fixed lens. It turned out quite well I think, and I love the sharpness of my Nikon 50mm 1.8D, but it was not easy, since I’m using an APS-C sensor, so that 50mm lens is like an 85mm lens. Getting the dancers in frame and the crowd out of it was the hard part.

Categories
Photography

A walk through the UNAM Museum of Contemporary Art

A photographer at the MUAC

On one of my now frequent trips to Mexico city, we went to the MUAC, the state’s university museum of contemporary art, and saw the exhibitions there. I know I’m not a fan of contemporary dance, and after my museum walk through, I discovered I’m also not a fan of contemporary art.

Photographing "modern art"

I just don’t understand the artistic aspect of it. In the picture above you can see me taking a photo of what is considered a piece of art, which is only a big metal ring hanging from the ceiling. It just makes no artistic contribution or impacts me in any way at all. Maybe I’m not with the right mindset, or under the influence of the right substances (or any substance at all to make that clear).

Old projector Neon squares Many mouths art statue Ball point pen graffitti

So I decided to take some snapshots of other things and try to turn that into art. If you ask me, anything that has a beautiful woman on it turns instantly into art. And my example below:

Contemplating art

See what I mean?

Do not smoke ashtray Gray rectangle in the wall Hair A smile and a chair A smirk and a chair That look Lovely eyes A great smile

If I didn’t bore you to death with the photos of the contemporary art exhibits, you can see more of my shots at my Flickr set MUAC and maybe some day I’ll post a video of contemporary dance to see if you understand it or get bored like me.

Categories
Photography

Mexico’s nation-wide protest against presidential elections

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The presidential elections in Mexico had lots of dubious activities mostly from the Revolutionary Party (PRI) and everyone went on the streets to protest against the results that favor that party’s candidate.

Protests like the one photographed in these images took place all over the country in big and medium cities (where the cartels and army counldn’t stop people from going to the streets). These images are only from the one in Guadalajara city, but the same feeling is all around the country.

The media manipulations over the elections and the false statistics have become more and more evident, specially after the advantage numbers resulted in far less difference than what the major statistics publications reported all along.

The march in Guadalajara took several hours and was several kilometers long. I couldn’t reach the end of it, it was really massive.

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Photography wise, I’m happier with the results. I prepared (at least mentally planned) for the images I wanted to capture. I’m still not completely satisfied, I think I can capture more emotions and try different angles of things I see. On the good side, I feel I missed less shots. I still struggle a bit playing with the camera settings on the fly to get the right exposure but I’m getting a hang of it. The article on F8 and be there was a good advice to follow. Also switching lenses while walking in the middle of a protest is very challenging. But in general it is very interesting and fun.

Most photos were shot in RAW this time, which gave me more freedom to play on the editing part. The downside of it is that I took more than 600 pictures and selecting the best shots, then edit the RAW files was a very time consuming and exhausting task. Next time I’ll plan ahead some specific shots I want to get and shoot less “let’s get whatever happens here” pictures. Sometimes I shot because people were expecting me to take their picture when there was really nothing special happening at the scene. I’m sure having the constraint of taking less pictures will make me think better my shots instead of going click-crazy with the shutter button.

As always you can find more photos published on my Flickr set Marcha Anti-Imposicion Guadalajara