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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

Danza UNAM 10 year anniversary

The UNAM has a dance division, that is not exaclty a school for professional dancers, but promotes events, creates workshops, connects dancers and provides spaces for their works.

To celebrate their 10 year anniversary, they organized a mass dance event open to the public. It took place outside the MUAC museum and it had one massive stage, but four fronts. Each front was leaded by a different kind of dance coach. Jazz/Pop, Hip-hop, Salsa and Cumbia were the different dances that everyone performed that day.

A lot of people attended not only to watch but to participate in the activities. And by most of them I mean from the young to the old people.

I remember this one old lady trying to follow the hip-hop teacher’s steps. She even tried to lay down in the ground to do a split! It was good to see enthusiastic people that no matter their age, they still keep moving. I know people that in their late 20s or early 30s feel like old cripples.

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Here’s the old lady attempting to sit in the floor to do the step like everyone else

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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.

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Photography

Intermoda 2014 runway photos

Like last year, I went to Intermoda Fashion Show this year. I was not able to attend many of the runways, but here are some of the photos I took.

I’m still pissed off that I need a press pass to use my DSLR on the main runway events. These are the times when I consider strongly on investing in a mirror-less camera (Sony A7R probably).

So these photos were taken on the Designer’s Corner showroom, where there was no problem using my camera.

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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

Instagram: A use for missed shots and crappy photos

There are many times in a photoshoot that you miss the shot. The image is out of focus, you get under or over exposed images, etc. Well, don’t throw them away, you can still use those shots.

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I went to one of the Intermoda Trends runway and found out there was a new rule: No DSLR photography allowed. Why do this at a fashion show? I have no idea, but if you didn’t have a press pass, you could not use a DSLR. I was raging because I could see several people using mirrorless cameras with the same sensors as a DSLR shooting away, and just because my camera was “professional-looking” I could not use it and they could use theirs.

So I tried shooting “from the hip”, very discretely just aiming and trying to get a shot of the runway. I didn’t focus manually, since I had no chance to even check the viewfinder once. I relied on the autofocus for the first shots, then locked the focus and continued shooting. When I downloaded all my images for review, I found out, unsurprisingly, that I had 200 shots of unfocused models at the runway. The autofocus got locked focusing the front row, not the runway.

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I thought of deleting them all, but for some reason just kept them as JPEGs. Then I remembered how Instagram has a very crappy quality, and immediately thought that it was the perfect place to put missed shots. I tested my theory and I got a lot of likes from those missed shots.

So if you have some out of focus images or crappy quality shots, don’t throw them away, try posting them on Instagram, as quality and sharpness is not one of its attributes.