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.

DSC_1355 DSC_1599 DSC_1478 DSC_1771 Protesting against PRI DSC_1449 DSC_1761 DSC_1826 DSC_1398 DSC_1646 Protesting high The revolution will NOT be televised El peor enemigo del pueblo Juay de Peña No soy carita pero si estudioso DSC_1866 DSC_1958 DSC_1971 DSC_1975 DSC_1888

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

Categories
Photography

Sexual Diversity Parade in Guadalajara

Rainbow flags

The LGBT parade/protest took place in Guadalajara and I didn’t miss the opportunity to get my camera and snap some pictures.

For the first time I went to a gay parade in Mexico. Popular culture says that Guadalajara is the city with the biggest gay community, although I would question this, as Mexico city has more population and it is probable that because of this reason only, it always has the biggest community of anything.

The parade was not huge, but it ended up in the Liberation Plaza, a location I found very interesting, as it is right behind the main catholic cathedral. Guadalajara is a city where most of the society is very religious, so having this parade is an interesting contrast.

Sexual diversity parade

There was a big stage set up. The movement’s leaders gave a speech about sexual diversity, the fight for LGBT rights and equality and a protest to polititians asking them to legislate without any religious belief, to keep non-religious education in public schools and to defend the separation of church and state. Afterwards there were several shows to entertain the public.

Everyone gathered in the square to enjoy the shows, take lots of pictures and have a good time.

I took this opportunity to conquer my shyness when taking pictures of people in the streets. This time I talked to them, asked politely if I could take their pictures and got closer than usual sometimes. I’m happy with the results, I got some more interesting pictures like the one below where I asked this guy to hold his flag in front of the statue. I still have more to work in that area but this was a good start.

Gay pride

Gay pride

Macho men

Macho men

Sunset harlequin

Sunset harlequin

Sado teddy

Sado teddy

Manly love

Manly love

Gay metal couple

Gay metal couple

Transexual couple

Transexual couple

Gay couple

Gay couple

Shemale

Shemale

Jackson

The Jackson

Angel smile

Angel smile

Honest priest

An honest priest?

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Some kids celebrating their highschool graduation were passing by and one of them asked a drag queen to share her beer with him.

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Gay Unicorn

Mario bros.

Mario bros.

Rainbow poodle

Rainbow poodle

The last photography I find it very peculiar. Not every day you can take a picture of a drag queen show behind a huge cathedral while a condom is floating in the air.

A drag, a condom and the church

A drag, a condom and the church

Check out more pictures of the event at my Flickr set.

Categories
Photography

I’ve joined Instagram

Instagram logo

After long time avioding the hype, I decided last week to finally join Instagram. I’ve been trying to get more involved with photography and reading several good photographer’s blogs and some recommended to get into that. Also that after reading that it is powered by Django, I had lots of curiosity.

Among the things I like about Instagram are the many preconfigured filters. There’s a lot of them and fast to try out. It would be great if you could fade a bit some of those effects or tune them, just like you can do with Picnic when editing photos on Google Plus. Also the basic color & saturation corrections would be nice to have too. The blur effect is very cool and easy to use, I always used to do that by hand (or tried to) on Gimp or other photo editing software. The Ice Cream Sandwich image editor doesn’t have a way to do it, so having it on Instagram is nice. Sharing on multiple social networks is very comfortable too. I wish one could configure what albums on the phone get synchronized with google plus auto-upload feature. Right now it only syncs the main camera album, and all Instagram edits get saved at the “Instagram” album, so they don’t get synced, but that’s an Android ICS feature waiting to happen, not Instagram’s app fault.

So far I’ve seen, there is no web interface to browse all your and others pictures on Instagram. There’s another web app called Statigr.am and you can use that as your web access to the images. I wonder why that decision was made, a good web interface is always handy, plus you use your larger screen of your desktop or laptop. I’m a bit worried about the license on my uploaded images, but I don’t plan to upload anything important anyway. And if I did, I would republish on Flickr with a Creative Commons license, the way I like it.

As an online photo sharing app, I still prefer Flickr over all the services I’ve tried: Picasa/Google Plus, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and recently 500px. Even though many criticize it for being outdated or “left behind”, just because it doesn’t have a decent mobile application doesn’t mean they’ve staggered. Recent minor changes have been great usability commodities and it lets me share and blog my pictures easier (when on my computer, not phone/tablet) letting me choose from different sizes to, for example, share them on my blog. Community wise I’m still not sure, since I don’t have lots of followers on Instagram, the activity on my photos is not that big.

Here are some of the pictures I’ve uploaded:

chamaleon

Llama

Chinchilla

Don’t forget to follow me as gabrielsaldana (don’t know if there’s a way to make a link to follow or something, since there’s no web interface to my profile). I still have lots to learn about Instagram. Mind to share with me some tips in the comments?

Categories
Photography

New photography gear

Nikon D7000

I got new photography gear after my last “accident” forgetting my Cannon T1i at the airplane on my last visit to Mexico city. Also, it was my birthday gift to myself.

I was sad about loosing my camera and about how long it would take for me to get new gear, since it’s very expensive. Luckily and without really searching for it, I accidentally stumbled upon a great deal at Best Buy that I couldn’t refuse: I got the Nikon D7000 with 18-105mm f/3.5-5.6 AF-S DX VR ED Nikkor Lens, two 8 GB cards and the Nikon 50mm f/1.8D AF Nikkor Lens for a very good price.

I’m very excited about the new photos I can take with this 50mm lens, which is not excellent but it has very good reviews and some say it will help me become a better photographer by moving around to compose my shot.

I wanted to switch to Nikon for a while. I’m very used to Cannon, but without trying to enter a Cannon vs Nikon flame war, I think Nikon has better image quality and build. Speaking of flame wars, I feel like switching from Vi to Emacs with this change. The Nikon system has a steeper learning curve but I’m sure once I get used to it I’ll feel it more comfortable. I still have a lot to explore with this new camera and lenses, so I’ll keep posting.

My new photography gear

Categories
Photography

Local fashion show at Batiz boutique

A new fashion boutique opened up in my neighborhood. Veronica Batiz, chief editor of Intrend Magazine just opened up her new boutique of haute couture in San Pedro. I got invited via email and I couldn’t let pass an opportunity to shoot some models picutres. I like fashion and I get very few opportunities to be at these events. I’m still not that well connected in the fashion circles.

At this event, while I was expecting professional hired models to walk on the runway, you could easily tell they were all friends of the boutique owner. It was nice to see good local talent. The event was very improvised, but the clothes were very nice and everyone had a good time.















I wish her great success in this new business adventure.

Categories
Events Photography

25th Anniversary of the Nutcracker ballet by the ESMDM in Monterrey

A few weeks ago I was invited to the 25th Anniversary of the Nutcracker ballet by the ESMDM in Monterrey. As I’ve done for the last 3 or 4 years (maybe even more) I’ve been attending to the Nutcracker (and other events) by the ESMDM and took some pictures of it. Instead of just sharing on my Flickr page, I’d like to share them here too.

This year I initially forgot my camera at home, but since the theater is about 5 blocks away, in the intermediate time I ran back to get it. So I don’t have any pictures of the first act this year. Before the ballet started there was a celebration and commemoration of the 25 years of the Nutcracker every winter. It was that they made a plaque with the names of every dancer that participated on the ballet for those 25 years.

At the end, all the ex-alumni of the ESMDM who were at some point part of the Nutcracker cast took a group picture. I think I saw at least two generations of the same family in that picture, that was something nice to see.

I used my Canon EF-S 18-55mm f/3.5-5.6 IS lens with varying exposure times. For these type of events, since there’s low light and little time to adjust your camera, I use the Tv setting and adjust shutter speed as needed depending on current illumination. I still find it hard to find the perfect balance between fast shutter speeds and low light compensation to capture the movements in mid air, but I’ve found that the shutter speed setting and AI Servo auto focus mode makes it easier for starters.

Do you have tips for stage photography? What lens do you recommend for these events? Let me know in the comments.