Categories
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

Curtain down

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
Events Photography

RMX 212 music festival in Guadalajara

RMX212 concert

As a new resident of Guadalajara, I know very little of the history of the RMX 212 music festival. This is the first time I know about it and assisted. I have to say that it is awesome! They completely shut down Ave. Chapultepec, an avenue known for it’s restaurants, bars and a great place to walk around during the day and have a nice time. Four stages along the avenue with several bands playing simultaneously from 14:00 hrs until 03:00 in the morning! The nice thing was that also most of the bands were not the typical mainstream pop music garbage (although some still sounded like garbage), this was a place for new bands and upcoming bands to have a large audience to promote themselves.

RMX212 by Grupo Imagen

I got my age “reality check” when I saw the lineup for each of the stages. Shocking to see how many new bands are coming up and you know absolutely nothing about them. That’s when you realize you’re becoming “uncool” and are out of touch with current trends.

Fortunately not everyone was new to me. I knew a couple, like Pato Machete, former member of Control Machete, Hello Seahorse and [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sussie_4][Sussie 4]]. I knew more bands, but I didn’t necessarily like them. They were my brother’s preferred music, which I don’t consider “cool”, but ohh well…

I could get close enough to take interesting shots at Pato Machete’s presentation.

Pato Machete on stage

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The crowd was going crazy with this guy on stage

Concert crowd

Stand up cheer

Pato Machete on stage at RMX212

I don’t know what was going on, but apparently all my friends were surprised at something when I took this shot.

Everyone surprised here

Then I went with Alesi and Lokotronic to see the happy punk band Division Minuscula. I really hate that crap, all songs sound the same to me and don’t get me started with the lyrics… but I didn’t wanted to go home yet.

Fan girl & Division Minuscula at RMX212

Here is the best image I could take when Sussie 4 was on stage. The place was too crowded to get any closer.

Monument concert with Susie4 at RMX212

A girl in the crowd who smiled at my camera.

The girl who smiled

Taking stage photographs is hard. You have to prepare and adjust all your settings before the concert starts or else you’ll miss good moments, and since ligthing is constantly changing, you might miss some. I was constantly switching from manual to shutter speed priority. It is important to set your metering to spot metering and if you have several focus points, use the ones in the center. There are ways to set dynamic focus following a subject on some cameras, but for a beginner like me, center focus points work fine. Unless you are in a special press booth or reserved area, being in the middle of the crowd during a concert leaves you little time and comfort to adjust settings and experiment.

And I leave you with a music video of Pato Machete for those who don’t know his music and got curious after these pictures:

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.