Three lanky British lads doing what boys used to do after school--eat a bag of fish and chips, check to see how many pence are in pocket and lob rocks into the ocean.
Where were you April 16, 2016?
I share evidence of having been galavanting about on the southern end of the United Kingdom. It was a day in the 40s, rainy and full of gusty moments. The afternoon was serving up a span of hail showers which made most local Brighton Beach folk run for shelter.
Boys Being Boys Just four years later, and I bet the possibility of framing a similar photo moment like this is slim today. I'm not referencing our current global medical ills (Covid-19) as reason for an inability; instead, I single out aspects of social ills--technology and cell phones.
What we have here are three lanky British school boys doing what boys used to do after school. One is finishing a bag of fish and chips, the second appears to be surveying the contents of what he found within a pocket. The third takes up the celebrated pastime of moving rocks and pebbles from one place to the other.
Note the absence of ear buds and touch screens. Photography may never be the same again.
Despite a necessary reboot from time to time, life at the Vallarta CoWork space is hecka more enjoyable than most other co-working spaces.
Getting an amateur model to sit still for a frame up can be a challenge to a photographer—especially if the model is a passionate coder or programmer. Ok, scratch that—seldom is a fast shutter required to nail the motion of a startup founder at work on his or her computer. In fact, if you observe that techie worker for an extended period of time, you’ll notice there’s not much movement at all. Period.
Often experienced in only the most fleeting of moments, Jesus, too, was rather stationary that day. His kind and patient countenance that afternoon did not require a fast shutter speed for group portraiture.
Things are just more possible in Mexico, as opposed to the United States. At least the sort of things I wish to set out to do with this February visit; namely photo shoots with subjects and themes out of the norm. Take for instance a night club photo shoot. The fact that I had recently met my photo subject the day prior was a bonus.
Daniel LeClaire bills his Act 2 Puerto Vallarta performance as, “Hello, My Name is Elder Smith." LeClaire was Elder Smith in the Broadway hit musical “Book of Mormon,” hence the reference. He sings, he plays piano, he dances, he has shoes thrown at him. A smaller club, this venue offered all the routine challenges that come with working in a low-light environment. For one, the necessity to shoot with a slower shutter speed in order to avoid as much noise as possible, even with high sensitivity. I opted for telephoto range (28-300mm) in lieu of my faster 50mm prime (the 28 -300mm lens is 3.5/5.6 and it definitely shows noise in this shoot).
Handheld capture, with the need to drop to as low as 1/ 200 second and exposure compensation all the way to +5, yielded a bit less sharpness also.
I am in Mexico to experiment and shoot new subject matter, so this was a solid way to gain an entrée to gels, low-lighting and capture of a live performance.
Daniel LeClaire in “Hello, My Name is Elder Smith." A performance in Puerto Vallarta at Act 2.
Learning Points For Live Performance Photography
·Precision in achieving a fine and defined point of focus is that much more essential in low-light photography
·Stage lighting yields strong light and dark contrast to the contours of faces, so take a few moments to observe resulting looks
·Rose, blue, green, oranges—judge the tone of the subject, particularly white features like teeth and schlera of eyes, when each color rotates over the subject
·Visual clutter—sometimes having stage equipment in the frame works, sometimes it is a distraction
· Assess how gelled lights alter the look of hair; some patches of hair get lost in the highlights
·White fabrics take on unnatural tones and patchy loss of detail
Looking southwest in the direction of Los Arcos rock formation. Pops of peach and pink are starting to reveal in this Mexican sunset.
Atop La Cruz hill is the lookout tower for Puerto Vallarta, Cerro de La Cruz.
Photographer or not, who can resist a magnificent sunset over open water and viewed from a high vantage point? This is the Pacific Ocean in February.
On this trip to Mexico I’ve seen rain nearly every day, so it was a delight to not only have the DSLR with me, but to be also perched atop the 1954 build Chez Elena at sunset hour. This residence is either within (or just aside, depending upon with whom you speak) Gringo Gulch. It is a few blocks climb up the hillside. Profile to come for Chez Elena.
The lookout is located on the east side and overlooks most of Puerto Vallarta. Los Arcos (The Arches) rock formation can be seen to the south and Punta Mita to the north.
The expanse of time spent looking west from Chez Elena was roughly thirty-minutes. First, texture in the clouds started to form. The sun then began to carve out ripples in the water. More regions in the sky gained distinction. Once the bright blaze of sun on water faded, peach and rose started to ease over the mountain tops. With sun at horizon, came the highest contrast and most variety of colors.
This, I am told, was a good sunset. But I hear even better is to come.
Moments of maximum color, texture and glory in a Mexican sunset.