Walking the tiny streets of La Paz looking for souvenirs and typical stuff I saw all kinds of things both wonderful (like these bead necklaces) and grotesque (like dried llama foetuses to bury under your new home for good luck). The most important thing to me was that although the street stalls catered for tourists, they also catered for locals and it all felt real. I tried to capture that in this quasi-abstract shot.
As I was being driven back from Copacabana to La Paz, the car stopped in the middle of nowhere, and I couldn’t figure out why. Finally, the driver said there might be a Morenada ahead as this was a saturday. Upon understanding what he was talking about, I grabbed my camera with the lens that was on it (a 50mm, it turned out, which in APSC meant 80mm) and ran towards the festivities. In between the harsh light and the excessive focal length, I had a hard time framing this wonderful dance but a few of the shots were keepers still. This one I like, in part because the woman at the forefront looks so serious about it.
Entering Humayun’s Tomb
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/7.1, 1/800s, ISO 400
The only time I had the leisure of visiting a bit of Dehli, I went to Humayun’s Tomb and spent a good amount of time there. It’s a marvelous place, and one of the things I loved was these alignments of portals, identically shaped. I need to go back to India…
Gnawa Street Musician
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/1250s, ISO 400
There are street musicians you just want to give money to. This guy had such a smile that you couldn’t resist him. I don’t remember how the music was, but it’s one of the only things in Marrakech that I really liked (the rest of Morocco was much more interesting).
Nelson has Company
Canon 1000D, 80mm, f/4, 1/1600s, ISO 200
One of my oldest « keepers », this photo was shot in 2009 in Trafalgar Square, mid morning in late fall, from the back of a moving cab. I like the parallel between the lamppost and the column.
End of the Night
Canon EOS7D, 80mm, f/2.8, 1/160s, ISO 1600
Monophonics is a spectacular band to see live. Singer / keyboard player Kelly Finnigan has the kind of stage presence and energy that you don’t expect to see live these days anymore. Saying he ends each gig drenched in sweat would be a lie: he is drenched from the beginning of the third song. For this particular gig I was standing a meter away from the band and eye level with them which gave me some cool opportunities for photos I don’t normally get to do but also proved super challenging. This one of the winning shots from that gig.
Canon EOS 7D, 80mm, f/2, 1/100s, ISO 800
The fabulous French big band Bigre! has a song on their repertoire called Be Good Bluesy Johnny which is at heart an interplay between barytone sax and blues guitar. There’s a break in the middle of the song when the band suddenly goes 12-bars-ish and the guitar starts wailing. It’s orgasmic. The first time I heard this time was when I went to see Bigre! live for their latest album release party. This is the precise moment when Nicolas Mondon launched into his solo.
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/4, 1/100s, ISO 1600
Angelo Moore is one of the most spectacular musicians I have ever seen live (here with the Madd Vibes Brass Band). That evening he played no less than 5 different saxophones (including the bass sax.)
Canon EOS 7D, 80mm, f/2.2, 1/60s, ISO 100
Late last year I volonteered to do a series of Chinese fruit and vegetable photographies for a charity cookbook that should be released this year. As a sufferer of gear acquisition syndrome, I immediately went and bought a lightbox (thankfully, it’s cheap here, although one of the LEDs is already blown out…) I had to try it out, and struggled to shoot my veggies on a proper white background. I then thought it would be an interesting challenge to shoot a black subject on a black background, so I grabbed this plaster statue of a Buddha that we brought back from Vietnam. As you can see, I failed to shoot black on black, couldn’t keep the background truly black, but in the process created a Harcourt-esque background that’s really quite cool.
Rotten in NYC
Canon 7D, 80mm, f/11, 1/250s, ISO 100
Post-Processing: Snapseed and Lightroom
I don’t normally use partial desaturation, but since I was going for camp in this series I decided it would be worth a shot. It seemed to fit particularly well in this black & white shot where only the eyes have colour (and greatly enhanced colour at that…)