First Friday Art Walk Albuquerque May 2019

First Friday Art Walk Albuquerque May 2019

Art Acrobats Dance Downtown Albuquerque Event

On the first Friday of each month downtown Albuquerque becomes an outdoor art exhibit and market, but actually much more than that. You can walk through an interactive light art experience, decorate the streets in chalk, and dance like you are trying to win a contest! Those are just some of the things I witnessed the first Friday in May 2019 in downtown Albuquerque.

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Ballet Dancer Model Portfolio Shoot Wesley Chapel Florida Photography

Ballet dancer Katie in her own home studio for this model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in own 43" brollyKatie is a new friend I have made in my brief time in Wesley Chapel Florida.  For many years she was a professional dancer and on stage around the country.  Now in her Wesley Chapel home she has her own dance studio.  I went over on a Sunday evening to make some ballet dancer model portfolio shots in that studio and found out the real challenge of shooting in a room with a wall of mirrors!  It took me quite a few different setup tries to eliminate or reduce lights and myself ending up in the background of shots.  Katie also had the hard task of repeating physical ballet moves like the one above!

Katie on her ballet bar in her home studio during our model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brollyIn this shot Katie takes a break from jumps and relaxes with a leg up.  I tried out the bar myself and took two tries before I could swing my leg up on its own (no hand help) even though I am three inches taller than Katie!  Range of motion is something I know I need to keep working on.  

Katie on point during our ballet model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brollyNot suprisingly, being on tip toes is not the most comfortable thing to do in the world.  I realized quickly that my usual lens I like to use for model shoots, my Nikkor 80-200mm f/2.8D was not going to be practical in such a space, and switched to my Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens which was used for all the shots seen here.

Katie showing the flexibility of a ballet dancer during our model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brolly - background added digitally

Katie also uses her dance studio as a fitness and workout center.  It was not possible to remove all things from the room, and they were too hard to remove digitally on their own, so in the above shot I just cut out Katie herself and put her on that digital background, which is actually a portion of a photograph I made at a car event (see the second photo from the bottom) that had cool red lighting.  

Katie touching the sky during our ballet model portfolio shoot in Wesley Chapel Florida - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 200 1/250th - Strobist: SB-800 & SB-600 each in their own 43" brollyWe shot for quite sometime and Katie was great about repeating each jump & pose as long as needed to get just the right shot in terms of lighting, limb placement and composition.  I got to learn just how challenging it is to shoot in a hall of mirrors and to be a ballet dancer!

Pole Dancer Model Portrait Session at Raw Vibes

Pole Dancer Marla in the Black Box room of RAW Vibes in St Petersburg FloridaSunday evening I had a portrait/model session with Marla, a pole dancing instructor at RAW Vibes, the art and performance space run by Saint Petersburg art community friend, Laly, whom last year exhibited my haikyo photographs.  

It was very easy to work with Marla, who posed very well on her own.  I do not believe I said a word to her about posing the entire time, she just went from great pose to great pose.  This allowed me to focus on just making and composing the photographs as best as I could.

The "DANCE" painting was already on the wall, so I cannot take credit for thinking to include it in the photograph.  I did of course notice it and tried to make best use of it for this photograph.  I position myself so that no part of Marla overlapped with the frame of the painting, and also to make it seem like the person in the painting is gazing upon Marla, unbeknownst to her.  I imagined the viewer of this image to be like the viewer in the painting.  

I chose the "antique plate" filter in Silver Efex Pro 3 because I wanted to really accentuate Marla as the subject of the photograph and put into shadow most of the background.  

How I made this photograph:

  • Nikon D300 with Tamron XR Di II 17-50mm lens handheld
  • f/8, 1/60th, ISO 200, aperture priority
  • strobist:  Nikon SB-600 Speedlight on light stand high to frame left triggered by commander mode on the D300
  • processing:  RAW file in Aperture 3, image clean up in Photoshop CS4, conversion to black & white in Silver Efex Pro 3

"A Night of Fashion" on USF Tampa Campus

A jabbawockeez inspired performance. I am a big fan of this style of dance. See Shaq with the jabbawockeez.

Last night's fashion and dance event at USF Tampa campus fully titled, "OMEGA PSI PHI presents 'A NIGHT OF FASHION,'" was quite the challenge to photograph.  Very little light.  No overhead light at all.  The little lighting there was, was in the form of hot area lights at basically eye level.  This translated into having to wait of dancers and models to body block the lights before pushing the shutter, or just choose to use the lights and get an effect like seen in the above photograph.

The leader of the Titans step team was very intense and thus a joy to photograph.

For one whole performance, the men's Titan Step Team was right in front of me the whole time.  The leader (above) had great charisma, and of course dance skills too.  After each portion of their routine, the men would stop and strike a self-fist bump pose.  It was not all serious though as they broke into a Bell Biv Devoe "Poison" breakdown that I could appreciate since that song was right from the heart of my time.

Of course there were plenty of ladies on the fashion runway too.

I quickly realized that my best of the bad light shooting spot was not on the map for a majority of the fashion models that strode out.  So in order to get some head-on shots I had to scamper around a bit, hither and thither.  Even then, I just could not get a totally sharp shot.

The performers, dancers and models all brought their "A" game.  The energy in USF's lower gym-cum-runway was palpable.  The Faces Modeling Troupe got the loudest response of the night.  I look forward to the next challenging to shoot fashion show and will take what I learned from this experience and hopefully have a higher success rate the next time.  But who knows what the lighting situation will be then?

Most of the fashion was very urban, from urban street to urban business attire.

Performance: Vanessa Cerallo-Wainwright - professional dancer

Vanessa Cerallo-Wainwright performs at the grand opening of RAW Vibes in Saint Petersburg, Florida.

I met Vanessa Cerallo-Wainwright at the grand opening of RAW Vibes Art and Performance Space.  She gave a dynamic flamenco dance performance that not only gripped the crowd emotionally, but also physically as some members of the crowd could not help themselves from joining Vanessa on stage toward the end of her performance.

The crowd in RAW Vibes watches Vanessa Cerallo-Wainwright's flamenco dance performance.

The art gallery space in RAW Vibes is capable of being quickly transformed into a performance space complete with a small stage.  With a packed house it provides for a very intimate atmosphere between performer and observer.  There was hardly any space for me to squeeze in to and make these photographs!

 Vanessa changed gears in her performance using a fan and costume twirls.The performance space in RAW Vibes makes for a dramatic setting with its deep red velvet curtain backdrop and high, recessed lighting shining directly down on the performers.  I am becoming a big fan of the red velvet background as it also served well as a backdrop for scary dolls.

I used a combination of flash and non-flash shots to photograph Vanessa's performance. This one of course is using flash.