I heard about SOMOS ABQ directly from the head organizer of the event himself at a board meeting I was invited to. His passion for bringing affordable entertainment on a large scale to all of Albuquerque was inspiring. At the time I noted this is an event I should attend, and last Saturday I did! The variety on display ranged from flamenco dancers to lace acrobatics to environmental art to music concerts across genres. Right on the streets of downtown ABQ were erected stages and the acts playing really brought it. The EDM stage in particular had the energy of a full on music festival finale! In the photo gallery below you can see a cross section of what was on display at SOMOS ABQ 2018.Read More
--please note all these images were made live while performing, not in a studio
These black & white flamenco dancer images were created in the basement of Ceviche, a downtown St. Petersburg restaurant. Through editing I have created shots with an entirely different look that the ones I made of my primary client that evening, Vanessa. She was not always on stage so she said to be sure and photograph the other dancers as well because they might be interested in purchasing images too. Thus, Carolina selected these three photographs of herself among others.
Carolina did not request black & white images. I edited her selected shots in color as I did Vanessa's. These edits are my personal take on the feeling I wanted the images to create. The basement of Ceviche is already very dark, so it was not hard to make the background completely disappear. I used differen filters in Silver Efex Pro for each shot to create the B&W conversion I felt best suited the particular photograph.
This last shot was made by zooming out while pressing the shutter creating the blur effect in the room's lighting. This is achieved by using a slow shutter speed, in this case 1/13th of a second.
I first had the opportunity to photograph professional flamenco dancer Vanessa two years ago. We had been in touch a few times since then about me photograhing her dancing again. Well, last week finally everything worked out so that I could photograph her while performing at Ceviche in St. Petersburg. Vanessa told me beforehand that the basement flamenco bar of Ceviche is very, very dark. I spoke with a photography colleague who has shot there and he confirmed that adding also that the ceiling is very low. The biggest challenge proved to be the red stage lights, followed by the very tight space available for shooting (serving staff & customers passing by).
The small space, though, provided for a very lively environment with the band playing quickly and loudly, and the four flamenco dancers taking their turns on the low stage. Vanessa has her turn while the other dancers looked on.
I could have used my speedlights to fill the entire space with light, resulting in radically different photos than you see here. However, Vanessa wanted the images to reflect the actual available light in the performance space as much as possible, which I agreed with. Since most of the lighting in the basement was reddish and yellowish, those are the tones of the images along with deep shadows in the background.
It was a very fun challenge photographing Vanessa in Ceviche's flamenco bar basement. Maybe next time I will return just as a customer!
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 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!
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.