Even before I knew of her own photography achievements, I knew that her work in this project was special and something that I had to own. I tracked down a hard copy at a fabulous black owned bookstore in Harlem called Sisters Uptown Bookstore and began my journey into a comprehensive history of black photography. I stumbled upon a Vice article about her and it quietly relit the flame under my own journey as a black woman carving out a space for herself in this white male dominated industry. As a 30+ year old digital photography student, it comes as no shock that most of the studied “greats” of this field look nothing like me and do not capture work that reflects my existence. Representation matters and Deborah Willis’ continued effort to share stories of our existence inspires storytellers like myself to soldier on and continue sharing our perspective. Check out the Vice article featuring Deborah Willis here and Reflections in Black can be purchased here.
Here are a few images from my recent trip to The Grand Canyon. It is without a doubt MASSIVE. So massive that the brain can’t really comprehend how something so vast can be created and sustained pretty much on its own. The challenge in capturing something so immense (mid day on a beautiful sunny day might I add) is trying to figure out how to not make the images appear flat and boring. I focused on perspective in a few shots by comparing something tiny such as a group of tourists or one person to The Grand Canyon and also had some fun with the editing. Overall, it was a great trip and a photography bucket list item that I can now cross off 🙂 Check out my images below!
We also made a stop to The Hoover Dam.
And here’s someone doing exactly what the tour guide told us not to do. There’s always one…and in this case, I saw more than one person standing on the rocks on this sunny but quite windy day just to get a photo. This was the only person I managed to take a photo of.
Jackpot, I think I’m in love…
I know! Another light…but this is a Profoto light. Profoto. Big dog pitbulls in the game of light. Yes, their equipment is expensive, but it’s worth it. This beauty is being touted as the world’s smallest studio light and I want in! Here’s what I really like about this light, it seems like an easy to use on camera light compared to other speedlights. It also seems powerful enough for outdoor portraits but it may also be able to handle bigger studio jobs, and with the Profoto brand behind it, you know you’re paying for quality. BUT, there really is only one way to find out, and this is a wish list post, soooooo…feel free to help me get closer to making this wish a reality by going here, scrolling down and donating what you wish to the cause! 🙂
I recently took a late summer vacation and was able to fully digest the beautifully designed scripted 10 part audio drama “Bronzeville”. The cast is stellar: Laurence Fishburne, Larenz Tate, Tika Sumpter, Tracee Ellis Ross, Omari Hardwick, Wood Harris, Lahmard Tate, Cory Hardrick and more make up the characters that come to life in the series. “Bronzeville” brings to life 1940’s Chicago and the “policy” or numbers games that allowed this African American community to flourish. At the center of the drama we are introduced to members of the notorious Copeland family, including sister Lisa Copeland played by Tika sumpter, Jimmy Tillman played by Larnez Tate and Curtis Randolph played by Laurence Fishourne. Not only was I impressed with the sound design of the overall series, I couldn’t believe how quickly I was transformed to 1940’s Chicago via these auditory performances. It’s easy for me to binge a great tv series or fly through a good book but I’ve never been so engaged in a scripted audio series. I think a major reason why I was so invested and am supportive of the project is because it is not entirely a fictional project and a little know piece of American history. Bronzeville was an actual African American community in Chicago in the 1940’s whose money generated from the policy operation allowed the community to be self sufficient and produce schools, stores, banks and nightclubs. You can read a bit about its history and the policy operation here.
You can listen to all 10 episodes of season 1 here. Hopefully the cast is hard at work and gearing up for season 2!
A friend of mine put me onto “There Goes The Neighborhood” as they covered gentrification in East New York Brooklyn. Being from Brooklyn and witnessing its gentrification first hand, I was all in. The series talked to both local residents directly effected by new city plans and the infiltrating house flippers. I devoured every episode and eagerly awaited a new season to be posted. I had hoped the series would tackle another section of Brooklyn but they are instead taking the series to the West coast to discuss gentrification in Los Angeles. If the upcoming L.A. version is as good as the B.K. version, we’re all in for an eye opening treat.
Via Tamron’s site:
Go to extremes with the world’s first* 22.2x ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom.
Introducing the world’s first ultra-telephoto all-in-one zoom lens for the APS-C format. With a focal length range of 18-400mm and 22.2x zoom, it has an ultra-telephoto range equivalent to 620mm in the 35mm format. This brings distant subjects closer, while providing perspective-flattening effects that are only possible with an extreme telephoto lens. Plus it offers exceptional optical performance across the entire zoom range—from wide angle to ultra-telephoto. With this new lens—and its Moisture-Resistant Construction—Tamron brings the art of photography to the joy of travel. Now you can use the same lens to shoot everything from stunning landscapes and neon-lit cities to detailed portraits and delicate flora. The ultra-telephoto range makes it just as easy to photograph animals and sports. And with a maximum magnification ratio of 1:2.9, you can even enjoy tele-macro photography.
On June 22nd, Brooklyn Central is hosting its first annual summer print sale featuring photography by yours truly! Select prints of mine will be available for purchase directly from BKC on Thursday June 22nd at the BKC headquarters at 33 Washington Street Brooklyn, NY. Stop by, check out some great photography and purchase a print or two!
I admit, as a photographer on the go I have a thing for portable strobes and LED lights that have enough power to make me forget that I’m not using my studio strobes. Luckily, lighting companies keep answering my prayers and continue to come up with low profile lighting solutions for the traveling photographer. The new AEOS Rotolight combines lightweight capabilities, a powerful LED and strobe light combination, aluminum handles and a 360 degree ball head for maximum movement and creativity. Per their website:
Introducing the new Rotolight AEOS — a powerful, ultra-portable, bi-colour LED light that brings tremendous versatility to any shoot. Designed for portrait and location photographers and videographers on the move, AEOS is a bi-colour, location LED light with a unique ‘ultra-thin’ design concept. Weighing in at under 1.5kg and just 1cm(<1”) thick, AEOS is one of the most portable lights on the market.
Featuring a powerful light output (5750 lux @ 3ft), industry leading colour accuracy (CRI:96+) for perfect skin tones, and unrivaled battery performance (3 hours on a single 95 w/h battery), AEOS is the ultimate light for any location shoot.
Uniquely, AEOS includes integrated aluminum handles, giving you the freedom to ‘work the light’ to achieved your desired lighting setup. A high quality professional ball head is also included as standard, providing full 360° rotation and 200° of tilt when mounted on a light stand.
AEOS simply eliminates the need for time consuming lighting setups, providing you more time to unleash your creativity, and to compose the perfect shot.
I took a much needed vacation to the beautiful island of Puerto Rico and I even succeeded in not turning my entire trip into a full on photography assignment! I decided to take one camera (my camera “B” aka Nina) and one lens (Canon 50mm f 1.8). While I did get to spend days on the beach soaking up the sun, explore the island and R-E-L-A-X, I also spent an entire day in Old San Juan snapping away. Puerto Rico is a beautiful island filled with rich culture, delicious cuisine and beautiful (and colorful) architecture. Check out the photos below!
Busy this Friday?
If not, come out and support:
BKC’s #RESIST Photo Show + Print Sale Friday 3/17/17!
The show will feature some of my photography in addition to other fellow photographers and BKC members. ALL proceeds will be donated to The Reproductive Health Access Project and The Ali Forney Center. That’s right, buy one of my or any other photographer’s prints and the proceeds will go directly to these two organizations. Come out and support a great cause!