Mermaid Paparazzi 2016

Nothing brings in the summer quite like Coney Island’s annual Mermaid Parade.  Now celebrating its 34 year, it just keeps getting bigger.  Thanks to the parade organizers’ decision to let photographers roam the staging area for a small fee, I got up close access to all the participants.  Shooting the staging area of the Mermaid Parade is not without its difficulties.  One of the downsides is there are just as many photographers as there are participants in the staging area.  We are in effect the “mermaid paparazzi” vying for the attentions of all the mermaids. I have to acknowledge and thank the participants for being patient with all the photogs, especially the rude ones(you know who your are!).  Weather is always a big challenge especially full blown, high noon, bright sunlight.  My goal this year was to capture some portraits and limit the harsh shadows across the face produced by these weather conditions.  Below is the equipment list I used for this shoot.

Nikon D810 w/ 24-70
SB-910 speed light
SD-9 battery pack
Nikon SC-29 TTL Coiled Sync Cord
Pro Media Boomerang Flash Bracket
Small Rogue Flash Bender

If you were a participant and I captured your photo below, feel free to contact me and I’ll gladly send you a copy.

 

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It’s Been a Long Time…

…since I last wrote on this blog.  Much has happened in the past several months, that I’m just trying to play catch up with myself!  So long story short, I was laid off from my job of 12 years, became a father to a beautiful baby girl, and now I’m about to (figuratively) launch my photography business into the stratosphere!  Putting my passion into action has been an incredible process so far and I’m looking forward to this new career and new phase of my life.

Now onto today’s photo: I don’t fancy myself as a newborn photographer and I have to give it up to those that shoot newborns for a living.  It’s hard work!  You have to shoot them while they’re sleeping, naked or with clothes on, but no diaper and pray that they don’t pee or poop on your clothes and props.  Then you have to curl them in all sorts of weird positions on props, pillows and blankets.  Having never had any experience handling or posing a newborn, I took a crash course in newborn photography in preparation for the birth of my daughter.  The below photo is the result, “Little Maya”.Little Maya

Two to Tango

A few weeks ago, I had the distinct privilege to shoot at the exclusive National Arts Club located in the historic Tilden Mansion at 15 Gramercy Park. The National Arts Club was founded in 1898 by Charles DeKay, an art and literary critic of the New York Times to “stimulate, foster and promote public interest in the arts and to educate the American people in the fine arts.” It’s also one of the first organizations to embrace and promote new media art forms such as photography, film and digital media. As a native New Yorker with humble roots, it gave me a minor glimpse of old New York wealth and splendor that I often forget exists.

The photos here are part of an ongoing web project for acclaimed Argentine tango instructor Jon Tariq and his partner Della Lam. Shooting at the NAC was a pleasure for all of us, but it was not without some challenges. The first was shooting in a space that was sight unseen. Scouting a venue is essential before a shoot because you can measure up the place and think about composition, lighting, etc. However due to the exclusive nature of the club, we couldn’t have access until the day of the shoot. Another challenge was setting up my 2 speed lights without the luxury of light stands. Stands and tripods were absolutely prohibited. Fortunately, my wife assisted me and became a human light stand for one speed light and left arm for the other.

Challenges aside, we captured some pretty cool photos that evoke tango in its old time glory. More pictures can be seen at the Tango With Jon website

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Untouchable

My first self portrait with the Nikon D7000 and my two speedlights. ISO-200, 50MM f/1.4 inspired by Eliot Ness and the Untouchables

Steve Maya, Self Portrait

Steve Maya, Self Portrait

El Cantinero

This photo was taken after the very first NYC google+ photo walk back in September 2011. After spending the better part of the evening shooting in the west village, a few of us went out for dinner and drinks at “El Cantinero” on university place. Our waiter noticed that everyone in our party was wielding a camera so he changed into the Mexican ranchero outfit and hammed it up for the photographers. I snapped this while he was taking our order. It reminds me of a fun night reconnecting with an old friend and meeting some new ones with whom I still shoot with on a regular basis. The photo walk proved to be a success with more people joining in on subsequent walks. My other photos from The G+ photo walks can be seen here.

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