Author Archives: digitaldano

X Marks The Spot

Where: Los Angeles, CA

 

 

 

I was in the new United Club at LAX on the top level of the airport. It has great views of the tarmac from an outdoor viewing deck. The deck is at the very far end of the club and it was like having my own condo at the airport as no one was around. By carefully pressing the end of my lens against the glass I could avoid reflections and flare, but the dilemma was seeing this beautiful raking light with nothing of interest I could compose.

 

 

 

It was about 6:45am and my frustration was building with the lack of subject matter when I received a text from one of my bosses asking, “What are you doing by yourself way over by that far window”. Turns out he was there for a different early AM flight. So I’m looking around but the club is so large I can’t see him, but then noticed a construction worker making his way across the tarmac and possibly into a spot where I could make a picture. I’m right eyed so I kept my left eye open to see the path of the construction worker and be ready if he entered frame left. I kept my right eye on the light, exposure and focus as I had to go manual to avoid front focusing on the glass.

 

 

 

I’m not great at action stuff, but fortunately the weight of the beam on the shoulder of the construction worker slowed him down where I could squeeze off an exposure right as the beam and the guide line for plane gate parking created an X.

 

 

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It’s Just Better

Where:  Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

I remember thinking while capturing this image how great DSLRs are as there would be no way make this picture with film.

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See the Light

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

A small patch of sky opened up during an overcast day while I was walking through Lisbon’s cemetery.

 

 

I quickly looked for the right silhouette.

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Snooze Button

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

Its quite common in Myanmar to see people having a nap at work.

 

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Dunno Why

Where:  Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

This is another one of the images that I was about to delete when a friend said, “I love this picture”

 

 

When I asked why she couldn’t say.

 

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Look Around

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

When there is live music in the street, I like to focus on those watching the musicians.

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Hairless

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

The low light added to the mood of this young monk showering after a ceremonial head shaving.

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Mail Called

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the simplest of images can tell in-depth stories about a location.

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Wheat Shield

Where: Katwe, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

While driving through areas of rice paddies on the way back to the ferry crossing across the Yangon River, I saw several workers threshing wheat on a make shift rig.

 

 

By shooting through the flying debris, I was able to create a sense of diffusion in the otherwise harsh light.

 

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Tea Time

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

I don’t know why adults have tea on the streets of Yangon while sitting on children’s furniture, but it sure makes for interesting pictures.

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Top That

Where: San Fransisco, CA

 

 

 

 

I’m always looking for new ways to illustrate the hilly streets of San Fransisco.

 

 

The grade of the street in front of me pushed the painted letters of STOP up towards camera. It was interesting but not enough to make it a real picture so I waited for people to walk by for some scale.

 

 

And with people the scene was not still not that interesting until a couple with a small child made their way across the street. The Father bent down to help the child with the curb and that gesture turned the scene into a meaningful picture. That gesture also created a bonus, with the incongruous TOP due to his body blocking the S.

 

 

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Mystery Boatman

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

While photographing the Betel Man on the ferry across the Yangon River I saw this mysterious silhouette to my right.

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Finding the Light

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

These people were in a covered section of the ferry that crosses the Yangon river.

 

 

While the light was overhead and harsh, as the ferry turned, the light transformed into the type of rim lightning that we spend hours trying to achieve in the studio.

 

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Betel Man

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

On a ferry crossing the Yangon River this man was making Kun-ya, wrapping Betel Leaf around a nut and mixing it with lime.

 

 

 

It’s not dissimilar to chewing tobacco and its easy to spot users of Kun-ya by their teeth

 

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Interruption

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

When I came across this plaza I remembered what Jay Maisel said,  “As people, we love pattern. But interrupted pattern is more interesting.”

 

 

I found my angle, focal length and set the depth of field.  Then I waited for the right interruption.

 

 

 

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Looker

Where: Yangon Myanmar

 

 

 

During my visit to the Shwedagon Pagoda I looked for images of those looking at the pagoda vs shooting the pagoda.

 

 

When I saw a straight line of young nuns known as, Pink Monks, I found the best angle, reduced my depth of field and coughed. I wanted the person closest to camera to break the repeating line by looking at me.

 

 

But it was the second person who looked.

 

 

I originally discarded this image because the person looking is out of focus. But after revisiting the image I changed my mind.

 

 

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Framed Again

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

After framing people in the windows of Tram 28, I rode Tram 28 through the streets framing people from the inside out.

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Framed

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’m always looking for images through doors and windows.

 

 

 

When Tram #28 stopped in front of me, it was beautifully pre-framed.

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Single File

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

 

Monks walk single file with their alms bowls collecting food for the day

 

 

By climbing up to a pedestrian overpass I was able to get a better angle for a more impactful image.

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The Eyes Have It

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

 

 

Sometimes the simplest images have the greatest impact.

 

 

Using the soft split light, I composed into a traditional third, reduced the depth of field and waited for her eyes to connect with the lens.

 

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Sweeping Color

Where: Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

While I am drawn in foreign countries to markets and street scenes off the tourist path, my fixer insisted that I see the famous  Shwedagon Pagoda.

 

 

The Pagoda is fascinating and I’m glad I went, but as with iconic structures there are so many great images of the same subject all I could do is create an image that looked like everything else.

 

 

But I got super lucky when I saw this brigade of women dressed in beautiful colors pushing their brooms in unison and essentially creating one giant broom. Suffice it to say I spent most of my time following these women for the best angle.

 

 

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Exorcism

Where: Yangon Myanmar

 

 

 

 

I arrived at my hotel after dark and went out shooting.

 

 

I was jet-lagged and could not quite figure out what I was looking at, but this mysterious doorway reminded me of the poster for The Exorcist.

 

 

When I returned during the day, I was a bit disappointed to learn it was the entrance to a Mens Room.

 

 

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Close Shave

Where: Yangon Myanmar (Rangoon Burma)

 

 

 

 

 

An amazing subject in not so amazing light.

 

 

By converting to Black and White, I could manage the mixed Kelvin sources and high contrast, while creating a more impactful image than in color.

 

 

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Steep Color

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

 

 

When I found this street with a funicular line I formatted a new SD card.

 

 

30 minutes later card was full and I never moved.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Whether the Weather

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

trump-glow

 

 

I only had 48 hours in Lisbon so when it started raining I kept shooting.

 

 

If it wasn’t raining I never would have captured the wonderful orange glow under the umbrella.

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