Author Archives: digitaldano

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 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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DNA?

Where:

 

 

 

  Hong Kong, China       Yangon, Myanmar

 

 

yellow-roll-upyangon-street

 

 

 

 

 

 

Some think I’m drawn to yellow because of my years at Kodak e.g. The Great Yellow Father.

 

 

While yellow is the predominate color in these two images from two different countries, when the light is good, then the light is good.

 

 

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Wait for it

Where: London, England

 

 

shadow-chairs

 

The forecast was for partly cloudy skies.

 

 

I knew this could be an interesting scene so I waited about 20 minutes for a break in the clouds.

 

 

The clouds broke and the chairs lit up.

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Sunny California

Where: Malibu, California

 

 

foggy-volleyball

 

 

Jay Maisel often says, “I’m from New York, I don’t trust any air I can’t see”.

 

 

 

With Jay in mind, when I saw the fog roll into a normally sunny beach I knew I could make a meaningful picture vs a pedantic SoCal postcard.

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EDL

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

lisbon-delivery

 

In addition to our heavy assignment load in photo school, every week we had to also turn in an EDL, the short of Every Day Life.

 

 

 

Most dreaded this but it forced us to think like photojournalists and how to take the mundane and photographically illustrate what life is like for someone. somewhere.

 

 

 

Decades later I’m still on assignment.

 

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Bag Lady

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

 

bags-on-line

I was editing images I captured in Lisbon on a recent flight from Los Angeles to Chicago.

 

 

 

While working on this image I was thinking it was not that strong and was on the edge of sending it to the trash when I felt on tap on my shoulder. A woman in the row behind me told me she was watching me pull up images and thought this picture was really beautiful.

 

 

 

She meant it, so I sharpened it and saved it.

 

 

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Election Results

Where: Hong Kong

 

 

 

hk-hands

 

To best deal with the recent election, I’m taking my lead from these women.

 

 

 

I found them doing Tai chi on a tennis court in the heart of Hong Kong.

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Pretty Stinky

Where: Bombay Beach, CA

 

 

salton-sunset-8bit

 

I love the Salton Sea.

 

 

It’s full of decay and putrid smells.

 

 

I normally don’t do pretty, but because the air was kinda nasty it somehow put me in the mood to pull off some pretty.

 

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Give Me Dirty Laundry

Where: Lisbon, Portugal

 

 

air-dry

 

 

Many like to photograph beautiful landscapes or iconic structures. For me I can’t resist laundry hanging on an outdoor line.

 

 

I’m usually drawn to impactful saturated colors, but the overcast light created a different color pallet that gives this image a sense of place.

 

 

 

 

 

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So Sari

Where: Las Vegas, NV

 

 

so-sari

 

 

I was walking across a bridge over the Las Vegas Strip to return to my hotel.

 

 

I had been out early shooting the early morning light before a trade show and the light was getting too high and I needed to get to the show.

 

 

While the harsh light did not allow me to capture all the detail in the sari, it did boost the color saturation. And the shadow pattern from the chain link fence, made for a decent image with the not so decent light.

 

 

 

 

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Remembering Tim Mantoani

Where: New York, NY

 

 

tim-lr

 

Normally I don’t post Epson branded images on this site, but this montage is the best way for me to remember my friend Tim Mantoani.

 

 

Tim was a highly respected photographer in the industry and well-known for his work with athletes and as he would, say real people.

 

 

I met Tim several years ago when we were asked to serve on the Alumni Board of our school. It was around the time Tim started his memorable personal project, Behind Photographs. When Tim described the project at a board meeting I told him I would love to help in any way because in addition to the celebration of iconic photographs and photographers, it also celebrated the photographic print.

 

 

 

I was delighted to help Tim with the production of an exhibition at Photokina in 2010 and recruit photographers for his book at Photo Plus Expo in New York. Tim was taking his signature portraits one year with the 20×24 Polaroid camera in a conference room in the bowels of the convention center. I introduced Tim to some key photographers one of whom was Douglas Dubler. While Douglas was available to be photographed, he did not have a print to hold. Without hesitation, and to the dismay of colleagues, I pulled Douglas’s print out of the Epson gallery leaving a 40 x 60 inch hole. As I was walking it out of the booth, I simply told my colleagues that they had to trust me on this one. Douglas and that print appear on page 85 of Tim’s book. Because the print was so large and heavy, it’s one of the few portraits in the book where the photographer is not holding the print.

 

 

About 2 years ago our agency presented ideas for what is now the Print Your Legacy campaign. One idea that clearly stood out were tear sheets from Tim’s, Behind Photographs project. I thought it best in that meeting to stay quiet until everyone spoke knowing I would be asked for my opinion as the marketing manager. When that time came I told everyone about Tim, our friendship, how we already helped Tim with his project at Photokina and why I yanked that print out of the booth during Photo Plus Expo. The room became quiet with concern and I was asked if there were any issues with the concept. I told everyone it was a no-brainer, hire Tim and I’m sure he would be thrilled because it would reinforce the importance of his original idea. Of course everything easily fell into place.

 

 

It was a magical shoot working with the photographers and doing so at Bathhouse Studios in New York, the former home of Eddie Adams and where I was on a team that captured the first double-digit (12 megapixel) image in 1999. But most of all it was a joy working with Tim whose easy-going manner made all feel as though we were in the best of hands with the best in the business.

 

 

threesomecontacts

 

During the pre-light we were determining contrast ratios, composition and what size prints to use. Tim was the right height to be the stand-in and posed with different size blank sheets of paper to help determine the best size for the prints the photographers would be holding. I recall us talking about how someday we could show all of the Print Your Legacy portraits in one print. When I heard the news about Tim I looked for those files and assembled the final photographs onto a select from the contact sheet of Tim holding blanks. Be sure to click on the main image to see the details. I also came across a post production shot of Tim, Me and Steve McCurry which at that time was dubbed the 3 bald guys. While we are now just 2 bald guys, this image is a great memory for me of my buddy Tim.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Symbolic?

Where: Las Vegas, NV

 

 

yellow-wall-blue-lady

 

 

I see things in this image that others may not.

 

But on this one, probably best I keep what I see to myself…

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Double Take

Where: Upper Sandusky, Ohio

 

 

shopping-blur-copy

 

 

A straight image of a reflection of a reflection helped take this dull scene into something more interesting.

 

 

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