Motion Studies

They all came out.

The story until now.

They all came out on St. Joseph’s Night in Central City. They walked. They danced. They sang. They challenged other tribes to prove they are wearing the prettiest suits. They all say, “Pretty, pretty,” after they do a little dance off. Both are prettiest.


As a photographer, I see this is as a night filled with color and light and energy. So, that’s the kinds of pictures I try to make.

I have to think about this sometimes. We live in an age where many people define a good picture by its sharpness. That’s why you see so many high megapixel cameras and high-resolution lenses. There’s nothing wrong with that. I’d rather start with that and work backwards, rather than try to reach forward with really cheap lenses.

I make a big deal of saying gear doesn’t matter. To a point that’s true. But, picture quality does matter. That means both cameras and lenses. It used to be that camera quality could last over many years. Now they are little computers. Unfortunately, newer usually is better. Lenses too. After a certain point, they need refreshing. I’m not saying older lenses are bad, but there are quality issues driven always improving technology. On the other hand, I intentionally use older glass to create an older and different mood.

That said, I worked at about f 5.6 and very low shutter speeds in order to make these pictures. That’s how I add flavor to the pictures that could be really boring if they were purely a kind of documentation.

The trick to this is to try to keep one thing — hopefully a face — fairly sharp. This is a kind of luck. But, it’s luck borne from a lot of experience working at low shutter speeds. In fact, I made the mid-part of my career making motion filled pictures. Everybody wanted them. Then, they didn’t.

And, now? There’s a whole crop of new young art and creative directors. They were raised on hyper-sharpness. When they see pictures like these, they are amazed. They want me to make pictures like this. Until they get bored with them. Again.

I’d like to talk about each of these pictures.

The top picture was made after the very last Indian came out of the club door. They are posing for pictures and greeting friends.

The bottom left picture is very powerful if you know the backstory. The man on the crutches is an Indian. He can’t mask right now. He’s still recovering. From being shot during last year’s St. Joseph’s Night. I told you. These streets are dangerous.

The middle picture is Big Queen running down the street ahead of the rest of her tribe.

Finally, that’s the Big Chief and Queen.

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