One of my goals for this year is to create more amazing photographs - not just shoot more, because anyone can press the shutter button and get 1,000 worthless shots. The goal is to actually create images that not just impress the people around me, but that impress myself and make me proud.
Just in time, Shoot Miami created the 52 Week Photography Challenge and I accepted. I figured this would serve as a great guide for me to focus on a theme each week to come up with one great image.
The first week was "Self-Portrait." Right on target again, because I had been wanting a professional photo for my LinkedIn profile and who better to take it than myself.
I must admit that at first my idea was to have my camera appear in the picture. So while visiting PAMM, I found an interesting piece of artwork that let me catch my reflection with my camera. But I wanted something better.
Then I thought maybe the mirror in my living room would make for the perfect reflector and just be my casual self and again include my camera in the image. And while that was fun, it wasn't something I wanted to submit for the challenge.
On the night I had to submit my image, I set up my Yongnuo YN 560 III flash remotely with a soft box. With my camera on a tripod, I tethered it to Lightroom. This way I wouldn't have to step away from in front of the camera to look at the viewfinder after each picture. Also, I used a wireless remote shutter release so I wouldn't have to resort to the self-timer.
So I did my hair, put on makeup, and after three outfit changes I managed to get a few great shots. The last outfit is the one I liked the most and picked to be the image of the week for the challenge. This was my first time doing this kind of light setup for myself and I'm ecstatic with the results.
This weekend I finally had a chance to visit the Pérez Art Museum Miami (PAMM), which recently opened along Biscayne Bay and was one of the main highlights of Art Basel earlier this month.
I first thought of making this post about my visit to the museum itself, but while culling my images, I noticed that my aunt Editha made a better subject for my next blog post. This is my mother's sister.
My Tia Editha has taken care of me since I was a baby, some of this time while my mom was away at the university in Managua, Nicaragua and we lived in Pueblo Nuevo, a small town in the city of Estelí.
My aunt, a humble woman, came to the U.S. when she was 27 years old just in time for the birth of my little sister in 1998. This trip to the museum was special because my aunt rarely goes out to experience new places, being a woman of the house and working hard in a small cafeteria where she must serve and even cook on occasions. She was able to sleep over my house this weekend since her husband and son are away visiting the husband's relatives.
I think she really enjoyed herself, talking to me about the villages near where we lived and how some of these art works resembled crafts that the local people used to make, and some still make. As well as how my mom used to be a great painter - something I never knew, because my mom never spoke of it. Hopefully she can come back sometime to this museum, or another, with her husband and son.
Here are some images I captured of my Tia Editha exploring the museum...
As Christmas shopping comes to an end, and I have resisted the urge to give gifts to anyone due to my recent layoff, I decided to just photograph a few individuals on Lincoln Road - shopping mecca for tourists in Miami Beach and basically just a place to show off, which makes it a great place to people (and dog) watch.