Friday, August 21, 2009
Thursday, August 20, 2009
Wednesday, August 19, 2009
Look at the sun during an entire day and see where it moves, how the light changes, and how the things around you also change. The power of the light that the sun provides is greater than we can imagine…the way it illuminates things to make them visible to us. The camera wouldn’t be such a magical tool without the light of the sun. By definition photography is the art of light.
When taking a picture, my goal is to highlight these things we take for granted. The world has millions of stories to tell us, in thousands of languages, and my hope is to capture those stories in a picture and regardless of what language you speak, have you understand every part of it. Like the smile of an Iranian merchant I met at the medina in Dubai, or like the ridges on the desert sand showing us the footsteps the wind left behind.
I don’t like to call myself a photographer because I really don’t have a strong background in photography or much training for that matter. I do call myself a storyteller and my camera facilitates that. I would call myself a lover of life and of people and a curious soul trying to figure things out. I am thankful that my camera is there with me each step of the way.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
Saturday, August 15, 2009
Thursday, August 13, 2009
This morning I woke up missing Santo Domingo so much. I was born there you see, left when I was about 4 years old to begin a life along my brothers, sisters, and mother in Boston. This past December I returned to my country for the first time in 18 years! I was only there for two weeks and didn't really get to experience the country like I wanted to. Believe it or not, the first week I was in complete culture shock and confused at the state in which my native land was (is) in. I want to go back.
I took this picture in the Zona Colonial (colonial zone) where I felt a bittersweet feeling of admiration for the beauty of the architecture and discuss and hurt for the conditions under which they were created. Nonetheless, love continues to be the question and the answer.
I live is a huge development called The Gardens. It's probably the greenest part of Dubai. There are two bathrooms in our flat and the one in my room has been broken for about a month. The plumbers have tried to fix it several times and failed. This morning they came in and decided to remove the entire toilet and replace it. When they removed the toilet, they found hundreds of roots from a tree that was trying to grow in our bathroom!!!! It was both a disgusting and cool!
I took the this photo at our professor's penthouse using a macro lens.
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Being in a place where things are done completely different from what you are accustomed, can be very challenging at times. Patience is key. Understanding that time is not viewed the same everywhere you go and that organization might not mean the same here(Dubai) as it does in the States, is very important. I have also learned to look at the situation from a cultural perspective and not take anything personal. Every time I spend time abroad or when I am in an unfamiliar place, my whole being decomposes. I try to put myself together piece by piece while adjusting myself to the environment around me and without losing myself.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
The Spice Market in the medina (old city in Arabic) of Dubai was a magical place. I will argue that it is certainly not as cool as the medina in Fez, Morocco, but it is still rich in colors, aromas and wonderful people. You would think that because it is the oldest part of Dubai you would find tons of Dubai natives, but no. Instead, there were dozens of people from Iran who very politely asked me what I thought about their president. I very politely replied "no comments".
It's so interesting being who am an American, a Dominican, an African in a place where they are not accustomed to seeing this mix. When I am at the super market or anywhere for that matter, people are constantly looking at me and I can see them trying really hard to figure out where I am from. In the medina, some Iranians thought I was from Kenya or Nigeria. Very interesting.
Saturday, August 8, 2009
Everyday that passes, I am learning more and more about photography. By definition photography means to draw or to write with light. The way that I interpret this is by seeing the sun, the moon, the stars, or any other source of light as my paint brush, the images that the world has to offer as my colors, and the camera as my canvas.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
Day #5 Report
I really enjoyed photographing Jumeirah mosque today because it allowed me to acknowledge all of the particularities of the architecture, the material used, and the reason for its development. I concentrated on photographing the corners of lamps, walls and structures in the mosque because I believe that we often ignore the beauty of the small details of things and only concentrate on their grandeur. I also had fun photographing the moon because I was able appreciate the light it emanates. I wanted to capture the palm tree leaves and it did its job of illuminating them so that I could snap away.
Day #5 in Dubai: I am not sure if this is true for all employers in here, but Thursdays are half days and Fridays are like Saturdays because people are off. I've been meaning to get on here, but this internship is really intense and I am barely getting any sleep because I am still not accustomed to the time difference here. I did my first official photo shoot on Day #3 with vintage cars and vintage cameras, very interesting. Today we had our second photo shoot at a mosque in the center of Dubai. I've been learning a great deal about all of the theories and concepts of light. For example, we learned about the electromagnetic theory of light, so cool! Although light travels at a constant speed, it appears lighter the farther it travels, so the light in Peru will be very different from the light in Greenland.
Sunday, August 2, 2009
So today my housemate who is from Kyrgyzstan cooked a delicious meal. They call it the mother in law's tongue, I don't know why. It is made of fried eggplants (first dipped in eggs), tomatoes, and a sauce that included mayonnaise, dill, and garlic. Muy rico!
Today I will share with you the amazing experience of the first day at my internship in Dubai. Not so fast! On Thursday July 30th, 2009 my connecting flight to Atlanta was cancelled due to terrible thunderstorms. I waited 9 hours in the airport on stand by, tired, upset, and simply frustrated. I couldn’t get to ATL that night and as a result, I missed my flight to Dubai.
I called my mom and told her about the situation and she prayed and told me that my flight was cancelled for a reason. I got an amazing hook up from a wonderful mentor who generously booked me a hotel so that I could get some sleep before my 12-hour layover in Atlanta the next day and my 14-hour flight to Dubai.
My friends D was in Atlanta on vacation and when I called her, she was more than happy to hang out with me in the city. We shared a delicious breakfast and had amazing conversations. I could have never imagined what was to come in the following hours.
D took me to the home of Sammie Nicely, a unique artist. Here I met the most amazing people. Jerry, an influential and insightful anthropologist was among these Extra-Ordinary people. The vibe, the flow of positive energy, the life and the presence of our ancestors were all in attendance at this home. I felt rejuvenated with all the spiritual and intellectual juices that dripped from the hearts and minds of these folks. This was exactly what I needed for my long journey.
Sammie told me that his work was being displayed at the Atlanta international airport on the walls of Gate E-27. A few hours before my flight I visited Gate E-27 where I saw some of the best masks that I have ever seen in my life and where I felt that same energy and vibe that radiated at the Nicely home.
Let life happen.
Ok, so this internship is NO JOKE! Today was my first day here and I learned about the physics of photography-light, optics, theories, Indian history of light, Greek history of light, shadows, non-point shadows, fog shadows, and the list goes on. We had to analyze several pictures and objects as well as create our own layout of a calendar month representing Dubai. Tons of reading and writing. I feel like I am back at school. I am still very tired/jet lagged from the 8 hour change in time and the weather here is about 110-120 degrees. We are also in the middle of a sand storm, so it looks really sandy and the cars, buildings and sidewalk all have sand on them. In Boston we worry about the snow, here they worry about the sand and the little lizards. I will write more later, for now just know that I am seriously in photography heaven or hell, however you want to look at it!!!