Thursday, September 15, 2005

The Coffeeshop

The Coffeeshop, originally uploaded by raquez.

Raquez says:

Hi Clarisel. I have been on Flickr for some time but not really using it until Judith Escalona of PRDream/Medianoche told me about the NYC Expo. The idea of a group of photographers, who for the most part live near each other, meeting for the first time at the Expo really intrigued me.

I have been a professional Web producer for human rights organizations for 8 years now and believe in the community-building possibilities that the Web has to offer. Your use of Flickr, narrowing sections of it down to East Harlem (my home, my friends, the best neighborhood in NYC!) is brilliant and I want to be a part of this online community.

I was a feature-length filmmaker for 20 years (gaffer, cinematographer, producer, and finally screenwriter) but prior to that, I was a photographer for about 3 years. When I retired from filmmaking, I returned to my first interest. I work both in film and in digital. Because of time, expense and my abilities with photoshop, I have worked with digital much more in the last few years.

My style is to use small unobtrusive non-professional digital cameras intended to produce photographs for viewing on Web sites and desktop computers (hate laptops). I also use these amateur cameras for small prints, usually 2x3 inches, which I mount and use as parts of larger print projects that often involve the use of language as well. One online example of this is on my award-winning personal Web site, 100 Things ( ).

I currently use an old small Nikon coolpix (3.5 pixel) and use the finest setting JPEG.

For larger format print work, I use film cameras or a Nikon digital that has interchangeable lenses. But that is for the professional portraiture work that I do.

My style also involves a very careful use of lighting. Having been a gaffer and cinematographer for 20 years, I learned about lighting by creating lighting effects with large amperage fixtures (10,000 watt, 5,000 watt, HMI's, arc lights, etc). What I do now is try to find available lighting that will approximate what I used to have to create artificially for films (50 movies, mostly horror films). Consequently, I am fascinated by night, low-light, photography. Another aspect of my lighting is never to use a flash. I would rather explore the exciting blurring properties of digital imagery (much different than the blurring you get with slow shutter film camera settings) than to see something artificially and flatly lit by a flash unit on my camera (ugh).

If you're still reading, thank you! I look forward to meeting you.

Roberto A. Quezada


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