I’m reporting in from Valencia, Spain where I am currently documenting an amazing festival called Las Fallas.
The famous Fallas is Valencia’s most anticipated annual festival, featuring the ear-splitting Mascletá celebration which happens every day from the beginning of March until the end of the festival on the 19th of March. Each day, strings of hundreds of large firecrackers are hung by local groups in the town square. At 2pm sharp each day, thousands of onlookers and party-goers gather in the main square, Plaza del Ayuntamiento, to enjoy the explosive choreography of the petardos, the lighting of hundreds of firecrackers in all of their cadenced power and glory. Fireworks artists are allowed to use a maximum of half a metric tonne of black powder in their show as they compete for the best Mascletá.
Las Falleras Mayores on the balcony of city hall getting ready to announce the lighting of the fuse.
The crowd gathers at the Plaza. The barricaded area behind the tall fence is filled with fireworks.
It was amazingly loud during those 6 minutes of non-stop explosions in the sky. I captured it on video while holding my camera over everyone’s heads.
La Mascletá in Valencia, Spain from Carol Watson on Vimeo.
I’ll be back again tomorrow to see what the next team of pyrotechnic freaks offers up to compete with today! My goal is to get to the plaza early and get in closer.
Today, in Debrecen Hungary, my friend Timea is being laid to rest. Although her physical being has left us after her courageous battle with liver disease and cancer, her beautiful and gentle spirit will live on. I will always remember her fondly. Here is a small pictorial eulogy that I dedicate to Timea’s family. Ég veled, Timi.
“Clouds come floating into my life, no longer to carry rain or usher storm, but to add color to my sunset sky.”
— Rabindranath Tagore
Dedicated to Timea.
Images photographed on rainy days in Budapest and Debrecen, Hungary.
I’ve been photographing in digital infrared (IR) for nearly 15 years and for the last two years, I’ve been playing around with color IR after having two of my Nikon cameras converted to 590nm and 720nm IR cameras. I thought I’d provide a sample of the different color palattes you can achieve in Lightroom and/or Photoshop. I shot these images from the apartment in Vancouver in November when some of the leaves were turning color and falling from the trees.
Here is a color digital infrared image directly out of my camera. You’ll notice the red cast.
I edited the image in Lightroom using a preset that I created to neutralize the red cast which helps you see how the foliage becomes cotton candy blue in IR. Here’s the resulting image:
Another technique I use is to bring the original image into Photoshop and use the Channel Mixer to swap the red channel and the blue channel. This will change the foliage to warm colors rather than the cool blue:
The color palatte I choose for the final image will change depending on the composition of the photograph and the elements in it. Which does your eye prefer?
There are two great days in a person’s life – the day we are born and the day we discover why. — William Barclay
This image was shot at Motherwell Ranch in Colorado. The Rainbow Huipil was created by Lena Bartula and she kindly let me use it for my conceptual shoots. Sophia, the model, took on each part of the shoot with such fearlessness. This image is part of an ongoing series called “Tethered”.
Seasons Greetings from my two dogs: Igor, the Boston Terrier and Ali, a street dog that we rescued last year.
Igor is used to having me dress him up and so he’ll keep still for a portrait (despite never looking impressed with the whole situation). He’s such a character. On the other hand, Ali, our street waif, is not sure about this dress-up thing and, by nature, does not sit still. It’s tough to get a portrait of her. It’s a shame, because she’s such a pretty dog.
It’s the winter solstice and I decided it was a good day to host a small celebration with some of my female friends here in Pozos. I invited them to spend the afternoon “to celebrate our beauty together”. We started out with some champagne and snacks. Then, I introduced them to EVER Skincare products during facials for each of them. Following that, we had a light make-up session and I wrapped up the afternoon by taking a classic portrait of each of them. My goal was to encourage them and told them, that despite their reluctance to get in front of the camera “at my age“, it’s important to exist in photographs for yourself and for the people who love you. Given their response to the final portraits, I would call the event a success. Each of these women are beautiful, inside and out. I’m happy to call them my friends.