Christopher Jesse Juarez
Madison, London, United Kingdom
Time / Date:
19:45 / June 21, 2013
Camera Body: Canon 5D
Lens: Canon EF 50mm f/1.4
Shutter Speed: 1/400
Focal Length: 50mm
I was at a spy-themed party in London at a venue called Madison; I’d just moved here from Los Angeles a few months before so it was a great venue for me because the floor-to-ceiling windows showed off the panoramic cityscape views really well.
Even though it was June, the atmosphere resembled that of a typical office Christmas party – free drinks, crazy dancing and the potential to be subjected to future bouts of raillery. The Bond-inspired casino tables along the windows were had fantastic backlighting, so it was a great spot to shoot.
I was using a Canon 5D with a Canon EF 50mm f/1.4. I’m not too much of a gear person, so packing as lightly as possible is my priority. I had a Canon 24-70mm with me too, but I love the 50mm f/1.4 so I use it as often as possible.
Making the Shot:
I don’t really plan out what I’m going to shoot because I often overthink it. I find that my favourite shots are those I don’t plan. For example, with this shot, I was supposed to be shooting a band playing a rad cover of “Layla” featuring a violin. With everyone in the room facing the musical act, I decided to turn the other way and look at what everyone else is missing. This is when I saw this Daniel Craig-ish man playing roulette, with the skyline in the background and the London Eye over his shoulder. Without really thinking about it, I took one snap.
Editing & Processing:
I edit and process with Lightroom 4. For this image, I used a black and white preset I set up and basically toyed around until I got the image looking how I’d like. I wish I had more of a consistent process with my edits, but I believe that every photo is unique and should be dealt with as is necessary.
Looking back at this I am figuring out that my favorite shots are the ones that aren’t planned or are casually taken. If I try too hard at getting the right shot, then it’s not going to happen for me. Happy accidents are key.
The advice I would offer to photographers just starting out is to keep shooting. Shoot every day and every night. Be “that person with the camera”. This applies to assignments, too; if you’re shooting a party, make sure to take lots of photos, more than you might think you need to. Additionally, don’t set your photos to black and white just because it may seem like the cool – or artsy – thing to do; only use it when it’s necessary. When is it necessary? Welcome to the world of photography.
I am mostly inspired by photos I wish I had taken. I can’t really name specific photographers that inspire me because there are too many, but they all do a good job keeping me on my toes and forever interested in the art.
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