Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta 2017

Canon once again was the main sponsor at The Albuquerque International Balloon Fiesta.   Canon offered people cameras and lenses to use each day of the event for no charge.  Everyone was also given a free 8GB SD card so they could take all their images home.

For the second year in a row I worked in the large Canon tent manning the “Ask The Expert” counter.  I stayed busy all day mainly showing people how to adjust their borrowed cameras to capture the days festivities.

The Balloon Fiesta is the largest balloon convention in the world. The number of registered balloons reached a peak of 1,019 in 2000, prompting the Balloon Fiesta Board to limit the number to 750 starting in 2001, citing a desire for “quality over quantity”. The limit was changed to 600 in 2009 — citing recent growth in the city and a loss of landing zones. On any given day during the festival, up to 100,000 spectators may be on the launch field where they are provided the rare opportunity to observe inflation and take off procedures. Countless more people gather at landing sites all over the city to watch incoming balloons.

Mass Ascensions

One of the biggest events of the fiesta, where all participating balloons launch in two waves, filling the sky with hundreds of balloons at once.

Balloon Glows

Large numbers of balloons are illuminated at night by their propane burners. They stand static and do not take off during these events. The “Glowdeo” is a night glow for the special shapes balloons.

Green Day – Wrigley Field 8/24/2017

I was fortunate to be home when someone from the The Cubs organization called me.  “Can you be at Wrigley Field in a half hour?  Green Day wants a photo with the Cubs World Series Trophy during their sound check”

I somehow managed to change my clothes, pack my gear for photo shoot and still make it to Wrigley in time.  Shoot went well and the concert was great.  Billie Joe Armstrong, bassist Mike Dirnt and drummer Tre Cool treated their Wrigley debut on Thursday night as if it was an opportunity to show they still were young at heart. Green Day played all their hits as well as songs from “Revolution Radio,” the group’s most recent LP.

Explorers of Light at Imaging USA 2017

Each year Imaging USA brings around 10,000 amazing professional photographers who descend on a city for networking, friend-making and bonding.  This year the event took place in San Antonio, Texas.  The energy from the thousands of attendees, great speakers and the incredible gear from the Expo vendors makes for a truly spectacular conference.

As with most years, Canon threw a fantastic welcoming party on Sunday night in the Grand Ballroom at The Marriott Rivercenter Hotel.  The party was open to anyone with an Imaging USA badge.

During the party I was able to get several Canon Explorers of Light to agree to pose for me for a few group shots.  Images were shot with a Canon 5D Mark IV and the new Canon 24-105mm IS f4 lens.

The Explorers of Light concept came out of Canon USA in the mid 1990s as a broad-ranging initiative for photographic education and inspiration. Today, the group is comprised of dozens of the most influential photographers and cinematographers in the world, each a master of their creative specialty.

Women’s March on Chicago

Tens of thousands of people gathered in Grant Park Saturday for the Women’s March on Chicago,.  Attendance for the Chicago event more than tripled initial expectations, organizers said, to the point where city streets were so flooded, the march itself was canceled.

Event organizers estimated that 250,000 attended the rally, but city officials did not immediately release a crowd estimate. Attendance was three times what was expected and was among the largest outside the marquee Women’s March on Washington event.

A march to Federal Plaza in the Loop was canceled as the streets were filled with people. Despite the cancellation of the official march, many made their way to Federal Plaza anyway while the rally was going on.

Women's March on Chicago Photos January 21, 2017

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Fun with Green Screen Photos

From October 16th to October 20th, I photographed hundreds of people in front of a green screen at the Swan Resort, Disney Property, Orlando, Florida.  The booth was sponsored by Canon USA.  We gave people an opportunity to have some fun in the middle of long meetings and workshops.  After having their photos taken, attendees were able to pick out one of several backgrounds to be dropped in.  Canon then sent each person a digital as well as a hard copy of the image.

The event was Gartner Symposium ITexpo 2016.  It’s the world’s most important gathering of CIOs and senior IT executives.  It’s there that they share strategic views on the trends that shape IT and business.1_blog7k1c0068-copy 2_comp1 3_7k1c0151-copy 4_comp3 5_7k1c9927-copy 6_comp4

2016 Photographic Society of America’s International Conference

I just returned from the Photographic Society of Americas International Conference in San Antonio, Texas. Each year its members gather to take advantage of the opportunities provided that week to further their education and shooting skills.

This week I had the opportunity to try out the brand new 5D Mark IV. Its built around a new 30.4MP CMOS sensor and uses the Digic 6+ processor. The AF system is from the flagship 1D X Mark II. It also has 4K video, a touchscreen, improved weather-sealing, built-in Wi-Fi/NFC, an interval timer and GPS.

I managed to get away from the Canon booth for a few minutes and drop in on one of the photo bays that was nearby to test the 5D out. It’s always impossible to tell how good a camera’s images are by looking at low res images posted on the internet.  So I’d like to add that the full size images are gorgeous.  Looks like Im going to be ordering one soon.

Heres 3 photos taken with the 5D Mark IV and the Canon 70-200 f2.8 IS version II lens.

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Family Photos at Bahai Temple in Wilmette

It was great spending a couple of hours at The Bahai Temple in Wilmette, Illinois doing some family photos. Sylvia and Mike chose this location for obvious reasons.

Only eight continental Houses of Worship have been built around the world, serving four continental areas (this includes one in Ashgabat, Turkmenistan that has since been destroyed), with a ninth currently under construction in Chile. Bahá’í literature directs that a House of Worship should be built in each city and town, and emphasizes that its doors must be open to all regardless of religion, or any other distinction. The Bahá’í laws emphasize that the spirit of the House of Worship must be a gathering place where people of all religions may worship God without denominational restrictions.

Everyone has snap shots on their phone, but it is important to have a family history to grace your walls. If you have children, summer is a great time to schedule a family portrait session to avoid busy school schedules.

Dave Suarez Photography © 2016
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A Wonderful Turkish Wedding Reception

Last week I had the pleasure of photographing a Turkish, Muslim wedding reception.

We started the day taking photos at The Radisson Hotel in Des Plaines.  From there we went to the corners of Milwaukee and Touhy to take photos.  We also did some photos at Axehead Park before moving to our final destination of The Fountain Blue.

Most of the evening was filled with traditional Turkish music which had most of the guests dancing.  At one point, a belly dancer entered wearing a large candelabra (Shamadan) on her head.  She not only belly danced with it on her head but also did some amazing splits in the middle of the dance floor.  It was lots of fun.

Congratulations to Leo and Leen!

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Lynn Goldsmith in N.Y.C.

As most of my friends know, my photography work has always been closely tied to my love of music. Lynn Goldsmith is one of a handful of other “rock” photographers that has always inspired me.. That’s why it was such a treat to run into her and her husband Sid in NYC last week. Only had time to chat for a short while but it was fun. Thanks to Sid for capturing the moment.

Goldsmith started the first photo agency that represented images of famous people in the entertainment field. The company, LGI, grew over the next 20 years to represent over 300 photographers worldwide.

with Lynn Glodsmith