Saturday, December 24, 2011

Miami Heat Media Day

The Miami Herald's Heat Season Preview dropped at all our doorsteps 
this morning as the big three begin their second NBA season together.
By Al Diaz
For the special section I figured I would stack up the three kings, Chris Bosh, the tallest at 6'11", LeBron James at 6'8" and the shortest, Dwyane "Flash" Wade at 6'4". No problem until page designer Robert Cohen said we need to have Wade above the fold. Good thing I have a set of wooden boxes in varying heights. The tallest for Wade.

Zander Brant assisted me setting up a Norman beauty dish as the main light source. Two Dynalight heads with grid spots and red color gel to illuminate the backdrop and a rim light. After setting up I scanned the room for stand in models. At first no one looked the part averaging 5'2". I finally recruited AP photographer Wilfredo "Wade" Lee, Reuter's Joe "LeBron" Skipper and the tallest of the three, Hans "Bosh" Deryk. 

Chuck Fadely came up with the idea of drawing a little birdie as a point of reference for the three to look at. We hung it on an extended c-stand.

The whole event was so much more subdued than last years frenzy of media. The players were much more relaxed and although I had just a minute and a half to shoot all three kings together I got what I needed with a little help from friends.
Wilfredo Lee, Joe Skipper and Hans Deryk play the part of NBA all stars!
Joe Cavaretta did not make the cut.
Assistant Zander Brant feathers the light.
Joe Cavaretta using something other than Think Tank Photo bags, I'll convert him.

At left is Chuck Fadely, David Santiago, center, and Zander Brant, at bottom.

By Jospeh Goodman
One perspective: The Miami Heat is the defending Eastern Conference champion. Success. Another perspective: The Heat collapsed in The Finals. Failure. One perspective: The city of Miami cherishes this team. Love. Another perspective: The rest of the world loathes this team. Hate. One perspective: For nearly an entire season, LeBron James thrived amid scrutiny that would have driven a lesser man mad. Strength. Another perspective: In The Finals, James imploded under pressure like a sinking submarine. Weakness. One perspective: The lockout was pointless. Fact. Another perspective: It was extremely necessary. Fiction. One perspective: All of this is true. Another perspective: What is truth? For most, truth is the absence of doubt. For the Heat, it’s a matter of perspective. SO BEGINS YEAR 2 OF THE BIG 3. Read more here:

Sunday, December 18, 2011

New urban phrase "Klink"

My friend Bill Cooke informed me that I had a broken link for the Think Tank Photo contest info on my blog. I fixed it. In the process my wife Cindy and I coined a new urban phrase! "Klink". A "Klink" is a "link" that does not work. As in Colonel Klink from the TV show Hogan's Heros. Klink couldn't do anything right.

Thank me later.

This could be your best holidays ever!  For 20 days I've been following the
Think Tank Photo "In a Bag" contest. The crazy folks there are giving away thousands of dollars worth of free photography gear including the creme de la creme of all rolling camera bags, the Think Tank Photo Airport SecurityV2.0 

Only two days left!!!!!

Below is a partial list of all the product they are giving away. It's an amazing amount of gear. I wonder if I can get prescription lenses on those Oakley sunglasses.

SmugMug Pro Account and printing to the value of $150.00
dPS eBook Suite and limited edition Think Tank Photo USB key
$50.00 Starbucks gift card & a crate of Coca Cola
$500.00 Adorama gift certificate
Nikon AW 100
orbis® ringflash and orbis® arm
A set of Harold Davis books
Two G-Technology G-Drives
40GB of Lexar memory cards in a custom Pixel Pocket Rocket
RĂ˜DE Videomic Pro & a Deadcat WindSheild
Lighting modifiers from Westcott
A Lensbaby Composer
Zenfolio Premium Business Account
3LeggedThing “Jack”
HoodmanUSA Loupe 3.0 & Lens Cleanse Kits
Trade Secret Cards “Chase Jarvis Portrait Sessions”
frio™ coldshoe
Capture by Peak Design
Oakley Sunglasses
3 Legged Thing have dropped a X4 Eric
Tether Tools “The Wallee" Connect Kit
Ninja 4 Channel Wireless Flash Triggers
Plus much more!

Thursday, December 15, 2011

Iris PhotoCollective Visual Lab

By Al Diaz
The professor. That’s what I call Carl Juste now that I witnessed him deliver a passionate sermon on the importance of photojournalism at Iris PhotoCollective Visual Lab in Miami’s Little Haiti. His students, a diverse and talented group of photo enthusiasts to emerging photographers ranged in age from 12 to adults.

Carl asked me to present my work and demonstrate some of the Think Tank Photo products I use. Several IPC Visual Lab students, including Rubyann Smith-Hernandez and Nanci Thomas, were delighted to walk away with free Pixel Pocket Rockets provided by sponsor Think Tank Photo!
IPC Visual Lab offers a unique photography course that examines visual storytelling in the classical vein of photojournalism. Weekly classes run Saturdays starting March 24th at the Little Haiti Cultural Center. Open house will be held March 10th. 

The first six to apply for the next ten-week photography course will receive a free Think Tank Photo product.

Courses are held at Little Haiti Cultural Center at 212 NE 59th Terrace, Miami, Florida 33137. For more information please email instructor Carl Juste at

IPC Visual Lab is a partnership among Iris Foundation, Iris PhotoCollective, and the Little Haiti Cultural Center.

Its main target audiences are both children and adults who are engaged and interested in enhancing their knowledge of the visual language of photojournalism.

Students will examine the work of photographers like Gordon Parks, Mary Ellen Mark, and Eugene Smith, discuss techniques and strategies used in the creation of picture in terms of essays and stories.

Through collaborative exercises, discussions, critiques, and lectures, students will develop the skills necessary to reveal a strong photographic narrative using their own visual voice.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Bloody Sunday - Attack on Pearl Harbor December 7th 1941

Clyde Combs was a seaman first class on the Battleship USS Arizona. Survivor of the most devastating blow of the attack on Pearl Harbor, a Japanese bomb destroyed the battleship and killed 1,177 of the 1,375 men aboard on December 7, 1941. Photographed in the Miami Herald 
photography studio in 1991.
By Al Diaz
Intrigued by World War II, and the heroic efforts of the men and women who fought in battle, I jumped at the opportunity to travel to Hawaii and cover the 50th Anniversary of that Bloody Sunday, December 7th, 1941.

Twenty years later I still treasure the privilege. Today, for the 70th anniversary, commemoration ceremonies in the United States will honor the roughly 3,600 who died or were wounded during
the attack.

Quoting from an old ballad, General Douglas MacArthur once said, "old soldiers never die; they just fade away." Through the camera lens, I have captured images of many of these brave souls. I have discovered that even in their winter years, old soldiers still have spunk! They are my heroes.
At left, Jesse Dunnagan waded through oil and dead bodies to recover a scrapbook from his locker inside the USS California after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Dunnagan was a seaman first class assigned as a gunner on the battleship docked at the head of "Battleship Row," facing the harbor and the incoming warplanes. Art Williams holds a flag recovered from a dead pilot in a downed Japanese bomber after the attack on Pearl Harbor. Williams was a machinist mate 1st class on the USS Vestal. The repair ship was docked on the outboard side of the USS Arizona which was ripped by a hugh explosion during the attack. Frank Nolan was fired upon by an attacking Japanese warplane during the bombing of Pearl Harbor.On that day, Nolan was a seaman 2nd class assigned to the USS Pelias, a submarine tender docked at Pearl Harbor.
Pearl Harbor Veterans on parade in Oahu, Hawaii for the 50th Anniversary.
Decades later, the target of Japan's surprise raid remains a profoundly moving place. A wreath in memory of those who died,  floats in the water at the site of the Arizona memorial. To this day, oil seeps to the surface from the sunken battleship.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Miami Herald Media Company Wins Regional Emmy Award for Haiti Documentary

Haitian women, attacked by looters, attempt to salvage their belongings from storage after the capital city was devastated by earthquake measuring over 7.0 on the Richter scale in 2010. As a contributor, many of Al Diaz's images are featured in the Emmy award winning documentary directed by Jose Iglesias.

Nou Bouke, a documentary that captured the mood of Haiti after the devastating earthquake in 2010, received a regional Emmy award Saturday in the documentary-topical category.
The Emmy is a first for the Miami Herald Media Co.
"With the second anniversary of that catastrophic earthquake approaching, we hope this award will serve to bring attention to the many needs still facing that nation," said Nancy San Martin, the film’s executive producer and The Miami Herald’s interactive editor. “Haiti remains far from recovery.”

The store NaNou on Jean Jacques Dessalines Street burns in downtown Port-Au-Prince. The earthquake killed an estimated 300,000 Haitians and left 1.5 million homeles. 

Thursday, December 1, 2011

Opening Day for Art Basel Miami Beach

Cherkashin Valera looks through a sculpture by artist Olafur Eliasson, titled, "Your Blue Planet" at  Art Basel Miami Beach at the Miami Beach Convention Center on Wednesday, November 30, 2011.
The Miami Herald
The shoppers lined up five-head deep, impatiently blanketing the entrances. Security guards held the crowd back as the appointed opening approached.
Then the signal came, the barriers parted and the throngs rushed through the doors to check out the merchandise.
This wasn’t Black Friday. It was the 11 a.m. Wednesday opening of Art Basel Miami Beach, the most important contemporary-arts fair in the United States. No one got pepper-sprayed, but buying fever was palpable as hundreds of holders of VIP cards massed at the Miami Beach Convention Center for an early look at the art put on display by galleries from around the world.

“It’s crazy!’’ one woman in line exclaimed into her cellphone. “You would think they were handing out free Picassos.’’
Christian Rosche walks pass a wood sculpture by Tony Cragg, titled, "Red Figure".
Monty Shadow takes picture of Sunny Hackenberg as she poses with sculpture titled "Engagement (with Prince William sculpted by Daniel Druet, wax and resin mannequin.
Artist Emmanuel Perrotin urged Pharrell Williams, right, to try on one Perrotin's Horse sculptures. Pharrell is an American rapper, singer, record producer, composer, and fashion designer.
Sculpture by Kehinde Wiley, Houdon Paul-Louis, 2011.
Bronze with polished stone base 34 x 26 x 19.