plus one
[cancel]

“Halloween in Brooklyn” / Behind the Scenes Info

November 17, 2010 //  How To Back to posts

On March of 2010, I tried desperately to get to the Maha Shivratri festival in India, a Hindu festival celebrating the god Shiva. It only happens once a year- Indian holy men parade around naked with only rudraksha seed's around their neck as they march toward the Ganges river to take a sacred swim. I had a commissioned advertising shoot booked in Dubai and the plan was to complete that job via India. To make a long story short, the Dubai shoot was postponed, I stayed there in limbo, and never made it to the festival. Plane and train tickets booked from Delhi to Varanasi sat unused and nonrefundable. There's always next year, I thought to myself...

Around that same time, I began to think about the strange festivals that I grew up around, such as halloween. Although I obviously observe that Halloween and Maha Shivratri are completely different, I realized what seems perfectly normal to me would appear bizarre to outsiders. Halloween was happening just outside my doorstep all along. I wanted to photograph this series from the perspective of a foreigner looking in, as if I were making an ethnographic study of all the costumes I found. The main challenge was that I grew up around Halloween my entire life in Lindsay, Ontario, and I had to keep my vision clear and unaffected.

Now I live in Bushwick, Brooklyn, (a completely different world than my home town all together), but the festival remains similar- dress up as the dead, your favorite scary creature, pop culture icon, or fictional character and go door to door asking for candy. In this series, every subject was photographed within a few blocks of my apartment.


Bushwick is a predominately Puerto Rican / Dominican neighborhood full of life. It boasts a certain cultural flavor which I love. Although it is said to be the 7th most impoverished neighborhood in New York City, the costumes remain elaborate and creative. Parents watch carefully over their children as they walk door to door seeking the next trick or treat. It’s Halloween in Brooklyn, and it only happens once a year.

I wanted to play the anthropologist, and make a field report on this very interesting festival happening in America. I chose to photograph most of my subjects on a black background to focus on my subjects and their costumes. Only a few environmental shots are in the series to place the subject in Brooklyn. Perhaps the viewer sees the sidewalk or the pathway of Maria Hernandez Park.


Behind the Scenes Information


The lighting was generated with a Profoto 7B 1200 battery pack

with an Elinchrom 69″ Rotolux Octa as it’s modifier. Only one flash head was plugged into the pack and combined with the natural light.

The pack is then stuffed inside a Kata Hiker backpack and worn by my other assistant, Jesse, who exclaimed “I feel like a ghostbuster!” This is the same ol’ faithful backpack I’ve taken with me to Ethiopia and Indonesia. The Profoto 7B generator fits nicely inside and and I run the light head & cord out of the top zipper hole of the pack.

There are no annoying tripods- Jesse holds the light head out and tweaks it by hand on a Manfrotto pole… Think voice-activated light stand.

Now, because this “studio” is 100% portable and nothing touches the ground, you do not require a permit. (Not that any one would care in Bushwick, anyway.) The only rule is to just to be courteous and move out of peoples way on the sidewalk. Every subject signed a model release, just in case… This doubled as a way of knowing where to mail copies of the pictures.

The background is a simple $20 piece of black foam core from a paint store. I rigged a Telescopic Litedisc Holder to the back with an absurd amount of gaffers tape so that an assistant could hold it. Jazmine would walk behind the subject, and personally hold the background upright while keeping herself hidden behind it. This proved to be quite the challenge as October 31st was pretty windy. Poor Jazzy, she nearly blew away


My camera was medium format digital – a Phase One P65+ DIGI back with Phase One / Mamiya 645 camera.


When you step back and perceive the world around you as an outsider, you discover new things that were right in front of your face all along. Put yourself in the position of an observer.


This blog only has a preview of the series. To view all the photographs, go to the Halloween in Brooklyn Gallery.



JL

Back to posts

ADD A COMMENT (47)

Antonio sanzari // November 17, 2010 19:32

joey you have captured everything I remember about Halloween in the US. In fact it look straight out of ugly Betty. On another note you inspired me to head to Africa to find the good the west's aid has done. Africa through different eyes !! Keep up the travel , get back to India and if you can get it on you tube or iTunes what a British comedy called an idiot abroad. 7 episodes and Indian is one of them. I think he finds your holy babas! T the Brit

Antonio sanzari // November 17, 2010 19:32

joey you have captured everything I remember about Halloween in the US. In fact it look straight out of ugly Betty. On another note you inspired me to head to Africa to find the good the west's aid has done. Africa through different eyes !! Keep up the travel , get back to India and if you can get it on you tube or iTunes what a British comedy called an idiot abroad. 7 episodes and Indian is one of them. I think he finds your holy babas! T the Brit

“Halloween in Brooklyn” by Joey L | insk's playground // November 17, 2010 21:12

[...] “Halloween in Brooklyn” by Joey L via joeyl.com [...]

Andrew Day // November 17, 2010 21:45

Love it, Joey. Good call on the release and sending a copy to the subject. Great balance your commercial work has to allow you to do so.

ShoShots // November 17, 2010 22:16

Awesome stuff, portable background and strobe...So thats how he does it....

Andy // November 17, 2010 22:17

Nice, love the last one!

Samantha Nandez // November 17, 2010 22:17

Love it! So wonderfully shot and reads Joey all over it. You found some great people to photograph and really captured a genuine persona for each one.

Justin Camerer // November 17, 2010 22:20

Nice. That's my hood! I live one block from that park. I wish I would have seen this going on.

Justin Camerer // November 17, 2010 22:20

Nice. That's my hood! I live one block from that park. I wish I would have seen this going on.

Adam Jacob // November 17, 2010 22:24

Wow, amazing photos. Halloween actually seems weird if you step back and look at it from the perspective of someone from a foreign land. And what a good idea for your backboard setup!

Adam Jacob // November 17, 2010 22:25

Wow, amazing photos. Halloween actually seems weird if you step back and look at it from the perspective of someone from a foreign land. And what a good idea for your backboard setup!

curtoneil // November 17, 2010 22:26

These are freaking awesome. Love the Batman one as well as Spidey. Maybe turn another go around into kids as superheros in Gotham City - I'd do it here but my city is as Gotham looking as Lindsay, ON is.Thanks for showing the behind the scenes stuff too - I was trying to piece most of it together but actually seeing it is easier.

Pedro // November 17, 2010 23:12

Great work !!!Can you give us more information about the "model release"?Thanks

Aimee // November 17, 2010 23:24

Beautiful work, Joey. You're a constant source of inspiration to me--I love seeing the world through your lenses, which in turn drives me to take a closer look at my own world. :)

Roman Castro // November 18, 2010 00:04

Great idea Joey. The images are awesome. Thanks for the details on the process and setup.

Craig D. // November 18, 2010 00:05

Great post and a great exercise Joey. I especially appreciate your inclusion of the technical info. Always curious to see/read the BTS info. Thanks.

Jon Prentice // November 18, 2010 00:41

Joey, these are excellent! Every year I do a Halloween shoot and I get excited because of how much I have improved over the previous year. Your halloween images are sincerely inspiring and to some extent make me wish I had pushed myself a little bit further this year. Thank you very much for posting this.If you're curious, you can see my session here: http://www.jonprentice.com/2010/11/05/halloween-2010-results/

alim // November 18, 2010 01:20

Great photos, great advice! Thanks always for the inspiration. Hope all is well.

R. J. Kern // November 18, 2010 02:45

Dog, you straight up nailed this. Many fine kudos for sharing, my friend! You are the young professor I never had. VALS (voice-activated..) on the streets, makes total sense. Now of all the light sources to choose from, why Profoto /Elinchrom combo? Is it a 'go big or go home' approach or 'It's what they gave me'? I'm inspired by the future of our industry run by leaders like you!. Keep up the great work and sharing.

Peter Hearl // November 18, 2010 08:14

Joey they all great shots, what results with a bit o black card. Loved your vanishing world DVD.

elisa // November 18, 2010 17:56

love you joey l. you are so generous with your info. thanks for sharing. i show my class your dvds all the time, as well as myself!

Mike // November 18, 2010 19:02

good stuff man, good to see you're getting out shooting for yourself.Peace

P // November 18, 2010 20:16

Great shots and very LUCKY Bushwickers! I'm coming to your hood to trick or treat next year! :o)

Rajesh Taylor // November 18, 2010 20:17

Awesome images dude. Love the nimble and DIY setup. Really good ideas, I will have to try this type of street adventure over the Christmas period in London. Thanks for sharing your skills online with us. It's really appreciated.Rajesh.

Rajesh Taylor // November 18, 2010 20:17

Awesome images dude. Love the nimble and DIY setup. Really good ideas, I will have to try this type of street adventure over the Christmas period in London. Thanks for sharing your skills online with us. It's really appreciated.Rajesh.

Matt Moore // November 21, 2010 15:36

Top shelf (as usual)...just FYI, I'm SO stealing that foam core background idea!

Bea // November 24, 2010 14:14

you're fantastic. that's all i gotta say :)

John // November 25, 2010 01:52

Great site Joey just one thing loose the picture of the thug with the tattoo. Cops who risk there lives protecting people don't deserve this disrespect. Thanks

Louise // November 28, 2010 15:47

I declare you: the most awesome human being alive. I love reading your blog. I love your photos. :-( You've definitely made me see photography in a different way.

Halloween in Brooklyn – Joey L « Patricia McMahon Photography // December 07, 2010 16:11

[...] check out Joey’s behind the scenes post to find out more about the [...]

Leon // December 09, 2010 17:08

awesome mate, love it

Melissa // December 13, 2010 06:01

There is so much feeling and drama in each and every one of these images. Truly works of art - with something so simple too!

nathan coe // December 20, 2010 00:26

Love these shots, great idea! I'm pretty sure that's not a 69" Rotalux though. Looks a lot smaller than that. Is it the 135 cm model? Thanks, Nathan

maurice // January 01, 2011 22:37

I find myself enjoying your personal work more than the commercial things. Your commercial work is very good but the personal speaks to my heart.I was wondering if you have ever used film,and what was your first camera?Happy new year and keep up the great work. Thanks, Maurice

coach outlet clutch // January 05, 2011 06:14

Valuable information and excellent design you got here! I would like to thank you for sharing your thoughts and time into the stuff you post!! Thumbs up

Calvinalibra // January 06, 2011 18:44

Good photos Joey, very detailed. It sheds a completely different light on Halloween =) Excellent job!

Nacho Santes // January 19, 2011 00:32

Hello Joe, you work is really really amazing, I follow you from Mexico.

Samuel Burns // March 26, 2011 21:43

wow, these are stunning!

erin // November 01, 2011 20:21

Can not get over this project. I'm absolutely fascinated by the faces.

Rebecca // June 18, 2012 01:06

These are really incredible! I was just pricing out the rotaluxs for a shoot and your image came up in the search. The little girl with the pigtails is amazing! I love this concept and I'm sure your subjects did too, who doesn't want a photo of all the hardwork that goes into Halloween? Congrats!

Burning Man 2012 Photo Tips: See You in BRC | Kern-Photo // August 23, 2012 10:50

[...] Choose the gear that compliments your style. If you like shooting JPEG in available light shooting at 1.2, perhaps a sun shade will be your friend, like my friend Becker shoots. If you gravitate towards lighting, I dig the irreverent behind-the-scenes from Joey L's philosophy and lighting. [...]

infsxswing // November 29, 2019 18:13

http://caringhaven.com
http://inconium.com

http://samo-sex.com/index.php?url=http://pharm-usa-official.com
http://www.flashxxxmovies.com/cgi-bin/at3/out.cgi?id=372&trade=http://pharm-usa-official.com
http://www.hds-net.com/search/rank.cgi?mode=link&id=2781&url=http://pharm-usa-official.com

viagra price comparison <a href="https://pharm-usa-official.com/">viagra generic date</a> purchase viagra <a href=>cheapest brand viagra</a> buy viagra - <a href="https://pharm-usa-official.com/">generic viagra</a> https://pharm-usa-official.com/ - viagra generic online usa pharmacy

Beethy // December 06, 2019 07:48

Prednisone and hyperglycem <a href="https://getcialischeaply.best/">cheap cialis online</a> buy cialis online canada buy.

clzmavok // December 21, 2019 10:57

viagra generic viagra generic <a target="_blank" href="http://viagrnetwork.com/">buy viagra samples </a> viagra buy online viagra generic
viagra generic sale generic viagra online pills <a href=http://viagrnetwork.com/>cheap viagra online without prescription</a> online viagra generic viagra 100mg

http://mckinleyalum.org/license-plates-are-in/?unapproved=103835&moderation-hash=0f144b6bd15b61f559cc5e59b70892d9#comment-103835
https://radiosun.fi/2018/02/01/tkln-operoimia-linjoja-liikennoidaan-perjantaina-lahes-normaalisti/?unapproved=2342&moderation-hash=41d1a800c4a322590c1ad5a66a814cac#comment-2342
https://thuyngocha.com.vn/san-pham/adapter-sleeves-adapter-sleeves-h311-mang-xong-lot-h311-gp/?unapproved=123013&moderation-hash=96303367f206325738c96c4b0812b371#comment-123013


https://e101.webs.com/s/site_module/63556860/contact_form/51bc99970cf2dc431556f95b?fw_human=&w-form-51bc99970cf2dc431556f95b-0=mycsccen&w-form-51bc99970cf2dc431556f95b-1=ibqxqmep%40oiltempof.icu&w-form-51bc99970cf2dc431556f95b-2=viagra+online+generic+canadian+pharmacy+generic+viagra+<a+target%3D%22_blank%22+href%3D%22http%3A%2F%2Fozarkbirds.com%2F__media__%2Fjs%2Fnetsoltrademark.php%3Fd%3Dviagrnetwork.com%2F%3Fbuy%2520viagra++%22>cheap+viagra+usa+without+prescription+<%2Fa>++buy+viagra+online+buy+generic+cheap+viagra+online+%0D%0Aviagra+samples+buy+viagra+samples+<a+href%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fconsolsucks.com%2F__media__%2Fjs%2Fnetsoltrademark.php%3Fd%3Dviagrnetwork.com%2F%3Fgeneric%2520drugs%2520for%2520sale%2520generic%2520viagra>buy+pills+erection+generic+viagra<%2Fa>++generic+viagra+online+viagra+generic+online+pharmacy+%0D%0Abuy+generic+viagra+online+viagra+without+doctor+prescription+<a+target%3D%22_blank%22+href%3D%22http%3A%2F%2Finduction-cooktops.com%2F__media__%2Fjs%2Fnetsoltrademark.php%3Fd%3Dviagrnetwork.com%2F%3Fviagra%2520without%2520a%2520doctor%2520prescription++%22>buy+viagra+<%2Fa>++buy+viagra+generic+online+usa+pharmacy+generic+viagra+online+pharmacy+%0D%0Ageneric+viagra+sales+viagra+pills+<a+href%3Dhttp%3A%2F%2Fmeetatcarillon.com%2F__media__%2Fjs%2Fnetsoltrademark.php%3Fd%3Dviagrnetwork.com%2F%3Fbuy%2520viagra%2520generic%2520online%2520usa%2520pharmacy>viagra+without+doctor+prescription<%2Fa>++generic+viagra+sales+buy+pills+erection+generic+viagra&submit=&recaptcha_challenge_field=&recaptcha_response_field=
http://www.vacanze-in-barca-vela.it/dblog/articolo.asp?articolo=9
https://ruolin0401.exblog.jp/parts/comment/view/?eid=e0344396&srl=24959329

mxjgjvok // December 23, 2019 16:10

online viagra generic viagra <a target="_blank" href="https://pharm-usa-official.com/">viagra buy </a> viagra samples viagra generic
online viagra generic viagra generic online pharmacy <a href=https://pharm-usa-official.com/>viagra online</a> generic viagra online viagra generic

Payday online // December 28, 2019 22:02

It's impressive that you are getting ideas from this article as well
as from our argument made at this time.

rbjajjobby // January 13, 2020 04:30

cbd oils cbd oil store <a href="https://cbdoilnumber1.com">sunsoil cbd oil </a> cbd oil benefits cbd oil cbd oil hemp

cbd oil truebliss cbd oil <a href=https://cbdoilnumber1.com>prosper cbd </a> cbd oil yaa health store cbd oil cbd oil for pain

* Mandatory fields

Your comment has been posted