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'Detroit Blues' | Photo Breakdown

Updated: Jun 2, 2020

Photo Breakdown | Dissecting an image to see what we can learn from it.

All about my 'Detroit Blues' photograph. Specs, background, and why it's still in my portfolio so many years later.

by Rodrigo Gaya

Eric Goebel of The Flying Crowbars performs live at Waves in St. Claire Shores, MI, on 12/17/2009. (Rodrigo Gaya/Michigan Radio).


Shutter Speed : 1/4th of a second

Aperture : f/ 4.0

ISO : 1600

Image Size : 3504 x 2336 px

Megapixels : 8.2

Panning the camera with the moving subject

Multimedia: Press play n scroll to the gallery

As you can see from the video, the photos look much better in black n white.


Long background story about a recent college grad in a time know as "The Great Recession":

Going through my photo archive, making sure at least my selects are up in my dropbox account (3rd backup is online storage) I found a personal project I worked on and published during my time as an intern at Michigan Radio, the NPR affiliate in Ann Arbor, Michigan.

Spending another winter in AA after graduating was never in my plans, until an email from my journalism professor letting me know about an intern photography position at a radio station.

If that sounds really weird, it is, but let me explain. In this era of journalism, post-financial crash in 2008, income sources dried out fast. So Michigan Radio wanted to update its website, and figured they could use some images to spice things up a bit.

It was an amazing experience. Being around hard-working journalists, and learning to use audio as a medium to showcase stories really broadened my interest in getting out there and shooting. It still lives with me today in how I approach storytelling.

Recording a bit of audio (or more than you think you may need) allows the viewer to experience the photographs with more depth of emotion.

This internship allowed my to explore the Muslim culture in Michigan, spend a weekend with Olympic Snowboarders training prior to the Winter Olympics in Canada, and work on this story I found while in college but no time to develop it.

It was the first audio piece I'd developed myself, and the first time I brought a personal story to life. Audio of the interviews isnt great, I used too many images in the video instead of just showing selects, but the music is damn good.

Till this day I think about this story, James and Eric, and how it inspired me to tell more stories and learn to play the blues guitar myself (getting there.)

All images 2020 (C) Rodrigo Gaya/Gayaman Visual Studio, LLC

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