Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes Comes to Endless
This post has been re-published in its original form with permission from Double Vision Photography.
With the year coming to a close this seems to be the last blog post we’ll publish for 2017. Wow, what a year it’s been it went by in a flash. Many things have happened that we could not share or even cover because of the amount of time it consumed but if we can make one new year’s resolution for 2018 it would be to stop making excuses and shoot it!
This latest assignment photographing Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes had all of that. We came across so much adversity it pushed us to the limits and tested us there really shouldn’t be anymore excuses not cover projects or vlog anymore. This last of the year project was with Endless Lounge in Soi Buakhao an ongoing client of ours where Owner Max Slade has come to find some good use for us.
As a new business here in Pattaya it’s my goal to build a client base much like we had in Vancouver where clients contact us for a project without haggling about rates or restricting our creative style when collaborating. Many people have told us it can’t be done you won’t find quality in Pattaya.
On the surface that seems to be the case here in Sin City, it looks ruff except the reputation is cliched and as dated as the saying, ‘Good guys go to Heaven and Bad guys go to Pattaya’. That’s all good for a laugh but the reality is things are changing it isn’t what it used to be.
We’re finding those no nonsense clients again who understand what it means to work collaboratively with artists and have a sound business acumen. It takes time but their are quality clients here and when you truly explore the original Sin City there is a level of living that no cheap charlie would ever speak highly of no matter how good it was.
All that we see or seem is but a dream within a dream.
Like our previous assignment with Endless (photographing Jimmy White) we got the nod to come in again for 3 of the 5 Days of Magic event from Dec 16 – 20 with Efren ‘Bata’ Reyes. Efren is a living legend and Endless Lounge has been hosting these once in a lifetime events to meet and play with such Masters of the game. To see these players perform at such a high level of skill will amaze you especially when these Legends are only a few feet from you at anytime.
Like Muay Thai is a way of life in Thailand many will agree billiards is a staple of the Pattaya culture. Photographing this social past time in this planned and orchestrated 5 day affair meant it was striving to be something to be talked about while creating buzz for Endless Lounge. Well Endless did it and all the while showing and promoting that Pattaya is a place Billiards enthusiasts can experience, connect and of course enjoy.
Endless Lounge with this promotion went even further by including Phaa Hmaunpao AKA ‘She Wolf’ Thailand’s professional Billiards player who shocked and awed everyone playing some friendly frames with Efren and patrons. Phaa is only 14 years and yet to see such a young star with so much talent, poise and composure is a sure indication she will be going far in this sport. She easily defeated well skilled men and women much older than her and it was like just another day at the beach. Phaa has no ego she’s pure and genuine confidence and a very kind and friendly Wolf.
The strategy I applied to shoot these 3 nights was much of the same ninja techniques I used to capture the Jimmy White event. This time I focused more on experimenting with different lenses and angles. I knew the exposure settings I needed to apply beforehand so this gave me more latitude to try different compositions and moods with the room lighting. The hardest trick for this environment was finding the right balance between the highlights of the table without blowing them out to expose for the midtones and darks.
You should nevergive up yourinner self.
Keep your eyes on the stars, and your feet on the ground.
Much of the shots in camera / pre-edit had the Endless Diamond pool table bright but not blown out about a stop overexposed to create the dark abstruse mood I wanted. I shot at this setting to darken the darks but not crush them because if I over exposed the image would introduce noise and loss of data. Shooting this way allows us to style the image in many different ways for example removing the background is a cleaner method, yes it can be done without shooting this way but the light and shadows created on the face intensifies the focus and concentration of the subject.
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The 5 days of Magic was another successful venue for Endless Lounge the turnout was solid, people were boisterous and many witness plenty of those ‘how did they make that?’ shot moments. Congrats and thank you to to everyone involved and here’s to looking to the next big show coming to Endless and I want to thank everyone that was able to come out to witness the magic!
I’d also like to thank Phaa Hmaunpao and of course Efren for allowing me to work and photograph them it was a great experience and a lot fun.