You know, I don’t think that there is a day that i don’t go to (or come from) work that I don’t look at what I do and just beam. Let’s see: When I was a kid, I wanted to grow up to be a school teacher. I went from that to becoming a corporate nerd.. to traveling the world.. to losing it all.. to reinventing myself and ultimately landing at the top of my game over where I am now.. it’s just surreal.
My mom Cristela. Cristela was raised poor in Mexico in a town called Piaxtla, in the state of Puebla. She spent all of her time in Mexico raising sheep and selling tamales on the street – 1 of 14 children. Back then, children were farmhands and education wasn’t really something that was instilled in them. With no education, and few skills, she came to the US and met my dad Rafael (Sr.).
My Dad also didnt go to school. Two uneducated parents raising 7 children in the South Bronx. Let’s say education wasnt a priority for them.. but they made it for us. There isnt a day that doesnt go by that I don’t think of the sacrifices both of them made for all of us.
A couple of Photoshop World’s ago, my buddy Matt Kloskowski and I started teaching a class on HDR as a Pre-Con due to it’s increased demand. I was excited about the opportunity to do so: In one part because I got to teach alongside Matt, but in another because I would be able to share and explore in a technique that is getting a lot of press. After the second conference, I sat and thought about the work I was doing with it.
After some meditation, I gave myself a project. I knew that I was going to be traveling in the last 3 months of the year. Rather than focus on Speedlights and landscape stuff (which I had done before) I figured i’d sit and explore the concept of HDR photography further. It’d be a good time to get out and actually make some cooler ones.. explore.. and actually focus on doing -one- thing.. something that I seriously encourage people to do.