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Posts Tagged ‘djing’


Playtime with your camera

Wednesday, August 31st, 2011

Tables on fire by Michael Mariano | Native Racket's Randy

Tables on fire by Michael Mariano | Native Racket’s Randy

Fall is just around the corner. But don’t let that fool you into thinking that you will be just photographing falling leaves and foliage. Creativity can strike anywhere. As long as you have a camera ready and with the proper know-how, you can capture any mundane situation and turn it into a visceral experience.

I have recently been to one of the gigs of my friend Ivan Monegro at the Hot Lava party. He and his partner Randy Delgado are DJs for their group – Native Racket. So they were spinning during the hot lava party inside this massive warehouse which was dimly lit despite having a nice big disco ball lit on all its sides by focused lights. The only camera i had my Panasonic LX3 with me which had an underpowered flash. So i thought of just playing with it knowing the range of my flash. I decided to set it to Shutter speed priority (S) and make the shutter slower than usual (around 1/8 to 1/15th of a second)

In the photo, i captured Randy spinning on the decks. There was few lights on the turntables. So with flash ready and the shutter speed dialed it, i decided to ‘paint’ the scene

by moving my camera in long strokes while making sure that i focused properly first and accounted for the shutter lag since i’m using a slow shutter speed. The flash worked just in the right range, illuminating Randy and the decks. While the slow shutter speed made sure that the lights streaked that conveyed a sense of motion throughout the scene. I took some more shots of the party. It was good practice for me since i haven’t been covering events lately and that situation made me think outside of the box.

So the next time you feel that you might be limited by your camera or the situation, think outside of the box and use whatever tools you have in hand. Keep on shooting,  and enjoy the coming fall season ahead!

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Sneak peek of Scratch DJ Academy NY

Thursday, July 28th, 2011

Scratch DJ Academy New York - Photograph by Michael Mariano

Scratch DJ Academy New York – Photograph by Michael Mariano

Scratch DJ Academy has finally settled into its new location at 32 Cooper Square! Scratch who? For those in the music industry, this title should be fairly familiar to you. If you are not familiar, shame on you! For those who are not acquainted, Scratch DJ Academy is a division of Scratch Music Group. In 2002, in the heydays of DJing where access to proper DJ education was not widespread, DJ Jam Master Jay and Rob Principe founded the academy to provide quality DJ education and access to the art form. Its legacy and legend extends forward to the future with the move of the academy to the historic Cooper Square where known institutions such as Cooper Square Union and New York University  are located.

I have had the privilege to be at the launch of Scratch NY’s new crib. The location was a definite game changer and the new spot had a cool vibe to it. Soon enough the Scratch Music Group will come out with a bang. The photo featured is of the Academy. Stay tuned for the launch of Scratch Music Group and its other business lines – Scratch Events and Scratch Weddings.

Keep on rockin’!

– Mike

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Scratch DJ Academy site refresh

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Scratch DJ Academy

Scratch DJ Academy site refresh designed by Steve Woodzell and Mike Mariano

Finally a new website to roll off the design mill! Scratch DJ Academy – ‘The world’s leader in DJ Education’ has refreshed its website design. Designed by Scratch’s very own Steve Woodzell and Michael Mariano.

A short backgrounder on Scratch DJ Academy from the website –

In 2002, Rob Principe and the late Jam Master Jay founded Scratch DJ Academy with the goal of lowering the barrier of entry to the art form of the DJ. Scratch’s historic first semester received media attention worldwide with instructors including Jam Master Jay, DJ Premier, A-trak, Evil Dee, and many more. Scratch DJ Academy went on to sell out every semester during its first year and eventually moved to a permanent location in the West Village (where it is located today).

Over the next few years, Scratch opened additional locations in Los Angeles (2004) and Miami (2005), and expanded its course offering to include music production. Today, Scratch’s teaches over 100,000 people how to DJ annually through its physical locations and national tours. Scratch has taught students from all 50 states, 35 different countries, and is widely recognized as the world leader in DJ and music production education.

Scratch offers hands-on instruction on DJing and music production for students of all interests and skill levels, and full access to DJ Culture and Community. Visit for more information.

*Update: As per request of my friend and colleague – Bea, here is the screenshot of the previous design by JNMedia.

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