This Thanksgiving I’m sure many of us went travelling. In my Case I went to California for the first time ever, which was an experience to say the least. Here is a collection of some photos I took while I was on my trip out on the west coast.
This weekend I got together a couple of friends who aren’t that camera shy and made a big shindig in the downtown albuquerque area. This was one of the first planed theme shoots and it was the first time that I had any kind of vision going into a shoot…
and as a result I just ended up being one of those shoots where I just wung it as usual. I guess it’s just and old habit that I have but no matter how much pre plan and production in mind I always operate best when I’m just going with the flow and overcoming the challenges.
The big challenge was trying to handle all the different peopled what were present in the shoot and dealing with all their personalities meeting all at the same time. It’s not so much that they were difficult to deal with it’s just that “Too many cooks” problems you deal with when you try to get stuff done.
This year was a midterm election year and for the first time I had to cover politics for class and work. It was definitely a ride to say the least and I got plenty of photos to illustrate the last couple of months.
Let’s start with the Debates.
Mike Frese (R) faces of with Michelle Lujan Grisham(D) in the public broadcasting debate for New Mexico’s 1st Congressional District.
Michelle Lujan Grisham (D) at the KNME Studios just before the Public Broadcast debate against Mike Frese (R).
United States Senator Tom Udall (D) getting camera ready for the public television debate against Allen Weh (R)
Allen Weh (R) Preps notes just before the debate against Sen. Tom Udall (D)
Sen. Tom Udall (D) and challenger Allen Weh (R) Shake hands before engaging in debate on public television.
On top of doing the debates the TV Station I work for, KNME, did a live broadcast on election night.
Producer and correspondent Gwyneth Doland watches election coverage from the control room of KNME.
KNME’s production manager Kevin McDonald directing the stations live election coverage from the technical directing board.
New Mexico In Focus producer Floyd Vasquez monitoring election coverage from the control room of KNME.
KNME Producer Megan Kamerick running election results into the control room for the live broadcast.
UNM Student Carly Granger checking up on election results on her laptop.
Production specialist Antony Rodriguez getting brought up to speed in the KNME control room.
Gwyneth Doland joins Nick Salazar at The Howl broadcast for their election night coverage.
The KNME panelists get set to go for the live broadcast of election coverage.
Director Randy Lantz takes over at direction for KNME’s live broadcast.
Tara has a familiar face if you follow any of my photography work. Ever since we first met about a year ago for a costume contest she participated in, we’ve continually worked together. Whenever I have a new piece of gear I want to test out or if I just get the itch to shoot, Tara has always been willing to pick up the phone. This time around we got to do a style of photoshoot that I’ve been wanting to do for a long time- to photograph a model in their own home.
Ever since I got a new set of studio lights I’ve been trying to get an excuse to use them. They come in handy whenever I have to do any kind of video work but not having a studio space makes it difficult to justify using them for shoots. Since Tara agreed to do a shoot at her place I wanted to take advantage of the resource.
Another side benefit of shooting at a models own home was the ability to do wardrobe changes on the fly. In retrospect there was a lot more that we could have done in terms of wardrobe but time played a factor on top of trying to keep everything with in Tara’s comfort zone.
We didn’t spend all of our time indoors. I don’t know who’s idea it was but at one point we all went about a quarter mile out to the Sandia Mountains to do some more out door photos as well… Because why not.
You can really see what a difference controllable indoor studio lights make. When you’re out doors you don’t get nearly as much control and you have to work around what the daylight gives you both in how you’re shooting and in post processing.
Now for a quick disclaimer for models (especially starting out.) You shouldn’t just invite random photographers you barely know over to your place to do photoshoots. Tara and I have worked together many times before this and have developed a rapport together and has established a certain level of trust. On top of that both our significant others were present during this shoot not only to help out but to mingle with each other and have a good time. Photoshoots are always a fun thing to engage in but you should always be careful because unfortunately there are shady, and sometimes even dangerous people out there posing as photographers.
A few months ago when I was in the middle of a portrait shoot I got a call from my lady friend saying that the short film she was doing makeup work for wanted a photographer to do production stills and of course I said I was game.
Being put in a behind the scenes had me right in my element while at the same time brought it’s own set of challenges. The biggest of these challenges was that I had to avoid getting in the way. That seems like that would be fairly standard for shooting stills on set but when you what was so unique about The Understudy was that it was shot all on steadycam in one take following a central charter through the intricate inner workings of theater (and everything that can go wrong on opening night.) This meant I had to work quickly on the fly and well out of the way.
After the first couple of runs I got a clear sense of where I could and couldn’t be for all of my shots, what were the best vantage points and where the most visually interesting element were going to take place. What turned out to be most special aspect of the set was just how much was going on that the video camera wasn’t capturing. Makeup, costuming, line rehersals, vocal warm up, set dressing and the built tension that you feel before curtain opens were all happening as the single camera was rolling for a straight 8 minutes.
Great photos always come out of great challenges and shooting behind the scenes of the Understudy provided just that.
The Albuquerque Comic Expo has now came and went and there are a tone of photos to share from the show floor. Like Most Conventions I spent most of my time shooting in a candid fashion carrying myself as a photojournalist. ACE was so kind as to present me with a press pass for the event giving me free range to shoot where ever whenever (within reason.)
For this event I shot exclusively with my 85mm 1.8 on my D600 Shooting at f2.5 and 1/400 of second, changing my ISO depending on where I was and the lighting that was present. On the show floor my ISO was at about 3200 and in the lobby it was dropped to about 800.
My 85mm has always been my workhorse lens. I like having the short telephoto length to where I don’t have to be getting up in people’s faces but I can still be present in the scene. Many street photographers like using a more standard focal length like a 50mm or a 35mm. For me those angles are a little to much on the wide side. If I was confined to a tighter space I would probably use a 50mm but I didn’t want to be getting into peoples faces with my camera. I wanted them to act natural at the convention.
The greatest thing about these conventions is the visual variety. People will dress up as their favorite comicbook, video game, Anime or movie characters, They’ll wander around the show and look at all the artist and vendors selling their merchandise and they’ll interact with each other in unique ways giving interesting Juxtaposition.
I always leave conventions 1. exhausted but 2. pleased with the experience. I always leave making a couple of friends, taken tons of good images that seem to get a lot of people’s attention. And that alone makes the exhausting 3 day work weekend all the more worth it.
We are now officially a week away from the Albuquerque Comic Expo (ACE) and just like last year I will be there all three days with my camera equipment on the show floor documenting everything the show has to offer.
Last year ACE was my introduction to shooting not only conventions but doing photography in a candid and unique way. One thing that I do differently from most photographers at conventions is that I take a run and gun approach. I move around, I don’t stop my subjects and I try to capture moments as opposed just posed portraits. It’s a fairly unconventional style of photography when it comes to comic conventions but people seem to always enjoy the results.
Though I enjoying shooting in a candid style at conventions it’s not uncommon for people to stop and pose when they see the camera pointed at them. I don’t mind this in the slightest. I try to take more of the street photographer mentality of capturing candid moments but obliging people who want to pose in their cosplays that they’ve worked so hard on.
On top of covering the show floor I also take posed portraits of my lovely cosplay friends. Most of them have worked very hard to put multiple outfits together for the convention and I’m always happy to oblige.
This year I’m hoping to show off how much I’ve improved as a photographer in the last year. I’ve learned a lot of different techniques, rules and concepts that I didn’t know a year ago. So if you thought the pictures from a year ago were good get ready. Because shit is about to get awesome.
See you all at ACE.