Sunday, February 9, 2014

Photographing a Party!

Wow, it has been a while since the last time I posted anything. I feel the shame. SHAME I tell you! So, time to get back in the game. Back in the saddle. Back on the wagon. Choose your metaphor.

Over the last year, there have been a lot of amazing events that I have photographed, from burlesque shows, to plays, to weddings. And you can add one more thing to the list... bartending competitions and product launch parties. I never thought I would photograph such events, seeing as though I don't really drink much, but they are so much fun and so challenging. Lots of motion, dark environment, and lots of alcohol. But more than anything, a ton of fun! As a photographer, the challenging factors I run into are:
  • Dark environment with various lighting styles
  • Fast movement as the competitors shake, stir and mix
  • Trying to capture the movement while still showing the sense of movement
  • Tight spaces with lots of spectators
  • Alcohol. While it can make for some friendly and lively people, it is also really easy to spill and that does not bode well for my camera gear!
I have never been a huge fan of direct flash, but I am learning in a hurry how to utilize the on camera flash options and minimizing the effects the direct flash can have.  You can see from the first image below, the harsh shadow cast across the wall behind the bartender is a result of the direct flash.  Hard to avoid and when it comes down to it, a sacrifice I am willing to make to capture the liquid falling during a pour.  

Not every bartending event is as wild as this Bacardi Legends launch, but  it provided some amazing opportunities for photos.  From the attendees just having fun and dancing.

To fire dancers, stilt walkers and aerial acrobatics.  This launch party was a great party with a little bit of everything Portland has to offer.  And with it, comes about as many challenges a photographer can have in one shoot.  The key I found is try different settings, sometimes using a fast shutter speed to capture the action and sometimes using a slower speed to show the motion.  There are a few must have shots, but for the most part, get out, have fun and just enjoy the party and the challenges!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

I Get to Photograph Beautiful Women in Various States of Undress? Cool!

In 2011, I had many new opportunities and avenues for photography and I appreciate them all! Along with theater and roller derby, I had some wonderful opportunities to photograph various burlesque and bellydance performances. It was something I had not even really seen much of, let alone photographed. But during the summer I went to a production of Critical Hit Burlesque's "Geeklesque", a geek-themed burlesque show, and I was hooked. It was truly an amazing experience! After talking to a few people after the show, I was able to convince them to give me an opportunity to photograph one of their next events. (The photo above is from one of their later video-game themed shows, but gives a good sense of how fun and creative the performances can be).

Photographing the next show was nothing short of spectacular. The performances were great, the performers were funny, talented and gorgeous. Apparently I did an ok job photographing the performances, because they keep asking me back and so I have been able to continue this fun.

Along with the burlesque shows, I was presented a great opportunity to photograph a bellydance show. JamBallah NW is an annual bellydance and fusion festival here in Portland and is truly and amazing event. I met one of the organizers, Elise, through the geekslesque shows (she did the most amazing Star Trek Borg dances I have ever seen) and she gave me a chance to photograph. I am grateful for that because it really was a lot of fun. And Elise is one of the most amazing performers, hands down. (see her photo directly below)

Overall, it has been a great foray with my camera into a new world. I look forward to what new ventures 2012 will bring and continuing my opportunities to photograph amazing performers, both women and men.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Picking Some Cherries

After a couple of weeks of derby and everything else, I figured I should post a few photos on here. The Cherry City Derby Girls held their second annual Roller Rama with their four teams facing off in two bouts. It's always a spectacle at a Cherry City bout, with music and festivities, but the derby is what it's all about.

Saturday, June 25, 2011

Puppies Play Hard Too

On a recent visit to the Oregon coast with my family, I decided to photograph the family dogs as they ran and played around on the beach. Sometimes you just have to photograph things that seem a little common to see some pretty fun shots. It's not that unusual to see dogs running and playing, but when you capture some of the moments, they can be amazing still frames.

Oh, and some dogs are all cute and graceful when they run... but some look a lot more like me when I run... lumbering and making all sorts of weird faces!

Monday, June 6, 2011

Boys + Girls = Awesome Open Scrimmage

The Rose City Rollers often hold an open scrimmage for skaters to get together and practice together. First couple of hours are for the girls, but the last hour is co-ed. Not only is this a great opportunity for the skaters to practice their skating, the refs to practice their bout calling and relatively new skaters get experience in a game-like situation, but it's also a great opportunity for me to work on my shooting and to try a few new things.

Sometimes it works... sometimes it doesn't. I shot a bit tighter than usual, trying to focus in on some of the blockers hitting. I also tried to use the natural light from the hangar's big doors being wide open and a lot of reflected light coming in from the bright sunny day. Unfortunately, the lighting kind of kicked my ass more than I thought it did. The colors are a bit inconsistent throughout and it's something I definitely need to work on. Thought I had some decent shots though.

The co-ed factor is also a great bit of fun because it is such a different pace when you throw the guys in there. They skate so fast and hard (and often it seems a little too out of control) that you get some big moves, quick movements and some big crashes. But the more variations you can get while shooting, the more you learn. I will definitely be hitting up some more open scrimmages to keep working on my photo skills.

Thursday, May 26, 2011

Two Favs Face Off

What happens when you pit Cherry City Derby Girls against the Sick Town Derby Dames? You get a very happy Casey. My two favorite leagues took it to the track as CCDG's 8 Wheel Assassins traveled to Albany to face STDD's S.M.A.S.H. Unit. There was some good hits, some good skating and some good company!

Monday, May 9, 2011

J-E-L-L-Oh my...

What happens when you mix athletic Sick Town Derby Dames roller derby girls, girls from Rocket Queen Cupcakes, an inflatable pool, a bunch of jello and a bar full of drunk viewers? Pure awesomeness, that's what. And no, it wasn't about girls getting all skanky, but it was a pretty good show of brute strength and a general fun atmosphere. The pictures were pretty awesome!

Of course, if you ever have the opportunity to be "ringside" during an event like this, take my lead and cover your camera in plastic! Just like other situations, wrap it up for protection!