Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Hal-Con 2013 - My First Year Landing

Well, Hal-Con 2013, I finally got down to it this year, and honestly, overall, I had a blast. first lets get the messiness out of the way, Sadness Saturday (some one called it this on the Facebook group and I liked it). Yes I did get locked out after 3pm, and I did miss the one panel with Yaya Hann that I wanted to see, but in the grand view it didn't kill my experience over the weekend. Without going into grand detail, there was a massive over-attendance issue and the Fire Marshal locked down the building for roughly 4 hours till the crowd died from a whopping 10 000 people (so I was told) to the regulated capacity of the WTCC (which I think is 3000 or 5000). Anyway, whatever reason this happened, doesn't matter, the staff is working on correcting it and did a good job dealing with the confusion, in any case I'm going back. And for the record I got to talk to Yaya Hann in person, so no hardships there.

So con drama aside, lets talk pictures. Thanks too a friend, Kevin St. Perrie, I had a good spot that was out of the way in which to take most of my scheduled shoots. It worked out really good, it was a beautiful brick staircase, with multi levels in which I could easily do wide angle group shots or close up singles and design lighting around them in different ways. I mostly used this location for the Marvel shoots, but we also used a bright hallway that connected to one of the hotels, which also worked really well and was right underneath the stairs. Bonus when trucking gear around.

For the the rest of shooting I was locked in the convention centre for most of Sunday for fear of getting locked out, so we found one of the few quite corners in the area to shoot in. It wasn't quite as fantastic, but did get the job done as far as a place to shoot.

Even though most of the work was done inside in these 3 areas, my first shoot of the convention was outdoor. There's an incredibly beautiful park across the street, had it been not November and warm, I would have shot everything outside there.

Now for the fun stuff. You'll notice when I post my full image catalog that I did end up doing some edit work. It was pretty much the standard steps from previous work of this kind. Cut the subject from the background and make a new one to put them on. Think of it like manual green screen.

In a lot of cases I'll always try to add photographical generated elements into the new backgrounds, I find it adds a nice practical sense of realism into what is basically a graphic. It never looks quite perfect, but I do, for the most part try and match lighting direction and exposer.

So that was the Hal-Con photographic experience for me in a nutshell. It would have been nice to have a booth to call home like at the other cons, but sadly I could front the cash needed for that endeavour. Next year I am greatly considering the idea though, that way I can have a nice clean booth environment to work in. Hal-Con is a great con for all, awesome guests, lots to see and do. Lets hope this year's hiccup gets sorted and we can continue to enjoy the gathering the staff creates for us to celebrate our passions.

-Larry M. Holder 

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