Saturday, May 1, 2010

Photothon and Olympia.

Tonight was interesting.

 Calm and interested.

For class this quarter we were given the option of participating in the Photo Center NW 24 hour Photo-thon event entitled Long Shot instead of doing a report on a well known photographer. This entails registering to take part in a 24 hour long photo event that goes from 6pm Friday, April 30th to 6pm Saturday, May 1st, picking the 10 best images from the time period and submitting them to the Photo Center. The Photo Center then chooses one image from each participant and everyone that participates is responsible for providing a framed 20 x 24 inch print. All of the prints will then be put into a gallery showing for June 4th, put on by Photo Center NW in Seattle, WA.

So, most of the class decided to go this route. It seems like a really great project! The idea is that participants will pick one subject or idea and focus on it for the whole 24 hours. What a way to gain valuable experience in a chosen subject.

My classmate Karissa and I decided that we wanted to head downtown Olympia and do some street portraits of strangers. We've both wanted to for sometime now but we're too nervous/shy to go alone! Plus we both have the affliction of getting bored while alone, imagine that!

 First lucky one.

We met downtown at 5pm this evening to scout a location and setup to start asking people if we could take their picture. We had a fairly basic lighting setup; two strobes, one pointed at their face and one pointed at their knees/feet. No diffusion added, just snooted. We were constantly changing our dials to keep the ambient light balanced with the flash seeing as the sun began setting shortly after our arrival. Plus it was a very cloudy/stormy looking sky. We wanted things to be a little natural, but still have that look to them that shows there are strobes being used.

Things got moving pretty quickly and we were off and running, flagging down strangers walking along through the park. We started taking pictures before the 6pm mark, so we can't use some of them for the project. We did fairly well for ourselves this evening. I'm surprised by how nice everyone was. I can't believe how many people were interested in helping us. Those that weren't were very polite about turning us down.


Eventually we moved our setup from the park to the middle of downtown. We had even greater luck there because of the foot traffic heading to bars and restaurants.

Then the sun went down.

The weirdos came out.

It became difficult to want to stay downtown.

One particular individual spoke to us for about ten minutes. He spouted off absolute nonsense, I swear he was making up words. It was simultaneously terrifying and hilarious. I finally interrupted him and explained that we had to get back to our project but thank you so much for sharing. He continued to talk to us for another few minutes before finally deciding he wanted his photo taken.

It wasn't that easy though! He was certain that if he stepped into the triangle that made up our two lights and the camera, he would be instantly frozen. No joke. It was unreal. Karissa has the photos of him. Not that we need a photo to remember anything about him.


Finally it was creeping ever closer to 10pm. More and more creepers and weirdos were emerging, I knew that people would soon be leaving bars. It's not safe for many people with camera equipment, let alone two young women. So, we decided that the night had been a great success overall and it would be unwise to stay out any later, then we packed up and went home.

The idea of the project is to take photos for 24 hours straight. Steve told us we were allowed to sleep. Tomorrow I'll be up and at the Farmers Market taking more portraits for the photo-thon and taking photos for my documentary project.

What an adventure. I'll be posting more photos tomorrow!



Cass said...

i'm glad you escaped the weirdos! stay safe and keep using the buddy system!

Karissa C. said...

Yay! These look great Miranda! I love the one of guy looking into the wind! That was a great shot! It'll be fun to show our whole series in class on Tuesday!

MJ said...

I'm really excited to show them to everyone. I hope I have success at the Market today.

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