video games

Denver Comic Con 2016

This marks my 3rd year of covering Denver Comic Con and it always seems to wow me every year. It feels like this convention only gets bigger and bigger every year and this year absolutely felt the biggest. Being on the floor on Saturday put you elbows to elbows with everyone and mobility was incredibly limited. At many cons this would be seen as an issue with the layout but in the case of DCC this year it was purely due to the shear amount of people packed into the rather large Denver Convention Center. That being said it didn’t stop me from trying to get the best images possible down on the show floor. It’s been a while since I have been able to shoot such a festive event and I hope I get to do more going forward in the future. It is a always important to challenge ones self when getting out to shoot.

Denver Comic Con 2015 Preview

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Con Season is now upon us and to kick the epic summer off, I’m making the trip up to Denver for the second year in a row. Last year DCC was the biggest convention I had ever attended and this year I’m expecting it to be even bigger and better than ever.

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Denver Comic Con was the text book definition of comic book conventions; with amazing and weird panels, Cosplays ranging to a intricate Galactus and a closet made Silent bob, and vendors selling all the nerdy goodies that you can find.

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Again like last year I’ll be covering the event in coordination with Nerdout Entertainment and Catamelt.com as the designated camera man. Hopefully this year I can improve the production quality (and apply some color grading to the video).

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Major change ups from last years Con include the amount of man power that I have available to me and the ideas my partners and I have cooked up. I normally go into conventions blind but this year Nerdout Entertainment and I have a clearer game plan on how we want to tackle the event.

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Polish will be key for content this year. Last year I put so much emphasis on just getting the content out that some things (like the video productions) suffered and I plan to rectify that this year.

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Another exciting thing about this years event is the amount of people I know that are going to be at the conventions including some of my favorite cosplay type people Like Cheesecake Panda and ChayAra.DCC-27

Excited for this year and I hope to get all the great images for everyone.

Albuquerque Comic Expo 2014: Street Photography on the Show Floor.

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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.)

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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.

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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.

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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.

ACE-81I 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.

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Weekend at the First Ever Con jikan.

When you think of convention you think about large convention centers filled wall to wall with nerd oriented merchandise and cosplayers dressed in your favorite or sometime even unknown anime characters running around getting stopped every 5 seconds to get their pictures taken. Now imagine all of that shrunken down to at least a 1/4 of the size. That is the experience felt in the first year of Con Jikan.

Attendees of Con Jikan prepare to play a round of cosplay chess

Attendees of Con Jikan prepare to play a round of cosplay chess

Conjikan behaved like any other local convention I’ve attended over the last year. There were a handful of panels for those interested, a local maid cafe for people looking to be entertained, a gaming room to get the competitive juices flowing, a vendors hall for anyone looking to add to their already impressive collection of god knows what, and of course the one thing every convention needs, cosplayers.

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One thing that really worked to Con Jikans benifit was the familiarity to the space and how everything was laid out. Being a student at UNM where the convention was being held made it a lot easier to know where everything is and where I would be able to find it if I needed to ask. Now I can’t speak personally for anyone who may not be familiar with the UNM Sub but the organization for the event felt fairly tight which is impressive when you consider how many things can go wrong at conventions.

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The one disappointing thing I would say about Con Jikan is the lack of a unique factor that grabs my attention. Being that I’ve only been working the convention circuit for less than a year now I’m already aching for some kind of variety. As a photographer I feel like I’m constantly seeing the same faces in the same outfits at every convention and I wish there was something different that I haven’t seen before. It also doesn’t help that this was an anime and video game convention when I find that my paradigm of nerdom falls in line with more of the western comics and film. There isn’t anything inherently wrong with this it’s just incredibly limiting to the opportunities of what can be seen at the convention.

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Some may be concerned with the overall size of the event, however I don’t believe that being a small convention should be held against it. 1) Because it’s the first year of the convention that is being run by a small group of enthusiast and 2) there is certain level of intimacy when you have a much smaller group. Suddenly it doesn’t feel like the guest are being put behind a glass wall between them and their fans and you get to interact with them more closely.

Jon Sakura, President of gamers anonymous during his Cyber Zone panel.

Jon Sakura, President of gamers anonymous during his Cyber Zone panel.

Over all Con Jikan can be considered a success being that it is such a small convention and has such a small but dedicated crew behind it. As it continues to grow in the future the changes I would like to see is more outreach to sponsors, fans and other parts of the community of Albuquerque. Having a small local convention is great but you have to be diverse in order to set yourself apart from being just another convention and that’s something that I feel a young convention can accomplish.