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WHY I CAN NEVER SHOOT GOOD PHOTOS AT COMIC CON and THE FUZZ IN MY CAMERA

Photos taken at San Diego Comic Con 2015, on a Thursday. One of the highlights of the day was going to a panel by Jim Lee, a world-renowned comic book artist. He was hilarious and is an inspiring Master of his Art. I am stoked that Comic Con calls its home San Diego.

Ok, I will start with why I have been to San Diego Comic Con 4 times in a row, I have been a professional photographer (trained as a photojournalist) for almost 15 years, and I cannot seem to get epic shots at this event. I don’t even need to get “epic” shots, just get more of a full story of the day. I don’t think that Comic Con is the craziest event of the year. I have been around the block few times in this world and there are other gatherings, or even cultures, out there that are non-corporate and are visual highs and the cream of the crop for a photographer who is into photographing Human shit. But I love Comic Con! Comic Con is super special and  good one as far as people as characters – a bad one as far as awful light in the Expo Hall and a lot of distracting backgrounds. It doesn’t present the best “scene” for the characters.

But this is off my point. The real reason I ache in my heart when I don’t get great photos at Comic Con is because I am there as a participant and not a photographer. I have come to accept the reality that unless I remove myself as a participant and get into my “world observing from the outside” photographer zone, it is impossible for me to shoot to my fullest potential. Until this year, actually, I was there with young children – possibly one even on my back in a baby carrier. One year I even had to go to the premiere of the My Little Pony “Equastria Girls” movie for my 3 -year-old daughter at the time and she fell asleep throughout the first 3/4 of the film. I wondered what the hell I was doing sitting in this theater with a bunch of Bronies who cheered when Rainbow Dash appeared on screen like she has come to save to save the world or something.

So this year, the day at the Con without our girls, I had a plan to split off from my gang (husband Pete, brother Mike, and friend, Chris) and take shallow depth portriats with my 50mm lens. That whole plan went to shit. I took about 10 minutes to myself at high noon. At one point I had to frantically switch my lens to a wide to get the cute Storm Trooper kids… which I didn’t do successfully. There were 6 of them! And crap light. My photos shows only  3.

For a few weeks now I have had a black mass showing up in my wide photos. I figured my lens was dirty and rubbed the smears off of it. That black blob showed up again and I thought that my camera really must be messed up! Getting old! I must have treated it too hard. . . I took off my lens, put my camera on Bulb and looked into to see the hard truth, a black ball of fuzz was stuck in there, hanging by a thread to my mirror. It had been pulled and stretched with every click to do a dance and freeze in a new pose on every frame I took. You can see it clearly in the photo of the woman in green. I don’t have the Photoshop skills to do anything about that.

I am super lame and happy to report that the fuzz is gone.

About the author kristywalker

Kristy Walker is a photographer based in San Diego.

All posts by kristywalker →

5 Comments

  1. I too struggled with this for years. I’ve gone to Comic Con every year for the last 5 years and had simar feelings about my shots. Before I even read past your first paragraph I caught myself trying to tell you through the Internet, “it’s because you are shooting from the same perspective as every other attendee.” 🙂 I had the same problem when I started shooting weddings. I was taking shots from nowhere special. No unique angles. Taking close up zoom shots when I should have been shooting wide sweeping shots or taking wide to normal shots when I should have been getting up close and personal. Anyway I really think that in order to take shots you can be proud of, you have to take shots from locations where you feel you are getting a unique perspective. Not taking one from amid a sea of floating heads.

    I was unfortunately not able to get tickets this year but was fortunate that I made a friend this year in the film industry who was able to get me into the Con. so I’ll be there today and tomorrow trying to get those epic shots once again as a spectator. But as a fellow Jim Lee fan and an avid Con attendee, I’m looking forward to it even if I don’t get shots that I feel are amazing. Best of luck to you and maybe I’ll see you there snapping away.

    Reply

  2. BTW. I just saw your shots and I think they’re great. Also my sister says hi.

    Reply

  3. Totally, Ivan. And thanks! It is way better to get to cover an event from a fresh perspective. Behind the scenes is my favorite. Hopefully you will get some cool shots!

    Reply

  4. These look awesome Kristy!

    Reply

  5. Tim Whitehouse April 7, 2018 at 2:31 am

    Hi Kristy,
    Having read your lament about photographing Comic Con I’d like to offer that your frustrations are a testimony to your dedication to craft. Photos of yours that I’ve seen on FB – musician photos for instance – always catch my eye; I admire your work.
    Tim Whitehouse

    Reply

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