San Diego Comic-Con 2010 Final Thoughts

July 29, 2010 by  

Toys At Comic Con 2010

Comic-Con 2010

        After attending Comic-Con and taking a few days to think about the experience, in particular how I could have made the experience better as well as things I flat out didn’t like, I’m ready blog about the entire experience. Photographically, it was not challenging AFTER the first day. It was a lot of fun.

Green Lantern At Comic Con 2010

Captain America Tattoo At Comic Con 2010

        The people and their costumes were the highlight for me. After spending time amongst them, I’ve learned there are no levels or degrees of a Comic-Con fan. They all sit at the same tables and wait in the same lines. When you consider that thousands of people rode (in full costume) to Comic-Con on public transportation after flying to San Diego from locales all over the world, you start to realize that the playing field is even for these ladies and gentlemen.
        For the press, professionals and celebrities, it’s a somewhat different story. Everyone there is NOT on the same level and the game is rigged, which is not surprising but still disappointing. The big, well known media outlets like to do stories and shoot video of what or WHO the big, well known studios are presenting. This created two issues for me that I… Didn’t like. The first was that even though I had a press pass, I’m not a big media outlet, so I wasn’t granted any exclusive interviews with any big studio guys or one on one interviews with network stars. The second thing was that the smaller, unknown artists, illustrators, etc. seemed to be ignored by mainstream media. These are the guys that would get the biggest boost from the media exposure, so I’d like to see big media giving more time to small print and up & coming artists next year.

Harry Potter Legos At Comic Con 2010

Costume At Comic Con 2010

        I did not attend any panels, film screenings or have any autographs signed for me. All of those things required waiting in line, and I just didn’t want to wait in line. I spent most of my time roaming up and down the aisles of the convention floor as well as the autograph signing area (The Sail Pavilion), which turned out to be the best place to get celebrity pictures. This is my first tip for better photography next year: After you find out where the signing will be, look around and try to deduce how they will be brought to the signing area, position yourself somewhere along that route a few minutes BEFORE the celeb is due to arrive… And wait. Everyone in the autograph line will STILL be in line 90 minutes after you already got your shot. This method turned out to be very time efficient because you need less than 10 minutes of lead time so you can just swoop in, take the shot and move on to the next thing.

Undertaker At Comic Con 2010

Can Man At Comic Con 2010

        My main reason for attending Comic-Con was to take photos. There are any one of (at least) several common “main reasons” for attending Comic-Con, and that is what I wanted to capture. I was very fixated on taking pictures so I had to make conscious efforts to stop and smell the roses. One of the roses that I didn’t smell enough was S.W.A.G.
        My primary mission was photography so I didn’t want to be fettered down with stuff other than my photographic gear, which was my Nikon D5000, a 55-200mm and a 18-55mm lens, all contained in a Lowepro SlingShot 200 AW. I was also using one of my custom camera straps. I have a SanDisk Extreme III 8GB card, which allows me to take 538 RAW photos. I brought extra batteries and cards but never had to swap out either one (I get over 1500 shots per battery on my D5000). I averaged around 200 shots per day, with 15-20 making it into my daily blog posts about Comic-Con. For the most part, I was at 1000 ISO on the convention floor and 200 ISO and in the Sail Pavilion.
        Next year, I will bring an f/1.8 lens. A 1.8 would have made the shots a whole lot better and required less time in Photoshop. That being said, I’m going to see if next year I can worry less about gear, and more about the show itself. That’s my second bit of advice: Bring extra batteries and cards with you to San Diego, but you probably won’t need them at the show. In the case of my D5000, one battery and one card were enough for each day. Maybe next year I’ll spend some time in panels or try to collect my body weight in S.W.A.G. You never know and a year is a long time from now, but I’ll be back, and I’ll have my camera with me.

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One Response to “San Diego Comic-Con 2010 Final Thoughts”

  1. Paul Moeller on August 5th, 2010 10:28 am

    Right on! and awesome pix, as usual! Thanks for sharing it with those of us who couldn't attend!

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