Stuff that didn't suck in 2017 (1 in a series).

So in order to make this site worth keeping around, I'm going to try and get motivated to put in new content. One thing that I want to write about: things that happened last year that did not suck. So here's the first in a hopefully multi-part series.

One thing that didn't suck in 2017: I continued my photography hobby through another year. I went to my first photography conference over the summer, the Out of Chicago summer conference, where I had a couple of interesting workshops. That conference is geared more towards the professional photographer, though, so it was mixed results.

And then, at the beginning of December, a friend of Amy's asked if I would come to take photos at a show she was in. The show in question was the holiday show for Locked Into Vacancy Entertainment, a local company that does a faux radio show on stage.

Since I have been taking photos at various live performances for a while now, as my Flickr page will attest, I decided to give it a whirl and be the official photographer of the evening (no compensation, apart from a free ticket).

It's a Wonderful LIVE!

So Locked Into Vacancy (or LIVE for short) has their show down pat. They have a rotating series of serial adventure series that they do, including a hospital drama ("Generic Hospital"), a sci-fi private eye ("Joe Jupiter"), and a Scooby Doo parody ("Groovy Mystery Gang").

It's a Wonderful LIVE!

I was a bit worried about the shoot, because it was my first official photo shoot outside of stuff for family or friends. So I decided to rent a nicer camera from Lens Rentals to make it a bit easier on myself.

I went with the Sony a6300 because that's the camera I'm hoping to upgrade to this year. It uses the same E-mount lenses as my current camera does, and it's got a "silent shutter" mode so that taking pictures is completely silent (a desirable trait when you're shooting a show in close quarters as I was). Rental for a week was around $100 with insurance and all, and the rental process was pretty basic (get the camera in the mail, use it, then return it in the same box using the pre-paid shipping label).

It's a Wonderful LIVE!

I ended up taking two lenses, my 35mm prime and a 19mm wide-angle lens. I was able to switch between the two throughout the show to alternate between close-up shots and wider shots of the whole stage.

It's a Wonderful LIVE!

The show ended up being very entertaining, although by the time show time rolled around I was a couple of days into one of the colds that was going round, so I wasn't feeling so hot. Nevertheless I showed up on time, did the shoot, and delivered a package of photos to the company.

It's a Wonderful LIVE!

The total photo count: 1,467 (!) which was whittled down to just 86 for the client, so that's about 17 photos shot for every one keeper, or a percentage of 5.8%. Fortunately the culling process was pretty easy; like most photographers these days, I use Lightroom, so I just imported everything and used thumbnails for guidance as to which photos were keepers. The lenses were fast enough that everything was pretty well in focus, so I just had to look for appropriately good pictures, and tune those in Lightroom.

It's a Wonderful LIVE!

My contact at LIVE was happy with the final photos, so I obviously consider this a success. No new gigs have been obtained as a result of this show, but now I have another photo project under my belt, along with a friendly relation with yet another independent Chicago theater company. That might help me out in the future!

The whole collection of photos is up at my Flickr site.

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