Photographing some events: The Mummers, Mardi Gras, Halloween Drag Parties - and Star Trek Conventions - is like taking candy from a baby Betazoid (that a better metaphor than this post's title?)
My first experience "to boldly go" out photographing Trekkies (they actually prefer to be called Trekkers) was around the time the science officer of the Starship USS Enterprise made the cover of Newsweek (1986 - "The Enduring Power of Star Trek").
Between other assignments in Atlantic City this week, I walked over to the new Revel resort casino. It's been open a few weeks, but will have its "Grand Opening" on Memorial Day weekend with Beyoncé headlining the 5,500-seat Ovation Hall for three nights.
Ididn't go inside - so didn't get a chance to try out Iron Chef Jose Garces' indoor taco truck - but I had a productive hour wandering around on the boardwalk side of the $2 billion resort, hotel, casino and spa. Then, drove by the "back" side on my way out of town.
During the speeches before the wreath-laying ceremony, I was wandering in the rear of the crowd when I saw Police Crpl. Robert Pawlowski and a young boy meandering among the uniformed officers just as I was doing.
Pawlowski seemed to know everybody, but the youngster wasn't as outgoing.
Waiting in North Philadelphia for Prince Edward (offically, His Royal Highness The Prince Edward Antony Richard Louis, Earl of Wessex, Viscount Severn, Royal Knight Companion of the Most Noble Order of the Garter, Knight Grand Cross of the Royal Victorian Order, Aide-de-Camp to Her Majesty... and seventh in the line of succession to the British Throne) to arrive for luncheon and ceremonial tree planting at Girard College, during his two-day visit to Philadelphia last week.
So call this one a royal-in-waiting version, in the series "spanning the tri-state region to bring you the constant variety of headshots..."
I've made dozens of videos since philly.com starting using them a few years ago. And I've made mistakes on every single one of them. But I've also learned something from each of the mistakes. The biggest lesson, one I am reminded of every single time I shoot a video, is the importance of good sound. Both the quality and the content. My latest video - an opera flash mob - had automatic content, but it was in the quality where I'd come up short.
Opera singers usually stand on a stage and produce a sound that fills the entire room (or cavernous concert hall). Audio recording engineers usually do NOT place their microphones anywhere close to that really loud and wide dynamic range sound source. My microphone? Not too far from their faces, on the hot-shoe of my Nikon D-7000 (with a shock-mount & windscreen) wtith a 20mm lens (in the tight crowd).
But the sound wasn't really the lesson learned this time. This time, in the three minute "flash Performance" by the the Opera Company of Philadelphia among the cheesesteak-eaters outside Geno's in South Philadelphia, I realized why live performances are usually always covered with multiple cameras. There is not much I can do about that the next time, so maybe it's not a lesson learned. I'll just call it a lesson appreciated.
We didn't have much of a winter this year, but what a spring it has been.
That's the first few seconds of the rush to scoop up 25,000 (yes, the comma's in the right place) Easter eggs on the football field at Cherry Hill West High School yesterday. Find more photos here, and a time-lapse video here (you can see me at the 20-second mark taking the picture at left).
The Inquirer, Daily News and philly.com were sold on Monday. If this is news to you, read about it here.
I covered the "meet the new owners" hoagie & canned soda lunch in our Broad Street lobby yesterday.
But enough about them. I was thrilled to see a really huge blowup of MY PHOTO in the front window (facing out to street). It's a young man outside the Mayfair Diner at night, peeking in to check the score on the TV as the Phillies were clinching their division title in 2010.