On Saturday, the city of Bellingham, Wash., was invaded by Zombies. The “Surviving” humans fought off the gory beasts with their sheer tenacity and water balloons. A lot of water balloons.
Getting in Character:
The annual family fun event is sponsored by Black Drop Coffee House in downtown Bellingham. It was also a city event. As many as 200 people participated in the event.
The rules were simple: “Survivors” race to various stores to earn a “Medical Pack.” They returned to the home base at Maritime Heritage Park where they turned in the pack. First team to collect all the packs and then make it to the “Helo Evac” site wins. The park was also the safe area.
The entire play area consisted of at least a dozen city blocks. The various aid stations were local businesses such as Film is Truth and Hair Art Studio. The goal was to go to the half dozen business to collect the medical packs, return to Maritime Heritage Park to have them checked off.
Waiting to Pounce:
The first team to make it with all the med packs, has to make it to the “helicopter” at the evac center at Lee Memorial Park.
It was fun but the challenge was to get action shots of the “Zombies” attacking “survivors.” Because of the randomness of the action, I figured the best way was to stick with one or two zombie groups.
“Just a Little Splatter, Please:”
The game started at noon and ended at 3 with a huge water balloon fight. Unfortunately due to deadline, I missed the end.
Another big challenge I had to overcome was shooting with a D3. Not because of the camera itself, but because of the FX format of the sensor. Instead of my 17-35 being a 24-50mm equivalent, I had to get used to the super wide of the 17. I found that if I placed my zoom at 24, I felt comfortable shooting.
At first, I did try photographing at 17mm and found it too wide. But also, I felt I could get better control of my composition. I did this by getting as close as possible to make the subjects dominate in the foreground with the background a contribution to the theme. Also, by getting close and shooting at f/4 or 5/6, the depth of field was shallow enough to blur the background further enhancing the dominate subject.
New Zombies Line Up:
For most of my exposures, I used the ol’ Sunny 16 rule. I pretty much stayed about at ISO 200 with my aperture at f/4 or 5.6 and shutter at 1/4000 or 1/2000. Very rarely did I stop down to f/8 or 11. I did not feel a need.
Because I was shooting this for The Herald, it was necessary to get correct name spellings and identified everyone I possibly could. It’s not that hard really. Just ask their name and repeat the spelling back, look at an identifier such as color of hair or clothing. Plus, you mostly remember what the photo is about when you ask names.
Goliath vs David:
Little tip: If you have a hard time spelling their name as it’s either complicated or they’re difficult to understand, write it down and show it to them. It makes your job so much easier when you’re editing and captioning the photos.
Thank you for stopping by to read and view my work. Feel free to comment, critique, or just ask questions.
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Paul “pablo” Conrad
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