Last week was the CON. That’s what the San Diego International Comic Con is known as to those of us that go every year. I have been going to the The Con since the mid 1980’s and while it has morphed and grown over the years into a huge marketing tool for movie and television studios, there is still enough comic books, costumed attendees, art, books, games, and animation, along with the TV shows and movies to keep anyone entertained.
The Con kicks off officially on Thursday morning, but on the Wednesday night, they open the expo hall floor to professionals, press, and those attendees lucky enough to get a 4-day pass with the preview night ticket. It is supposed to keep the numbers down, making it easier to get around. Not sure how many people where there on Wednesday night, but it seemed like a lot. Here are a couple of the images from that preview night.
Superman was out greeting the TV crews while the industry professionals lined up waiting to get their credentials.
Every year, the same banners hang in the convention center and every year I am compelled to photograph them. Love the repeating symmetry.
Some incredible makeup was being applied. I kept checking back in to see the full transformation. Quite stunning.
There are lots and lots of figurines, toys and other small pieces of plastic and pewter. The challenge in photographing them is that they are nearly always inside a glass or plastic enclosure. I usually try to get as close to the glass as possible and turn off the flash.
There are still actual comics at the Con. Not as many as in previous years, but they are there. These are the slightly more expensive comics.
I really love taking photos of people dressed as characters doing things that the character would never do. Like a predator taking shooting video. For some reason, this appeals to me.
There is a lot of cheap plastic crap.
There was a giant booth dedicated to selling dice of all types and sizes. No, I did not buy any.
The detail in the collectable figures os stunning. Again shot through the glass and you can see the reflection of the surrounding area on the right side of the image. The idea was to use the reflection as an element in the image.
Checked back in with the makeup people. They do amazing work.
There are some things I just don’t understand. This is one of them. Yet, I see them here year after year, so people must want to spend $25 on a dead teddy bear.
Costumes everywhere. Even on the preview night.
The makeup was finally done. Really impressive job. They basically took a guy who was half my size and turned him into a great version of Apocalypse.
Preview night was over. The convention center looks rather peaceful, one TV crew outside, traffic flowing, and a small crowd outside. The real action kicks off on Thursday.
Thursday kicked off with Kevin Faulkner, San Diego Mayor, riding the Gotham zip line and holding a press conference to kick off the 2014 San Diego Comic Con International. The Mayor, along with Todd Gloria and Comic Con Director of Marketing David Glanzer all spoke for a few minutes about the size and scope of the convention.
The Mayor takes a test run on the zip line. Looks like he is having fun
Safety first. The Mayor gets harnessed for his zip line run.
San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulkner and Todd Gloria zip line in to kick off the 2014 Comic Con.
With my first assignment done, I headed off to the convention center to stop in at the 24 panel. On the way I ran into the new dynamic duo on the WB, The Green Arrow and Flash.
Ballroom 20 is one of the biggest rooms at the Con, with hall H being the only one bigger. The 24 panel was the first of the day and, it turns out, the only time I would step foot into ballroom 20 for the entire convention. It is a big room and press is limited to where they can shoot from. I tried to capture a few different angles, including a view from the back of the room, trying got show the size. It’s big… really big.
Since I didn’t really have to be anywhere until the afternoon, I spent the rest of the day wondering around taking in the sights as I headed over the the Sleepy Hollow interactive zone. Last year I spent a lot of time with the Sleepy Hollow crew and wanted to see how it was going this time around.
There are always protesters… and counter protesters.
The last assignment for Thursday was to capture the Gotham branded Uber cars getting ready to head out into the city. they were staged in a garage where the drivers got some hands on training and the Gotham City Police cars got decked out. It is not easy shooting in a big empty space with everyone in a big rush. We moved the cars into position and used the available light in the garage.
Then as the drivers got underway I captured them leaving the industrial zone on their way downtown. A really tough shoot just due to the crazy time schedule. In the ends, I had about 2 minutes to shoot.
The final image for the day was this Gotham branded trolly going by as I waited for a ride home so that I could make it over to the Valley View Casino Center to photograph the last SD Aviators game of the season.
All the photos were taken with a Nikon D4 and Nikon D700 camera bodies and the 20-35mm, 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses and recorded on Sony XQD and HoodmanRaw CF cards.
Part 2 coming soon