As promised, here are photographs from the Steampunk fashion show at the Steampunk Carnivale. I’m a stranger in the world of high fashion, so those of you who belong to that world will have to forgive some of my ignorance as I write this – and maybe enlighten us via comments at the end. It’s mystifying to me, other than the interest in the moment what purpose fashion shows serve. It was fun and if that’s what we’re going for, it worked.
It’s not just this show, but often the ones I see from New York or Paris that prompt me to think, “OK, that’s stunning/attractive/sexy/shocking, but who’s going to wear it in the real world? The answer has to generally be “no one.” Perhaps in most cases and maybe more specifically in this case it might be thought of as performance art, with the primary art being the designs. At least that makes more sense for me.
This also marked the first time I had photographed a fashion show, which was quite a learning experience. Taking photographs all night was a challenge for someone who doesn’t claim to be an actual photographer. For one thing, the event started at 7:00 PM, so the light increasingly disappeared and changed constantly for the first couple of hours.
Added to the challenges, the event happened under an interstate highway, making it darker in some spots – but not all spots. That’s because of the street lights positioned underneath the road. This meant that any shot might be lighted from the back (bad) or in complete darkness (worse) or in harsh light (not good, either).
The fashion show took the lighting dilemma to another level. I’ve learned not to use a flash because of the harshness it produces in the absence of a better flash than I currently own. Not so all the approximately ten million photographers all around me. Flashes erupted constantly in every direction. This meant that no matter how I set my camera, I had no idea from one second to the next what light would be provided. It may be very dark if no one was flashing or produce a pure white exposure if several people flashed.
So I employed a trick I learned from Tom Geisler in my photography class. I set it the best I could, set the camera to “continuous shooting” and let it fly. Somewhere buried among the over and under exposures was often a usable photograph thanks to someone else’s lighting. It wasn’t always true, so some photographs here are clearly better than others. Still, thank goodness for digital photography.
At the end of the night I’d taken over 460 photographs. I pretty easily cut those in half, then down to around eighty decent pictures. In the end, you’ve seen my best fifty or so between yesterday’s post and today’s. If anyone wants to throw in several thousand dollars to the cause I can buy a better lens or two and a flash that would be serviceable. Until then, I’ll just continuously shoot, I suppose.
The carnival didn’t end with the fashion show. A burlesque show, a video screening and more ran on into the night. But I didn’t. Tired and facing a trip to Atlanta the next morning, I decided to call it a night. I had a great time and and I really appreciate exploring a different world than my (or most anyone’s) day-to-day life. A special thanks go to Virginia Adams bugged me to go and who saw to it that my entire blogging staff attended at no cost.