Sunday, December 7, 2008

Merry Christmas - 200 Santas Style

If you ask me a couple of days what I was doing this weekend, you probably would have received the answer that I was thinking of bailing on a volunteer photo job in order to ice and stretch a sore achilles tendon I strained earlier in the week. Thank goodness I didn't or I would have missed what has got to make the top-5 events that I have photographed. 200 hundred Santas, 7 bars, and unseemly amounts of alcohol converged into what has to be one of the funnest and funniest events of the year. The 2nd Annual Santa Granby Street Bar Crawl was founded to raise money for ALS. It truly was an awesome night out.

Iso 800, f/4.0, 1/80, 29mm

What is amazing about photography is that every shoot I end up learning something new, either technical, technique, or simply creativeness. Last night was no exception. The first thing I learned was to be seriously humbled by the power of the Nikon SB-900 (coupled with the D300). We (and when I say we, I mean me and 200 Santas!) started off at Hell's Kitchen (and yes, the irony of a Christmas function starting at Hell's Kitchen is not lost on me) before moving on to Velvet. In between, I was thrown a curve ball. My buddy Shawn that invited me to this little soiree had told me that he wanted a group photo. I assumed that he meant OUR group. Imagine my shock when 200 Santas grouped up across the street from the bar for a "group" photo. Snikeeessss!

Iso 800, f/3.5, 1/60sec, 18mm

I took a couple of deep breaths and stepped into the middle of Granby Street armed with only the camera and a single strobe. Even more, the strobe was pointed straight up and being bounced off of a Lumiquest diffuser. I thought momentarily about taking the Lumiquest off, using straight flash; but for some reason, I didn't, not really sure to be honest. While we held up traffic, I snapped 4 shots, hoping to heck that there may be something I could salvage after the fact or bury depending on just how bad it turned out.

Iso 800, f3.5, 1/60, 18mm
Wow! That's really all I can say about the true power of the SB-900! A single strobe, BOUNCED off of a Lumniquest reflector, lit the entire group perfectly. I've seen - geez, I've done - group photos on a smaller scale with multiple strobes that did not turn out nearly as good as these shots did. I'm utterly amazed!

As for the rest of the night.... you can check it out in the 2008 Santa Bar Crawl gallery. Next entry should be on using rear-sync flash for event photography. You would be surprised that a large number of the photos in this gallery were shot using a shutter speed of 1/3 seconds, not to mention the rest were at 1/40 sec! Very cool. Happy holidays!


Shannon said...

Did you pass out your business cards this time? Please say you did!?!


Jill Beninato said...

Looks like you suffered through this one Travis...