Had the pleasure of photographing James Dempsey and the Breakpoints at Apple’s Worldwide Developers Conference (WWDC). This year’s performance was held at The Ritz in San Jose, which was a smaller venue than at the City National Civic in 2017. While it made for a more intimate venue, there was far less space to roam around as a photographer; and, The Ritz was dark! Still, I think I managed to get some decent photos from the concert, a few of which you can see below.
This past Saturday, Petrice, Rae and I attended the 10th Annual Edwardian Ball in San Francisco. The event was held in the Grand Ballroom at the Regency Center, which was — in my opinion — a better venue than the other ones we’ve been to in the past: The Great American Music Hall in 2007 and the Cat Club in 2005.
In place of the top hat and corsets from previous years, Rae and I decided to wear our Qing Dynasty era costumes from our documentary film Autumn Gem. Fortunately for us, these outfits were from the same timeframe of the Edwardian Era (turn of the century, 1900s). We received several, “Your costumes are great!” comments from people in attendance. Rae and I had just watched the pilot for Caprica, and I remarked to her that it felt like we were in the virtual nightclub from the beginning of the episode!
Although I took a few photos during the event, I concentrated mainly on video Saturday night. Between all the waltzing, the crazy costumes and the on-stage performances, there was plenty of great moments to capture. The off-stage lighting was quite dim, making focusing a challenge. For those interested in technical details, I shot the video with my Canon EOS-5D Mark II camera, 24/1.4, Nikkor 50/1.8, 135/2 lenses, and a Zacuto Tactical Shooter with the Z-Finder eyepiece attachment.
On Sunday, Facing East Dance & Music held its tenth anniversary benefit party at Uptown Body and Fender in Oakland. Aside from fixing cars, the proprietor, Giovanna, also uses her building to showcase the local arts scene. The venue was fantastic for the party and would make a good screening location for our film too. Catering was provided by Leslie Masler from Just Delicious, and the food was indeed scrumptious and wonderful. Rae especially liked the nectarine slices and I enjoyed the orzo salad.
It was great to see so many of the Facing East dancers at the event, though many of them were unfamiliar to us. It’s been awhile since Rae last danced for FEDM. As you know, we’ve been busy with our documentary film, Autumn Gem. Count Aileen, Claudine, Perry (she’s so tall now!), Elizabeth, and of course Sue Li-Jue, among the dancers we enjoyed reconnecting with.
Rae and I went to the SmugMug holiday party this evening. It was great to run into people from COBA, Stanford, and Eye-Fi. In fact, according to Ziv, one of the founders of Eye-Fi, there were several photographers using Eye-Fi Cards to wirelessly transfer the photos directly to SmugMug’s servers on the Internet, including the pro who took our photo above. How cool is that? SmugMug recently launched some wicked cool features to the site today. I’m really impressed with the way they can dynamically resize images on the fly. The old design looked mighty cramped on my 30″ display; the new one makes great use of available screen real estate now.
After the party, Rae and I went to the Apple Store, where I picked up the new aluminum wireless keyboard using my iPhone early adopters $100 credit. In my quest to declutter, the new keyboard will remove one more wire from my desk. I do miss the numeric keypad and the large arrow keys, but I think that I’ll get used to keyboard in no time. I’m looking forward to contributing a photo of my workspace to the Unclutterer Flickr Pool, but I have a bit more work to do under the desk. There are still a few too many loose wires visible at the moment.
Several months ago, I shot Facing East Dance & Music during the Third Annual Trolley Dances, a “freewheeling San Francisco festival of modern dance!” Four dance companies, Kunst-Stoff, Facing East Dance and Music, Janice Garrett and Charles Moulton, and Epiphany Productions performed at four different locations along the Embarcadero on the N-Judah MUNI line.
Facing East’s performance was called Sea Wall. The movements are based on the elements of the sea, including rocks, tides, and waves. Rae and company performed Sea Wall sixteen times over the course of just three days! Every forty minutes, the MUNI train arrived with a new audience, giving the dance group about twenty minutes to rest, relax, and eat yummy snacks.
Having multiple performances in one day meant that I could be a little more experimental in my photography. I was also able to use a 400/DO lens for some of the shots. That’s a beast of a lens, and I must admit that I have much practice to do before I get comfortable shooting with such a long lens.