Archive for May, 2008

Finally, finally

Saturday, May 31st, 2008

Day 139: VA States 16

At long last my photos from the Virginia high school Ultimate Frisbee state championships are up. I wrote about this some time ago; I had to wait on the Ultimate governing body, the UPA, to take a first crack at photos they wished to buy temporary exclusive rights for before I could make my photos public. (Also, it took me 8 long nights or so to finish going through my 3000 images, picking out the best 800, and processing them.) The UPA took a bunch of my best shots, so I can’t show them publicly for a few months.

I’ve put them up on a new site at Zenfolio, which I am using for its e-commerce capabilities. Neither a home-brewed website (like this one) nor a social website (like Flickr) are cut out for that kind of thing. Zenfolio seems like a pretty good service – I haven’t really taken advantage of the customizability because I wanted to get those photos up ASAP, but it seems pretty flexible. Smugmug was the other popular choice, but I just like Zenfolio’s user interface better, not to mention it’s $50 cheaper.

VA States 10

Top photo is #1 seed and eventual state champs Woodside HS celebrating their semifinal win over third-seeded Yorktown/HB-Woodlawn. I decided that I didn’t take enough celebration photos. The emotion on the sidelines during points and all over the field after points is as compelling to me as the action on the field while the game is being played. Next time I’ll do more of that kind of thing.

Photo above is host team and #2 seed LC Bird HS (in black) against Godwin HS in quarterfinals. LC Bird eventually lost a tight game to Woodside in the finals. Finally, the closing photo below is a handler for the LC Bird’s girls’ team, which came in second to the Yorktown/HB-Woodlawn girls team.

Day 138: VA States 6

All 800+ photos are at the aforementioned Zenfolio site, with a small and somewhat random sampling at Flickr as well.

Progressive Nation in the nation’s capital

Wednesday, May 28th, 2008

Day 147: Progressive Nation 30

Dream Theater, Opeth, Between the Buried and Me, and 3 – four prog-rock/prog-metal bands descend on DC’s DAR Constitution Hall. For a writeup of the show from a musical standpoint, check my blog at Ground & Sky.

I’ve never photographed a show at DAR before, so I spent a few minutes wandering around figuring out what to do after arriving a little before 7pm. I picked up my photo pass and then got conflicting instructions from staff about where to go from there. I ended up going through some backstage door and getting led to the stage area by a friendly member of BTBAM (I was too distracted by wondering where the hell I was going to engage him in much conversation, but did find out that he’s one of the members from my hometown, Winston-Salem). He actually led me to the stage itself — and I found myself at the very back of the stage just as 3 were beginning their set. Uh, not exactly what I had planned, but ok. I made my way around the wings and got down to the audience area where I was supposed to be. DAR has no photo pit, but I was told I could shoot from the aisles, and found out later (during Opeth‘s set) that I could also shoot from the front row of seats right up against the stage, which were unoccupied.

The rules were 15 minutes of shooting per band, in lieu of a three-song rule, since three songs for these groups could mean half an hour or more. I was not told not to use flash, but I didn’t anyway. Interestingly – given how the Progressive Nation tour actively encourages fans to share photos through a Flickr group – there were signs posted everywhere saying “no cameras by request of the artists.” This was definitely not a rule that was enforced as there were flashes going off from people’s point-and-shoots throughout the show.

Progressive Nation 04

For 3 and BTBAM, the first two bands, the lighting was surprisingly bad. I was shooting with a rented Nikon 17-55/2.8 and my 80-200/2.8 AF-S, wide open at ISO 3200, and still not getting enough light. I should have pulled out the 50/1.8 but I forgot that I had it in my bag. Oops. As a result, I barely got anything usable from either of these bands, between lacking light and trying to find my bearings inside the venue. There was also one further complication: as I was shooting BTBAM at the very beginning of their set, I got kicked out by a security guard, who saw something he didn’t like on my photo pass – 3 and BTBAM were blacked out on the pass for some reason.

Argh. I went back to the box office, showed the very friendly folks there my confirmation e-mail saying that I was “confirmed to shoot all bands,” waited impatiently, and was told that I had the all-clear and the mix-up had been resolved. Which was much appreciated (seriously, it was – these people were just amazingly helpful), but by that time the 15-minute shooting window had just about closed. So I wandered back into the arena to stand in the wings and enjoy the show without worrying about taking pictures. But then the same security guard who had booted me earlier actually came and got me and told me to shoot the rest of the set, even though the 15 minutes were up. So I did.

Progressive Nation 08

I was still a little off my game, and I’m not really psyched about my photos from BTBAM‘s set, but at least I got to take them. And I definitely appreciate the professionalism of the box office, tour and venue staff in working out that mix-up quickly and effectively.

When Opeth came on, the lighting got better; more dramatic and varied and a little brighter. I was getting a little more comfortable moving around and finding good spots. It was also during this set that a security guard informed me that I could use the (empty) front row of seats to shoot from. So I managed to get some better stuff here; I was able to dial down the ISO a bit from 3200, though I was still underexposing a bit. Got some fun shots that just aren’t possible in smaller venues without the big lighting rigs:

Progressive Nation 14

And some more typical ones:

Progressive Nation 19

But Dream Theater was the real treat. Not only was the lighting by far the best – colorful, ever-changing and extremely bright – but they are also consummate showmen. Also, by this point I was finally comfortable in the venue (I need to work on getting situated way faster) and spent my entire 15 minutes moving to and fro in the front row instead crouching in the aisles, which made all the difference. So, by far my best shots come from this set. In fact, the lighting was so good that I had ratcheted down to ISO 800, was shooting at 1/500 at times and was still overexposing by as much as a full stop sometimes! Which is why I shoot in RAW for concerts… with the changing light you never know when you might catch the exact right moment but with a slightly wrong exposure. Especially when you shoot exclusively in manual as I have taken to doing.

In any case, that’s guitarist John Petrucci at the top of this post; he was probably my favorite subject but here are a few others. Vocalist James LaBrie:

Progressive Nation 37

Ridiculous keytar/guitar duel (yes, folks, this is prog):

Progressive Nation 47

Drummer Mike Portnoy, who kept throwing sticks into the audience:

Progressive Nation 43

And we’ll leave off with bassist John Myung (who is an awesome musician but too often in Dream Theater‘s mixes, both live and studio, gets left off in a different sense):

Progressive Nation 35

Overall, my exposures ranged wildly, from ISO 3200 and 1/60 for the early sets and ISO 800 and 1/400 for Dream Theater. The constantly changing lighting for the last two sets made for a fun challenge. I shot about equally with my 17-55 and 80-200, though with only one body there were times I wished I had the other lens on. On my DX body, the 80-200 was just a little too long as I was right up against the stage; a 50-150 might have served my purposes a little better. Most of my favorite shots were taken with the 17-55 and me literally leaning up and over the edge of the stage. All in all it was a pretty awesome experience, despite my lack of real success until the final set.

Full photoset is here.

More metal concertgoing hijinks

Wednesday, May 21st, 2008

The Sword 4

Last Thursday: Rock and Roll Hotel. The headliners were The Sword, a mildly ridiculous and fairly straightforward stoner-ish metal outfit who sing about things that your average stereotypical nerdilicious prog fan might enjoy. Opening were Philly’s Stinking Lizaveta and show-stealers Torche. The former went on first and played their trademark herky-jerky heavy instrumental prog, complete with weird time signatures and turn-on-a-dime riffing. They pretty much blew the crowd away, which surprised me. Last time I saw them was when they opened for Sleepytime Gorilla Museum at the Black Cat, and I was less than impressed. Their material seemed kind of sterile and contrived (“odd-time riff after odd-time riff,” I said in my review of that show, and little more). It definitely came off better this time, but still, I headed out for a break about halfway through the set and didn’t really feel like I missed all that much.

I’m ashamed to say I’m not familiar at all with Torche‘s recorded output, but I knew there was a good chance they would be my favorite band of the night, just based on everything I’ve read about them over the past year or two. I was right. They fucking crushed. How to describe this show? The first half was accessible, heavy but melodic, nice stuff but nothing extraordinary. I suppose when people talk about this band and say things like “stoner pop” or “pop metal,” this is what they mean. It’s a skewed version of pop to be sure, but I dig it. But the second half of the show, they brought the noise. Honestly, I don’t remember much other than the last song, which was extended out to what was probably 10+ minutes but felt like twice that long. Howling feedback and white noise combined with brutal riffing: I was in a happy place. So was this guy:

Day 136: Torche 3

As for The Sword, pictured above… eh. Color me unmoved. Their records are entertaining enough, but for some reason in the live setting (maybe it had to do with followed the brain-frying performance that Torche gave), their songs seemed remarkably unremarkable. Middle-of-the-road, melodic metal, clean vocals, basic chunky riffs. The crowd was loving it; the show was sold out fergodsakes (seriously? a metal show in DC selling out?) and from where I was standing I couldn’t see anyone who wasn’t pumping a fist. But after photographing the first three songs, I quite happily retreated to my car, where Gaza‘s I Don’t Care Where I Go When I Die awaited me in my CD player. Guess I just like my metal a little more extreme these days.

Photographic notes: the lighting was difficult for this show. Rock & Roll Hotel has some nice backlights above and behind the stage, but for some reason they almost never use the equally nice frontlights that they have. For all three bands I was at ISO 3200, wide open with a 50/1.8, struggling to keep my shutter speeds above 1/80. I really needed faster shutter speeds because all three of these bands were moving around a lot (those damn metal bands, they’re energetic and all). I was right up against the stage, too, with a packed crowd behind me, and the 50mm lens was a little too narrow — really could have used that 17-55 I had a couple weeks ago.

Finally, one unusual thing was that The Sword requested that we (myself, a guy shooting for spin.com and one other dude) only shoot the first three songs. There was also a “no flash” sign on the door, making this the first “three songs, no flash” concert in a small, no photo pit venue that I’ve ever done. Thought that was unusual, but wasn’t a problem. My photos of The Sword weren’t great, but I don’t think shooting for more than the first three songs would have gotten me anything much better. The conditions just weren’t ideal for the equipment I had (or my limited talent, I suppose).

Full set is at Flickr. I’ll leave you with a shot of Stinking Lizaveta‘s Yanni Papadopoulos:

Stinking Lizaveta 3

All is quiet… but not really

Tuesday, May 20th, 2008

Henlopen 97

(Photo unrelated, except it’s an Ultimate photo and this post is sort of about Ultimate. That’s my teammate getting obliterated by a dude who is apparently a former state champion high jumper.)

I’ve been neglecting both my Flickr 365 project and this blog, but it’s not for lack of taking photos. Quite the contrary: this weekend, I shot upwards of 3,000 frames as a sort of official photographer for the Virginia high school Ultimate Frisbee state championship tournament. There were 17 teams at this tournament (13 boys’ and 4 girls’ teams); the boys played pool play on Saturday and elimination play on Sunday, while the girls just did a round-robin on Saturday. I was the only photographer working the tournament and definitely had fun dealing with the logistical challenge of trying to cover all 17 teams, playing on six fields at two separate sites.

I succeeded in shooting every team, though obviously some much more than others (namely the ones who made it to semis). I also got some great shots – about 125 or so that I would be totally happy with on my Flickr stream, and another 700 or so that I like enough that I am willing to make them public for the players, parents and coaches. I can’t put them up yet, though, as per the contract I signed (PDF) with the Ultimate Players’ Association, they get first crack at purchasing any photos they like. For those of you interested in the business end of photography, this is kind of an interesting contract… the UPA doesn’t pay much ($10-25 per photo, or if you manage to land the cover image of the UPA quarterly magazine, $100 – still pretty lowball if you ask me), but their contract is still pretty photographer-friendly in that when they purchase a photo, they only get temporary exclusive rights, and after these rights expire the photographer can do more or less whatever he wants with the photo. All rights to any photos not purchased by the UPA remain exclusively with the photographer.

So anyway… I am processing 800+ photos right now, the UPA is reviewing them, and then they will be up on a website (neither this one nor my Flickr account) for viewing and purchasing. Now you know why I’ve been AWOL. Though I do have a post coming about a show I shot (with limited success) last week – you can already see the photos in an article at Brightest Young Things.

Photo a day

Thursday, May 15th, 2008

Day 132 alternate: Stuck 2

Like so many others at Flickr, I am doing a “photo-a-day” project wherein, for an entire year, I post one photo taken every day. The inspiration behind this came when I realized that I’d had my D70 for over three years and almost never used it. I paid an insane amount of money for that thing (with kit lens, CF card, sales tax and a Best Buy 4-year warranty that I should not have suckered myself into buying, it cost me about as much as my D300) only to have it sit in my closet except for special occasions like parties and Ultimate tournaments? What a waste.

So I embarked on this project, which, unless I screw it up, will have me taking at least one – and usually more like 20 or more – photographs every single day of 2008. And it’s having the desired effect: this year I have been picking up the camera more than ever before, obviously – for evidence, see my comment for my Day 87 photo:

Fun fact I realized today: in the three months since the beginning of 2008, I’ve shot 10,000 photos with my D70. In the 41 months between July 2004 (when I bought it) and the end of 2007, I shot 16,000 total. Uh, you might say this project has me taking way more photos than ever before. (Who knows how many hundreds or thousands of rolls of film I shot in the years preceding my jump to digital, but I sure didn’t shoot anywhere close to this rate…)

But it’s more than that… I’m also flat-out getting better. There are two distinct ways this is happening. One, I’m getting better at shooting in predefined circumstances – concerts, sports, parties, etc. These are events where I know I’ll be taking pictures, and I’m getting better results than before. (The new D300 doesn’t hurt either, at least for fast-action sports and low-light concerts.) Two – and perhaps more significantly – I’m getting better at seeing photographs in my mind just during everyday life. To me this is the real benefit of this project; I look at the world now with more of a photographic eye than I have since first getting into photography.

Day 63 alternate: And so I throw the windows wide

For instance, the back alley behind my office has been a treasure trove of widely varied photographs (such as the above). It’s a dingy, run-down looking place that I never would have guessed would provide so much great visual material. But I’ll be walking through it to or from work and will be glancing around, and all of a sudden a photograph pops into my head. Sometimes I’m able to capture what I envision, sometimes not. But the point is, I’m seeing, in ways I wasn’t before.

On photographing conflict

Friday, May 9th, 2008

Today, I saw a link to this post Could You Be a War Photographer? and it got me thinking. I think that to be an actual combat photographer you have to be slightly insane. Sometimes I think I have a very slight touch of that insanity myself – I frequently want to be right in the middle of the worst stuff going on when I am holding a camera – but then again, the most dangerous things I’ve been in the middle of are spirited protests, and rubber bullets have nothing on the real thing.

Still – in the above-linked post, the author says “War photographers are accused of being adrenaline junkies.” I’m sure this is true to a certain extent. I was involved in the post-Seattle “anti-globalization” (bad name but that’s a different discussion) protests in the early 00s, mostly as a photographer. And even though part of the joy of shooting those demonstrations was that I believed in the cause, another undeniable part was that it was one hell of an adrenaline rush. After spending a weekend in Quebec City in 2001, photographing protesters getting tear gassed and shot at with rubber bullets and water cannon, everyday life seemed kind of drab. (Sorry, most of my photos are on film and sitting at my parents’ house, so this one is the best I can do for now – and besides, I was not nearly as bold then as I am now, and didn’t get nearly the same caliber of shots then as I would now. For the film geeks, this was shot with a Nikon FG and Vivitar Series 1 70-210/3.5 lens, I beileve on Fuji Sensia II 100 transparency film.)

I don’t think this adrenaline junky-ness is good or bad on its own, just a reality. (And as the above photo shows, with the anti-globalization movement it was as much a reality for protesters as it was for photographers.)

Anyway, the point, if I actually have one, is that I have definitely dabbled in the idea of, if not combat photography, conflict photography. There is certainly some appeal for me in the thought of documenting human conflict from a photojournalistic perspective, publicizing the things humans do to one another. I’ve done my research as well, reading up on various folks who do these things and how it has affected their lives and their mental health. There are two things I’d recommend to anyone with even a passing interest in this stuff: one, the documentary War Photographer about James Nachtwey; and two, the book The Bang-Bang Club about four photojournalists who documented the last, violent days of apartheid in South Africa. (A brief excerpt from the latter is available here.)

I particularly recommend the book, which is not elegantly written by any means but is an effective account of just how big a toll violent conflict can be on a photojournalist – not just physically (getting shot = serious toll) but mentally. My mostly-bystander’s fascination with this stuff is in: just what motivates these guys? Why do what they do knowing that they are literally driving themselves insane doing it, not to mention risking getting shot or worse?

I think my fascination is a result of my having read that book and having a bit of empathy with the photographers regarding their answers to those questions.

(note: Headline shot above is from a protest in Washington, DC in September 2001. Subject is the much-disliked assistant police chief for the DC police, Terrance Gainer, who had accidentally been pepper-sprayed by one of his own men. The man on the far right is the police chief, Charles Ramsey. Nikon FG, 24/2.0 AI lens, probably Fuji NPH 400 or Fuji NHG II 800 color negative film. The shot below is from the 2005 Washington, DC protests at George W. Bush’s second inauguration. Nikon D70, kit lens.)

This is why you don’t use cheap filters

Thursday, May 8th, 2008

The 17-55/2.8 lens I rented last weekend for the Epica and Earth shows is an amazing piece of glass. Unfortunately, it came with a cheapo Promaster UV filter screwed on to the front. I have decent multicoated 77mm UV filters that I could have replaced it with, but I was too lazy to, or something, figuring it wouldn’t really make that much of a difference, right?

Well, I should have known better. Given that concert photography involves some wicked backlighting, I should have realized that a cheap filter would be crazy prone to flare in those situations. (Yes, it’s possible the lens caused the flare and not the filter, but hell, a $20 filter on a $1200 lens sure couldn’t have helped.) And so it was, and so it mucked up a few of my shots. This one I liked enough to use anyway:

Into Eternity 3

…but next time I won’t be so freakin lazy.

Sunday night metal

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Earth 9

“Metal” is stretching it a bit, but both of the touring bands I saw last night at Rock & Roll Hotel, Earth and Kayo Dot, have their roots in it – the former in their classic drone-metal albums of the early 90s, the latter in their evolution out of avant/prog-metal group Maudlin of the Well. Still, this was about as different from Saturday’s prog-metal as it could get. Earth plays glacially slow, crushingly loud instrumental music that, were it not for the volume and subtle drone tendencies, could almost be called doomy country & western. Kayo Dot is pretty much uncategorizable, straddling some invisible line between rock and rigorously composed modern classical music. The opener, Stymphalian Birds, was a solo noise/drone act that was surprisingly quite excellent. Needless to say, there was no symphonic metal bombast going on here, no drunken screaming fans, no call-and-response fist-pumping.

Earth was who I’d come for and they did not disappoint. The touring version of this band is a four-piece of guitar, bass, drums, and keys/trombone (trombone very sparingly used on one song only). They played almost exclusively stuff from the new album, The Bees Made Honey in the Lion’s Skull, which was fine by me as I think the album is pretty excellent. Live, their music sounded pretty much identical to the album versions, with one key difference: sheer volume. This stuff, when heard at bone-rattling loudness levels, becomes even more doomy and impactful than on record. Yet it still retains its beauty, with slow, repetitive melodies shining through wonderfully. It was also impressive to watch these guys play so damn slowly – drummer Adrienne Davies (pictured below) especially. I’m sure it takes massive concentration to play these songs, where sometimes there was a full second or even more between individual beats, and they pulled it off easily.

Earth 6

I’ve never been a huge fan of Kayo Dot. I always get the feeling that much of their material is going straight over my head – lots of abstractness and subtlety when I am longing for more intensity. Live, they held my attention better than on record, and it was fun to see just how intricately composed some of the pieces are, with all the musicians either reading from their charts or watching bandleader Toby Driver (below) intently for cues. The majority of the set was very quiet and slow-moving, with a few heavier parts intermingled; calling this band “metal” at this point would be a total misnomer. The pleasant surprise was a stunningly lyrical guitar solo from Driver during the last song – not sure what song it was but it was gorgeous. By that point, it seemed like they had already completely lost some of the audience, though – a couple of the guys in the front row next to me looked noticeably impatient with the whole affair.

Kayo Dot 7

Photographically, this was a tough show to get anything exciting, between the mostly static performers and completely static lighting. At least there was enough light (barely), but it was patchy and strongly hued. This weekend, in fact, I had a first: I blew out the blue channel in several of my photos. I’m used to screwing up and blowing out red highlights, but blue is a new one for me. Still managed to get some decent shots, but nothing as dynamic as Saturday night’s show – which, all things considered, is hardly surprising. I shot wide open with my rented 17-55 again (boy was I sad to return it this morning), between 1600 and 3200 ISO, shutter speeds as high as 1/160 to preserve blue/red highlights, as low as 1/40 at times to try to get the performers who were standing deeper in shadow.

The nice thing about shooting at Rock & Roll Hotel is that, except at completely sold-out shows, it’s relatively easy to move around. I mostly shot from right in front of the stage, but during Earth’s set I moved to the side and slightly behind (which I how I got the headline shot of Dylan Carlson haloed by the spotlights up front). No problems like Saturday at Jaxx where I was pinned to one spot and not even in the front row.

One last Earth shot to close out this post… check out the full set at Flickr for more.

Day 125: Earth

Saturday night metal

Sunday, May 4th, 2008

Epica 12

That Nikon 17-55/2.8 sure came in handy last night. I went to Jaxx in Springfield, VA to see Symphony X, Epica and Into Eternity on the last gig of their current tour. This was a sold-out show, and I made a crucial mistake: I didn’t show up early enough. When I got to the club at 8pm (the scheduled start time on the website), one of the local opening bands was already playing, with a sizable crowd in front of the stage. I managed to negotiate my way to the second row or so before the next local support band came on, but it was still a less than ideal spot, and I was stuck to it the whole time with no chance to move around. Note to self: for sold-out shows at venues with no photo pit… get there WAY earlier than I think is necessary.

I came away with some good shots anyway, I think, and the 17-55 was a dream to shoot with. The wide angle was absolutely necessary in the tight quarters I had to work with, and I was able to get some shots that took advantage of my position right in the middle of the crowd. Also, the lighting was fantastic, and I didn’t ever have to pull out the 50/1.8 – in fact, I was often shooting at 1/200th or faster at ISO 1600. I was in manual exposure mode the whole time, changing shutter speed (and occasionally ISO) on the fly with the changing light. I’m more used to shooting small venues where the lighting is mostly static, so this was a fun challenge and I’m happy with how I handled it.

Of these bands I’m mostly a fan of Epica; I used to really like Symphony X but I moved away in large part from the prog-metal type stuff, oh, five or six years ago. Unfortunately, Epica was missing their inimitable frontwoman Simone Simons, who has been ill for some time now. Amanda Somerville, Simons’ voice coach, filled in, and her voice was remarkably similar to Simons’. She seemed comfortable on stage with the band as well, which I suppose makes sense since it was the last gig of the tour.

Epica 6

All the bands put on very good performances. I did not shoot Symphony X. For the last couple songs of Epica’s set, some dude who probably weighed 200 pounds more than me decided to shove his way up front and lean his entire weight into me while pumping his fists and screaming. I pretty much had to stop shooting and brace myself against the stage railing (doing the folks in front of me a favor). After Epica’s set, he didn’t move, and I decided to find a different spot. Unfortunately, that proved impossible, the crowd was so densely packed. So I retreated to the bar and enjoyed Symphony X from afar. I’m a little bummed about not shooting them, but I had already almost filled up my two 4GB cards anyway. And I was tired. So… shrug. Still, lesson learned… show up early when there’s no photo pit. Shooting from the front row is WAY easier and better than shooting from the second row.

One final note: the bands were unruly themselves, it being their final show. It was actually kind of hilarious; they were throwing food and other things (silly string, as in the below photo of Into Eternity’s guitarist) at each other during the sets. It was cool to see these guys having so much fun, and in front of a very appreciative crowd to boot.

Into Eternity 6

My favorite shot of the night is probably this one, of one of the local openers, Tolerance for Tragedy. Very metal:

Tolerance for Tragedy 1

Hooray for renting

Saturday, May 3rd, 2008

Day 123: End of the season

One of the nice things about living in a city is that there’s a place where I can rent camera gear that I couldn’t otherwise afford right now. Enter Penn Camera, from which I have rented a Nikon 17-55/2.8 AF-S DX lens, normally a $1200 piece of gear, for the royal sum of… $30 for the weekend.

This is primarily for the two concerts I’m shooting this weekend, but I also got a chance to play with it when I went to an NBA game tonight (the last game of the Wizards season, alas, as they lost Game 6 to Cleveland). It’s a fun chunk of glass, to be sure. At some point I’ll definitely be investing in a normal zoom with a constant f/2.8 aperture, though the Tamron or Sigma options are way, way cheaper than the Nikon and thus more likely.

As I was in the nosebleeds, 55mm wasn’t going to get me any action shots, so I had fun taking photos like the one above instead.

And I also wandered around outside the arena both before and after the game, doing a little more street-style photography. I’m not totally psyched about anything I got; this one below is probably my favorite (hmm, what is it with cigarettes and black & white photos?). Also, as a side note, a bunch of people actually yelled at me or tugged my shirt to get me to take photos of them. I tell you, this whole street photography thing is a fascinating experience.

After the game 3