Zombies and Rock

Saturday, 3rd November 2012: The initial idea for this journal entry involved writing a real-time story, presenting the progression of an evening of utter idiocy, alcoholic indulgence and photographic luck. A scenario that gave the reader a sense they are living the moment along with the author.

Sadly, I am not a good enough writer to achieve that, so instead, you are getting a Journal entry which describes the vague memories of a very drunken evening in Herne Bay, Kent, UK.

A night of two halves.

I am lucky enough to have some awesome friends, one of these is a councillor in our neighbouring town Herne Bay. Jen E recently informed me that her events team organise a Zombie Crawl event each year; by luck, one of my oldest buddies, just happened to be gigging in a pub on route of said Zombie Crawl.

The result? An extremely hung over and mildly confused Phil. The good news is that somewhere along the way; someone, possibly me, took a ton of photos. Some of them turned out OK, much to my surprise when I finally felt well enough to go through them.

The Kit Bag

For those who care, the A65 and Tamrom 17-50mm f2.8 lens were my weapons of choice. This was also my first chance to play with a new Sony F43AM flash gun. Despite much reading, I’m not confident using a flash. I understand the concept of 2 exposures, and setting levels, but all the buttons on the back of the device, scare the hell out of me….I’m being honest here, don’t laugh.

The Approach

All these things, plus admittedly a couple of beers before hand, resulted in the safe option. I was outdoors on the sea front, taking flash pictures of a procession ‘crawling’ past. The camera went into Auto+ mode and it did all the heavy lifting. I basically snapped photos as quick as the flash could recharge, trying my best to focus on composition, letting the camera worry about the exposure.

The fact that this seems to have worked is probably due to Sony creating a very smart little camera. The auto settings did a good job, and it makes me happy I choose my camera over a Canon/Nikon. I should point out, in case it isn’t blatantly obvious; I’ve spent time plonking about in Lightroom, developing the Zombie shots. In the end, assistance came from a downloaded filter, provided by the very talented Lloyd K. Barnes.

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Once the Zombie crawl was finished, we moved on to a few well needed games of pool, a continuation of beer consumption, and of course, the highly anticipated rock frenzy that is….. KELLY’S HEROS. (You have to write that in capitals, apparently it’s the law.) I took a slightly different approach to photographing these boys. While the Camera stayed in Auto mode, the flash got removed, the beer was increased and the fact that I have managed to salvage 10 shots out of around 150, is pure unadulterated luck…..

After the heavy colour processing of the Zombie photos, I wanted to go in a different direction on this set. Sadly, the lighting and ineptitude of the photographer, ruled out a pure, ‘out of the camera’ approach, so I decided to use some of the processes that I would normally apply to Street photography.  High contrast B&W was the final decision, and I am pretty happy with the result.

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