This past weekend, the Sisters of Mercy in America held a Rally for Refugees and Immigrants. It was the first rally of it’s kind in the area since the new administration took. Politics aside, we thought it would be a good chance to grab some 360 photos with the Theta S. We also snapped some regular stills so the organizers would have some photos to share from the day.
While the day was cold a windy, it was a bright blue sky, which was great for the Theta S. It works really well in the low light test we’ve put it through, but had yet to really test it with a bright sun. Usually, you can place the sun in front of your subject for better exposure and not have to worry about the camera underexposing your subject. With a 360 camera, the sun and subject are both going to be captured.
The Theta S performed pretty well. If you take a spin around the images, you can see that the sun is blown out, but the Theta S does a good job of evening the image exposure. The rest of the image isn’t too dark and the sun isn’t too blown out.
The Theta S is the only 360 photography camera we’ve tested so far, but we’re working on getting a Samsung 360 to shoot with as well. Now that we’ve found a WordPress plugin that allows us to display 360 photos on the site, we’ll publish more test and blogs with images.
Below are some of the still images from the rally as well. Our buddy Richard Baldovin of Trifocal Productions also came out as well and shoot video of the event and speakers. You can see them over on his Facebook Page
and became a videographer, I was a budding amateur photographer. Even though I failed my first official photography class (still upsets me) I knew that visual storytelling was my passion. At the same time, I transitioned from being a DJ to a radio Disc Jockey.
It was a rough transition at first. I’m just old enough that when I used to say I was a DJ, people assumed I worked with turntables and vinyl. I worked with a few companies, mainly doing weddings and parties. Nothing B-Boy style, but it was fun working in front of a crowd as opposed to a being in a sound proof booth. But music was music, so I made it work.
It may sound weird, but all of my injuries lead me working into media. When I was finally sidelined I began broadcasting games. If I wasn’t calling a game I was shooting it. Eventually, I switched from sports coverage to focusing on music and that was it. I still dabbled (and still do) in working live sports, but music and music photography had taken hold. A few years later an internship had me standing behind a studio camera at a local PBS station. The dark side had won.
While I lamented being in TV and was still convinced I’d end up as an audio engineer, I did secretly enjoy shooting moving images. It was more forgiving than photography (which was still film) and allowed you to correct yourself. To this day I can still remember the exact moment I knew shooting video was my destiny. Our studio show included live musical performances. There was a little old woman playing the piano. She was at least 65 and it was a slow piece of music. The director was calling for shots and wanted something creative. I noticed I was at an angle in which I could frame the woman playing the piano with the reflection of her hands on the underside of the grand piano’s lid. I framed it up and heard over the headset “Camera 3 (me) that shot is amazing…unfortunately, it’s a bit much for this piece.” I zoomed in so you could just see the reflection and began a slow zoom out that ended with her, the piano and her reflected hands. “Stand by to take Camera 3, take Camera 3! 3, are you sure video isn’t your things. That was pretty damn good”
That was it. I officially became a videographer that day. I’ve since gone on to shoot photo and video in various forms, but music has always been where it started.
One of my big goals for 2016 was to get back to my roots. Music, storytelling and just plain shooting. A good friend of mine is the bassist for National Anxiety, a local Wilkes-Barre band, and wanted some photos at a punk show he was playing. I figured, why not…got to start somewhere. It was an amazing time. While a little rust at first, I found my groove and had a great time. Having only moments to get a shot and tell the story of the band and their music is an amazing rush. It was truly the push I needed to kick off 2016. I ended up shooting two bands that evening and decided to revamp my band photography to try to get more gigs booked. It’s working pretty well so far!
Moral of the story, if you’ve been at this for a while and find yourself in a rut…get back to your original passion. Think back to when this was fun and go do that again. Even if you don’t make a dime on it, do it anyway. Sometimes we need to remember why the hell we got into this crazy business. If you’re new at it, find a passion. Find something that you love to shoot and shoot the hell out of it. And never forget what it is and how it makes you feel. As you grow and get better…every now and then, come back to that passion. It’s a great way to keep you motivated and get you out of a rut.
11 bands, 11 hours… all to support the local community. That was the goal of Peculiar Culinary Company in hosting their first Peculiar Music Festival. The event was to support the revitalization of Jefferson Park in Pittston, PA and they raised $3,600 for renovations in the Fred Demech Bldg!
Park, our foodie counterparts Whiskey Bacon and many other sponsors and vendors were on hand to help support the effort and make the day a success. We donated event photography and videography services for all the bands that performed. Peculiar got professional photos and videos of the event and the bands now have some great media to use to promote themselves. Everyone wins..yes, including us. Park likes to pick a few events a year to donate services to, for many reasons.
The obvious is it helps raise our awareness and company profile. If the community sees us out and about supporting them, hopefully they will support us as a small business. Also, it offers a service that some can’t afford. To hire a media company to cover an 11 hour fundraiser would be counter productive. All the funds would go to cover the event and not the cause. This way the fundraiser (and in this case the bands) gets a professional media product to help support them.
The big one though, is we support and believe in giving back to our community. We’ve donated our services a few times over the last year, to groups we really felt were doing great work and the real payback is seeing the pride others take in the community and themselves. From editing videos for the 2013 class of Leadership Wilkes-Barre, to taping the 2012 NEPA BlogCon, we’ve seen that our local community really takes pride in itself and is capable of amazing things!
Obviously we can’t donate our editing or event photography and videography services to everyone, but when we do, we do it to help support Wilkes-Barre and its surrounding communities. Each time, we’ve had a blast and look forward to partnering with other organization in the future. If you our your organization have some ideas, please feel free to contact us and we’ll see what we can do. Otherwise, take sometime to check out the pictures and amazing performances for the Peculiar Music Festival and keep an eye our for it next year!