Saturday 24 May 2014 – ComicCon, London.
I cannot believe it has been over a month since I last wrote a post, I also find it hard to believe that I have not done anything in that time that I found blog-worthy – though it must be true as there are no posts. I have been pretty busy though, there seems to always be a lot happening. I did start a project to photograph all the remaining sections of London’s Roman walls and thought I had finished until I found a blog post that showed I had missed a fair few pieces. If it stops raining in the coming week I will get out there and finish it off before I start the next project on my list.
A few weeks ago my mate Steve asked me if I wanted to go to ComicCon at the ExCel Centre and take some photos, I have never been to a comic festival before so immediately said yes, something completely different to my normal activities.
I have been suffering from some minor back pain for a while so decided I would not take the big camera as I get a sore back from lugging it around. I took the small Panasonic, which was a decision I really regretted at the end of the day. I took a lot of photos and deleted most of them as the focal point on the camera was not in the centre where I thought it was, I had knocked it out to one side. This meant that virtually all my photos were badly out of focus – gutting ! It was my fault; I have never really gotten into the habit of closely checking photos when I take them – “chimping”. I glanced at them to see if I had exposure set correctly, but without my reading glasses on everything is sort of blurry anyway. Mistake – oh well. Lessons learned – when taking photos of people in low light environments use the Canon, or learn how to take photos properly with the Panasonic first.
Steve and I had arranged to meet at the ExCel at 10:00 but I got there really early as I badly over-estimated how long it would take me to get there. The train ride in was interesting as the carriage was jammed, with half the people in weird and wonderful costumes, some I recognised – most I didn’t. It must have been a surreal experience for those on the train who did not know what was going on.
I grabbed a coffee and stood on the concourse from the station and watched the crowds go past.
Slowly and surely I was forced further and further back by the crowds as I tried to maintain a position where Steve could easily find me, until finally I was right back at the end of the concourse and just waited in the crowd. I was really surprised at the amount of people here!
Steve arrived on time and we slowly made our way into the venue, past some pretty serious security.
We finally made through the front gate into the centre itself, where we split into two groups, those with priority tickets, like us – and those without. Those without had to queue downstairs.
While we went into the exhibition centre itself – into another mass of people waiting to get their tickets checked.
Once through the ticket barrier I assumed it would be all go. No – there was the wrist band barrier to go through next.
Finally after an hour and a half of queuing we were in !!
I had no idea what to expect inside, I knew there would be stands and normal exhibition type stuff and I knew there would be people dressed as their favourite character, but I was surprised at the amount of people in costume – and I thought it was all rather cool. Most people would pose for photos if asked and there were (I am assuming) a number of professionals posing in all the well lit locations. There were a lot of photographers!
The exhibition itself was not that interesting for me, I am not a comic guy or gamer, so a lot of the references were meaningless, though of course there was still plenty of familiar things – like Cyanide and Happiness – I like how “The Joker” is buying something…
There were stands from some of the big boys in the genre, like Transformers and Dr Who.
Along with live comic drawings.
Loads of large weapons – luckily there was no bag search !
And weird stuff for sale.
After walking round, the rather disappointing, exhibition areas for a while Steve and I hung out in the couple of locations were the light was good and took photos, which in my case were mostly rubbish, though I saved a few for the sake of documenting the event.
Yay – R2D2 !
Even evil gods like Loki need some time out to keep their social media feeds updated…
I left just after 2:00 and headed outside and was completely surprised to see hundreds of people out there. I had read on the event program about loads of meet-ups for the various fan clubs and here there were in the all their costumed glory. Perhaps we should just stayed outside !!
It was a fun day out, I was disappointed that some zombie facial close-ups I took were just terrible, along with a load of other out of focus shots. You would think I would have learned this lesson before now, but no – I haven’t!
I will definitely go again, but will just hang out outside – where the real action is.
Thanks Steve, I look forward to seeing some of your photos – no pressure 🙂
I made it home just before the rain hit!