Preview: Rhythm City Mess Around 2012 – Todd Yannacone & Nina Gilkenson | Andrew Thigpen & Karen Turman

One of the worst things about the winter is the viral bugs floating around. I swear this winter, half of Vancouver population was infected by a super cold virus, and being dancers it’s a wonder how we even remain healthy throughout the year. I predict, we’ll be the one of the first wave of infections when the Zombie Apocalypse takes hold; but I digress.

The one good thing about having a cold is that it forces me to sit back when volunteering for workshops and really focus on taking photos of the event, and boy is it great to hold on to a Nikon D90 once again. Yippee! This time though, I had a manual prime 8mm f3.5 fisheye lens to play with throughout the weekend. From the photos you will see the fun times I had with it. On one hand, the fisheye lens was a breeze to use, point then click, great photo — most of the time. The trickiness about the fisheye is that the field of view is so large, I have to consider so many factors in the way I shoot, other than the distortion.

  • My off-camera flash arm cannot be too far forward
  • Bending my body forward at the hips to avoid my own feet in portrait photos
  • Where the ceiling-bounce flash hits as the area will show up in photos
  • Distance from the subject (you really need to be super close to negate the depth you get in a fisheye)

The results are worth the effort trying to keep track and learn all the tricks on the fly. The next thing I will need to focus on, is nailing the manual focus, and adjusting to using a manual aperture ring as well.

PS. RCMA (Rhythm City Mess Around) 2012 was a blast. The photos above is just a preview of the photos I took that weekend.

All Good Things Come Back to the Start

Andy and Nina taught a workshop in Toronto this weekend. Over three years ago, in Abbotsford, a small city in British Columbia, I attended my very first workshop weekend event called, Swing Summit 2006. That was the event where my obsession really started taking off and where I first took an intensive class for the “swing out”. Two of the featured instructors that weekend where I was taking beginner tracked classes were Andy and Nina. Ahh…