I wonder if there’s any coming back this time

MomoCon was this past weekend, and I didn’t go at all, even despite future wife and I having free badges, courtesy of a friend who worked for the con.  We had a lot of wedding decorations to do over the weekend, which consumed pretty much the entire three-day weekend, but the thing is that even if we had no plans, I can’t say that I really would’ve gone anyway. 

I didn’t really know of that many people who were going that I’d have wanted to hope to run into.  And frankly, I had little desire to fight the traffic to go into Downtown Atlanta on a holiday weekend, and I didn’t really feel much desire or inspiration to get my camera out and take pictures of costumers.

The thing is, this time last year, I was in a position where I had wanted to go to MomoCon, but couldn’t, because I had to entertain guests in from out of town.  I had undeniable FOMO as the weekend trucked along and I wasn’t there and I was disappointed that I didn’t get to go when the weekend had passed.

However this year, I felt no FOMO at all, and I simply didn’t care that didn’t go.  I thought maybe it’s because my weekend was so booked up was why I felt that way, but as I said, there’s no guarantee that I would’ve gone in the first place even if I had the free time.

What I’m getting to is that I think I’m over conventions again.  I say again, because for those who’ve known me for a long time, might remember a stretch of time where I was kind of burned out on conventions, and I really stopped going and actively sought out alternative things to do during them so I could deliberately distance myself from them.  There was part of me that was just being a hipster about things growing in popularity, and there was another part of me that was growing jaded by the increasing notion that conventions were turning into vehicles for attention-starved narcissists to be fake, and some really unsavory clique culture forming.

I eventually got excited about them again, because I had a lot of friends who started becoming the people that ran them, and gave me a little bit of preferential treatment if I showed up to them, and that I also had other friends who were very inclusive of adding me to their costume groups and gave me real drive and objective to wanting to participate and attend.  For a couple of years, cons were fun again, and I was enjoying them again.

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Sad, but understandable

TL;DR: Canon CEO admits that they can’t really compete with the burgeoning mobile photography demographic

There’s a defiant change-resisting part of me that wants to erupt in a knee-jerk reaction and proclaim that cell phone cameras may saturate the world of photography now, but they’ll never compete with the quality of a traditional camera!  Honestly though, I don’t really feel like I can however.

Not only have cell phone cameras really closed the gap in capabilities of even the most bulky and expensive DSLR cameras out there, I also fall into the demographic that’s kind of tired of lugging around a brick with a heavy lens that’s cost me nearly $2 grand and is fragile as shit.  At the time I’m writing this, I have an embarrassingly large backlog of photos that I haven’t processed because they’re RAWs, and I typically do them one at a time, but the thing is I don’t have as much free time anymore as I used to, and I’ve got over half of my last European vacation photos to go through, as well as starting the photographs I took at Dragon*Con many months ago.

I don’t regret investing in a decent camera and investing even more in a bunch of expensive lenses; among the thousands of photos I’ve taken over the last decade, I’m sure I’ve got at least a handful of good ones that made it all worth it.  But the fact of the matter is that looking towards the future, I know that I’ve gotten more and more tired of lugging around “gear,” all for the sake of accomplishing what the modern cell phone is getting closer and closer to accomplishing.  Even during my last day in Germany a few months ago, one of the most liberating things was the fact that I had decided to not bring my camera with me, and to just go out and enjoy Munich without it.

Although I’m often behind the times when it comes to cell phones, mostly because I still don’t really consider my mobile device as my primary camera, and I don’t feel like keeping up with the Joneses and constantly updating and upgrading to the newest and latest and greatest phones because I want a better camera, I really do understand the general appeal of mobile device photography.  It’s literally going from your pocket to your hand, and you’re getting amazingly decent results from a few taps onto the screen.  There’s no wheels to turn, F-stops to adjust, no white to balance.  In the matter of seconds, a competent photo could be taken, as opposed to the vastly longer time it takes to configure a camera for the same result.

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Photos: A couple of engagement pictures

[2020 note]: because mythical now-wife and I wanted to unload most of our wedding budget on stuff like hiring a baller photographer and getting the best catering we could (that we ourselves were barely were able to eat), engagement photos were one of those things that we kind of took a DIY approach.  I’ve got an okay camera with a few okay lenses, and in the end, we only needed like 1-2 good photos to use, so we took it upon ourselves to orchestrate our own shoot on a cold-ass December afternoon like the geniuses we are.

And then we went to get some beer at Gate City Brewery in Roswell, to where it turned out to be a good place to take a few shots there as well, because we’re classy folks.

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Photos: Dragon*Con 2018

[2020 note]: this is unposted content from 2018’s Dragon*Con.  I actually sat on these photos for nearly two full years, because as my post-2018 Dragon*Con post alluded to, I had kind of a forgettable time, and I skipped out in 2019 to zero regrets, and had no plan on going to 2020, even if coronavirus weren’t a thing.

It wasn’t until I began to chronologically catch up to Dragon*Con 2018 did I realize that I never touched the RAW photos, and I broke my posting stride just to make sure that these didn’t slip through the cracks and never get posted.

Looking back at these photos, the sheer fact that there are only 60 photos should be sign enough of just how unenthused my heart was going into this convention.  I used to want to shoot hundreds of pictures, but a combination of my inability to enjoy the con, not really seeing things that make me want to shoot, and I guess being at the wrong places at the wrong time to not see the things I wanted to see, leads to a really small photo count.

But it’s the ones with friends that matter the most, and ultimately I’m okay if there’s more of those photos than of people I don’t necessarily know.

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They were never uncool, you hipster douches

full disclosure, this is a 2020 photo, since I left photo direction on the original word doc, which explains my quarantine hair that’s all white.

Impetus: Instagram losers start community dedicated to photos taken with older digital cameras, claiming they’re cool again; but the question is, were they ever uncool in the first place?

It’s articles like this disenchant me from photography.  Some arrogant photography snobs on the internet dictate on what’s cool and what’s not, and thousands of idiot sheep with no capability of independent thought buy in, and because perception is reality, it perpetuates this cycle where others fall in place, and suddenly things are cool, and things are uncool at the drop of a hat. 

For lack of a better term in context of the related link, I’ll go ahead and call them digicams: portable, brick-sized-or-less, point-and-shoot cameras.  Not DSLRs, the big, clunky cameras with detachable lenses that cost more than car payments, or any other cameras that act like Polaroids without actually being called Polaroids.

But anyway, there’s apparently an Instagram community dedicated to photography shot on old digicams, and how they’re declaring that they’re cool again.  Leading me to beg the question, when were they ever uncool in the first place?

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Photos: Globe Life Stadium, home of the Texas Rangers

[2020 note]: this is unposted content back from 2018, of my trip to Dallas, Texas, to visit my brother, but also to knock out the last ballpark in my journey to visit every single MLB team.

It only took 11 years to accomplish, and by this time, my fandom was pretty unenthusiastic due to the Braves sucking all the enjoyment out of baseball over the last few years, but I wasn’t about to give up on a quest that was so close to being completed.

When I started, it was still called The Ballpark in Arlington, but as is often the case with modern baseball parks, corporate naming rights swoop in and take all character out of these venues, and Globe Life was no exception to the rule.  But for what it’s worth, it was a fine baseball establishment, nice scenics, good backdrops, and most importantly, a pretty epic $27 chicken sandwich, and I enjoyed my time there spent with my brother and his wife.

I think I made the right call by having this one be last in the journey.

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