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Photographing the 2011 Vancouver Zombiewalk

August 21st, 2011 No comments

Each year the Vancouver Zombie Walk gets bigger and more popular. According to the Facebook event page, there were over 6,000 confirmed attendees. I don’t know how many zombies actually showed up, but I suspect more than that!

Many of the zombies also had cameras and smartphones, but with all the amazing costumes and special effect makeup, the event also attracted a lot of photographers and videographers. I was very interested in the gear that they were using! I saw a few people with HD-DSLR rigs and several with off-camera flash set-ups. Others had speedlites with various attachments to help diffuse the light. The flash set-ups were a good way to reduce the contrast by filling in the shadows. I saw one photographer with a vintage twin lens reflex camera (a Rolleiflex I think). There was some very impressive gear!

For those who may be interested, here’s some information about the photos that I took:

I used an Olympus E-30 with the Olympus 12-60 mm lens for wide angle and the 50-200 mm for zoom.

It was a bright sunny day, so I tried to find shady areas and expose for the shade. I also used backlighting and exposed for the shadow side of the zombies using centre-weighted mode. I had the in-body image stabilization and face detection on. I haven’t used face detection very often. I found that it sometimes focused on the wrong place, so I probably will avoid it in the future.  I set the camera to continuous (burst) shooting mode and continuous autofocus. That way I could fire off a bunch of action shots when a zombie started running towards me!

For lighting, I wanted to keep it simple so went with available light only. I used ISO 200 and a wide aperture (around f/2.8 to f/3.5) and a fast shutter speed to minimize the motion blur but also isolate the zombies from the background due to the shallow depth of field. I used the fastest shutter speeds that I could to minimize any blur caused by camera shake.

Here’s my gallery of Vancouver Zombie walk photos on Facebook. If you were at the zombie walk, you might be in the gallery – so feel free to tag yourself and your friends!

Also, feel free to share any links to your zombie walk photos as well as any tips about how you photographed the event. I’m looking forward to Zombiewalk 2012!

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