Last week I had the chance to shoot the second annual Steampact event hosted by Balihoo of Boise to benefit the Family Advocates Program. I shot this event last year, too, and until then I had no idea what steampunk was, or that there is an entire culture behind it. For the uninitiated, Steampunk is a sub-genre of science fiction based on the 19th century era stories of Jules Verne, H.G. Wells, and Mary Shelley. If you're really interested, a quick search will enlighten you or you could read this article from Wikipedia.
I am fascinated with the amount of detail that is put into costumes; guests at the party were enthusiastic about their own work crafting their costumes, and were quite eager to see the others. I'll be first to admit that I'm cautious to adopt anything when it comes to playing dress-up, particularly around Halloween as poor costume experiences over the years had cooled my enthusiasm to the temperature of a modern day Ebenezer Scrooge. I started to soften at last years event, and this year turned me to mush. I am hooked on the genre, and given time in the coming weeks I fully plan to build my own costume. I'm really looking forward to it even if all I do is walk around the neighborhood with my kids.
There was a new addition to this years event, a group of story tellers who use fire as props, and it all fit seamlessly into the nights theme. Unaware they would be performing, my challenge was to shoot the scene without use of a monopod or tripod so I improvised by contorting my body into something stable-like, and shooting at 12,000 ISO, which wasn't pleasing yet it was the only way I was going to be able to pull it off hand-held. Leaving a shutter open from half to a full second may not seem like much, but in photography it is an eternity. The results were pretty fair for my first time, and at the very least guests will be able to recall the show they put on.
The best part of the evening was not so much the party, as great as it was. The party was merely a vehicle to help raise funds for the Family Advocates Program, an organization whose purpose is to help and support children who have been abused. CEO Richard Johnson took a few sobering minutes to remind guests and supporters why they were all there, and for all their revelry, there was captivating silence as he shared touching stories. It was truly moving. I believe they raised 65K for the program, and afterwards we all rested well knowing that those funds will go to help a group of young people who can't advocate for themselves. Until next time.