Steven Brokaw Photography

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Can I suggest visiting a dentist?
For the second year I went to the Broad Ripple Zombie Walk exclusively to photograph the event.  This is a really fun event that gives participants the opportunity to get their zombie on and to benefit Gleaners Food Bank.  This year’s event took place the weekend before Halloween.  The event is hosted by IndyMojo.
I would guess about 500 people showed up.  I arrived early and picked up my media pass.  I brought the following kit knowing there would be bright light ending-up pitch black: 

·         Nikon D300s
·         AF-S Nikkor 35mm f/1.8
·         AF-S Nikkor 24-70mm f/2.8
·         AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8
·         Nikon SB-600 speedlight

Soon after I got myself organized people started to show up.  Most came with their zombie make-up already on, or took advantage of the 3-4 makeup artists.  People could get made-up for free at the event.  Early on people simply walked around talking, listening to the DJ, dancing, or just looking at other people’s make-up.  Some people were SERIOUSLY into the event and had amazing make-up.  
Like, "what-everrr"

Seriously, awesome!

Smile for the camera
I started off with a Nikkor 24-70mm lens asking zombies if I could shoot their street portrait.  Everyone was in a good mood and obviously, had absolutely no problem letting me shoot them (sorry, photography them).  After about an hour I switched out to my Nikkor 70-200mm lens so I could get some tighter shots.  While it was still bright outside I shot in Aperture priority with f/stop in the f/2.8 – f/4 range.  The goal was to get shallow DOF for all street portraits.
By the time it got dark the place was hopping & PACKED.  Just like a scene from The Walking Dead.  So cool, and fun to watch everyone get into it.  There were kids, families, young couples, hipsters, older couples, couples with babies, singles, you name it.  The event attracted all types.  And let me tell you, people were seriously getting into their makeup.  Some were professional grade.
Child's Play

Starting 'em young

You looking at me, you looking at me?

Sorry for interrupting your conversation, seriously
Soon after it started to get dark it was time to do the zombie walk.  This is when everyone walks through the streets of Broad Ripple showing off their stuff.  What a blast.  I switched into my Nikkor 35mm, opened the aperture as wide as possible, and mounted my Nikon SB-600.  I used a large diffuser on my speedlight to get soft indirect light.  I know you aren’t supposed to do it, but the speedlight was mounted on the camera.  Please forgive me!  Anyway, I jumped ahead of the horde, parked myself behind a tree and fired away as the zombies walked by.  It was fun.  The only problem I noticed is that I think my focus point must have been off.  I normally shoot center-point focus and recompose, but I think I must have had my focus point to the left of center, because I had about 30% of my images focusing in to the left of my subject.  With such a shallow DOF this was a problem.  However, I took tons of photos so I still got quality images during the walk.
KISS fan

The Corporation is here

Seriously creepy

Time for a mind meld
After about 5-6 hours I called it an evening.  The event was fun and a real photo rich environment.  
After action tips for you fellow photogs: 

·        Learn your camera.  In an event like this you don’t want to be fiddling with your kit.  Especially when it gets dark,
·       Remember, people are made up so they WANT to be photographed.  Take advantage of the opportunity.  Only a few people asked me what I was going to do with their image,
·       Bring good glass.  When it gets dark you need your lens to focus pronto, 
·       Go light.  I wanted to, but still had a full backpack.  After a few hours you start to feel it,
·       Talk to the other photographers.  I chatted up a few photogs that I had seen around, but never met.  I like to talk to people especially if I know there is a common interest.
·       Sacrifice ISO for shutter speed.  This event called for tack sharp.
Portait Time

America's Top Model, zombie-style

Oh no, the military is infected

First Shoot With My Nikon D600

Polaroid 104