King’s Affair 2014

While most colleges hold May Balls, the King’s College instead hosts a June Event. The event takes place in the same week, but differs from the other parties in that the dress code is less formal. Most people come creatively dressed. From a photographic point of view the King’s Affair is a visual delight much thanks to the great variety of costumes. This was the first time I attended this event. I was there to photograph the improvisation theatre team led by Alex O’Bryan-Tear that was doing hourly flash mobs. We had our own green room, and ten minutes to the hour the actors gathered to change into the costume of the hour. In between performances they roamed the grounds, sometimes in character.

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As the sun was setting we had a little bit of time before the first flash mob, so we went to the dodgems. The queue was still short, so we got our rides almost immediately. I liked the light in this photo of Shanti Daffern. Backlit photos usually get some extra post processing. The highlights were decreased, and the shadows were lifted to tone down the spotlight and make her face more visible. I also increased the contrast of the image and darkened the black colours a bit.
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For this shot I recruited a driver, however I ended up co-driving the car, because the gas pedal was on my side. So I just held it pressed down to maximise the likelihood of a head-on collision. I was not disappointed.
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Everyone can enjoy dodgems! I was happy to see that the woman in the wheel chair also got a round in the cars.
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Zombies! I asked them to get in character for the photo. I wanted to get a bit of the Chapel in the background so opted for a lower angle.
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Beth Dubow, this could have been the opening scene from a movie.

The first act was at 22:00, when around twenty bunnies stormed onto the field. Their mission was to find an unsuspecting guest and fall in love with him or her. Each carried with them a flower that they would give to their chosen one, before having a little dance and then hurrying away as suddenly as they had appeared.

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One of the bunnies (Nisha Emich) has found her one true love, before dashing off again. These bunnies were always in a hurry.
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I did not bring my flash with me, and only carried the 50 mm lens on my camera. This made me seek out the available light sources. There were some big coloured spotlights illuminating the tent. I used this location for several shots, always trying to make the most out of the interplay between the people and the shadows.
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The second flash mob wore insect costumes and blew soap bubbles. I am not sure what Joe Winters, Shanti Daffern and Greg Forrest were doing here, but they had fun. The coloured spotlights were a bit tricky, because they changed colours. Also when you have for example a pure blue light, it can be quite tricky to make it look good. I recently watched a YouTube video from B&H where they talked about white balance in nature photography. The photographer mentioned that he chose his white balance to increase the range of colours visible. I had this in mind when I was editing these photos, and I felt it helped a little bit to observe the range of visible colours as I moved the white balance lever back and forth.
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You can’t just have Superman standing still when taking a portrait. A costume like that demands something extra, so I asked him to lift up the woman. She quickly got into character.
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Then Superman flew off with his Lois Lane… Nisha Emich, Bea Svistunenko and Kyle Turakhia.
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Jinan Younis as a Minotaur.
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The next flash mob was Minotaurs with battle axes. Fighting it out all over the field, but I decided to photograph those that were doing it in front of the tent.
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First you fight, then you make peace. Megan Dalton and Lili Thomas.
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In the break the Minotaurs (Ellie Myerson and Kay Dent) had fun! The big tent was playing live music, and the stage light made it easy to take great photos. Here I was trying to get a dark silhouette in front of the people in the background that had lower contrast.
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One of the food crews looked, and I snapped a shot. There were a few other spots where the food establishment leaked light that I could exploit for portraits.
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The flashmob after was miners. They were going to line up on one side of the field then make their way across the lawn while mining and making noise. This really got the attention of the crowds.

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The miners did not stop for anyone, and overran several people sitting on the lawn.
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Mission accomplished, Olivia Stamp is a happy miner!
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More dancing! Megan Dalton on the floor.

 

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The flash mobs continued until 04:00, but I called it a night at 02:00 after they had done the golden statues. This was my last shot for the evening. I used one of the carousel’s spotlights to illuminate the outline of the head.

It was fun to follow the improvisation team during the King’s Affair. There are more photos that I will post in a separate album on my Facebook page.

There are more photos coming from other events this week, I just have a bit of a backlog of editing to work through.

Cheers,

Johannes

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