Drake: The Shadow of Success

I honestly think this photo of Drake is one of my stronger artistic pieces and I am upset his people have yet to contact me about it. On May 14, 2010 the University of California San Diego held their annual Sun God Festival, to which I was invited to photograph for. Drake was the headliner that year with performances by Relient K, Michelle Branch, Thrice, B.o.B. and other people I didn’t care about. This marked my “claim-to-fame”, the segue into my “professional” work. The shot above particularly made me realize what photography meant to me–where the Pokemon metaphor originated from.

At the time I was severely under equipped with my Nikon D80, extended battery pack, and the kit lens that came with it. Either way, I knew I was shooting with a slow lens and was worried about whether or not I’d capture anything worthwhile. There was a lot of pressure shooting something this “high-profile” especially after learning that I was only allotted the first three songs to take shots before you’re swiftly kicked out. But even with that sense of urgency, the poor lighting, and the constant movement, I was able to persevere.

What came of it was what you see right above  the block of text, the byproduct of mastering your camera and the art of adjusting for light. Constantly shooting on Manual mode forced me to develop an awareness of light, and made me efficient when adjusting settings on the fly. Shooting like this makes you feel like you’ve earned the shot, knowing that you methodically approached the capture with what little time is allotted to you. This experience photographing Drake made me thirst for more and made me really want to become the kind of photojournalist that solely shot from the backstage perspective. I shared the pit with a few other photographers that night–that was okay. My objective from that point on was to become an exclusive photographer.

I probably have other shots of Drake I need to revisit with fresh eyes. There may be more to add here.

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