Saturday, May 14, 2005

Vandigicam Meetup

Vandigicam Meetup - May 12

Vandigicam Meetup - May 12/05

Vandigicam Meetup - May 12/05
Thursday was a busy day -- I attended my first Vandigicam Meetup after the trip to the Aquarium. The Vandigicam group started off in in February and moved on to to facilitate RSVPs. It's grown from three people to something like 40 members. Of course not everyone shows up each time, but I'm told attendance is fairly steady.

I was thinking of joining Vandigicam, anyway, since I'd seen notice of the group forming in Flickr. They meet once a fortnight on Thursdays, which is frequent compared to meetups in larger cities such as Philadelphia. I know the Philly folk meet once a month, and they don't do photo walkabouts like Vandigicam, it's usually just a social event.

My formal invite to join Vandigicam was actually on the day I rolled in town, the previous Friday. I'd taken the Amtrak coach from Seattle to Vancouver, and I was in a taxi on Burrard Street heading to the apartment when I thought I spotted a fellow Flickrite, Goddess Spiral, who shares a couple of forums/photo groups with me. I wasn't sure if it was her, but I took note of what she was wearing and sent an e-mail later with the subject line: "Am I seeing things??" It turned out to be her (wacky, huh?), and she invited me to join Vandigicam.

The creator of Vandigicam is Laura, a lady from Atlanta who's spending 2005 in Vancouver while her husband is on sabbatical. She's been very instrumental in mobilising the group and keeping the fortnightly meetups on track. It was great to finally meet a bunch of people I've been in contact with via Flickr, people whose photos I admire and comment on. It's not just about putting faces to the names, it's also to see what equipment everybody uses and how they set up their shots!

I met up with Laura, TizBarb, and slightly-less-random at Wicked Cafe, and we bussed it over to Cuppa Joe's to meet up with the rest. I didn't recognise everyone, but probably half are either Flickr contacts of mine, or people I'd remembered from various forums. The other thing about meeting people in person is you can call them by their real names, rather than long-winded screen names. Somehow, referring to someone as 'slightly-less-random' is a bit absurd, even though it's common nowadays.

A bunch of people brought their tripods and made the rest of us look like hacks! (I don't have one, but maybe once I upgrade.) Actually, we're a mix of compacts, SLRS, and DSLRs. The first camera I saw when I sat down at Cuppa Joe's was someone's Canon EOS 20D with a big honkin' lens on it... yes, I had camera envy. But that feeling soon passed -- we're all mostly amateurs, anyway.

From there we headed over to Jericho Beach en masse. We were a big group trying to meet up with others who said they'd be at the concession stand, but there were too many people and the light was fading, so everyone scattered. Stewart (founder of Flickr), mentioned later online that he tried to find us at 8:15 but we'd spread out by then. Hopefully I'll get to meet the Ludicorp people at their going-away bash, yet to be announced. (Flickr has been purchased by Yahoo, so the office is moving down to California soon.)

I got some decent pictures on the beach, but was too busy yakking to take a lot of photos. There were some easy bunny shots to be had that the others took advantage of, and other urban wildlife pics like ducks and this unidentified bird... what IS that??

Vandigicam Meetup Photoset

When the light was nearly gone I set off for home, getting some moving light shots walking along the Burrard Street Bridge. These streaks in the bottom left photo are from a bus going by, probably the #22 Knight Street.

Some of my favourite photography is city nightshooting, but I don't have as much opportunity to do this in Pennsylvania. For one thing, we're not in a big city, so there's not much reason to wander around there at night. I'll have to get my fill of nightshooting while I'm here.

Burrard Bridge
False Creek
Burrard Bridge Photoset