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Sunday, January 30, 2011

••◊ Street Photography from the LA Fit Expo

First...I know, I know, I'm supposed to be doing part 2 of the frame rate conversion tutorial - which I'll get to this coming week. Today is a recovery day for me after an short adventure working at the Los Angeles Fitness Expo yesterday. Ironman hired me on for the day to work at the bodybuilding show. Of course, I took this as an opportunity for street photography since I'd never been to the LA convention center. Turns out that the place is lit up like Vegas. Large LED signs blaring out at all hours of the day (still going at 2am and 5am with the sirens); music pumping into the Nokia plaza across from Staples Center; couples dressed up out on the town for the evening. Plus I was surrounded by fitness industry professionals whose lifestyle and demeanor always makes for interesting photography.

The evening before the show I had a chance to walk around Staples Center and Nokia plaza. The LA Lakers were playing that night so the plaza was packed until about 8pm, then everything suddenly went calm.

For dinner I grabbed a seat at Wolfgang Puck's on the plaza so I could people watch. As you can see, I didn't have any issues with the meal.

What comes after dinner...breakfast! It's why I wake up in the morning. This particular morning I hit the Pantry Cafe, a legendary spot for breakfast in LA at a quarter to six. Lonnie recommended it the night before and I wasn't about to go searching blocks for breakfast. A boy's got to eat! At that time in the morning their customers are mainly the hard working folks looking for a solid meal to start the day. Very 50's vibe. The pancakes there were so good that I didn't even need syrup. From my colleagues comments; by the afternoon they have a waiting line going out door.

The fit expo for me was all about the bodybuilding show, which I was hired to sound engineer for the day. Now mom, before you thinking I'm all chauvinist and stuff I have a good reason there's only pictures of the figure girls. The bodybuilders require sound changes every two minutes so I have to work and pay attention to the show. For the figure/bikini competition I only have to put on some happy pop tunes and let it play - so I have time to play. That and...

Time for some gratuitous celebrity shots. I mean it's Los Angles, right. Can't have a show without one or two or three or Paris Hilton. At the fit expo I had the pleasure of working with Phil Collen (lead guitar/Def Leppard). He and his wife Helen are two of the most friendly and genuinely nice people you could hope to meet. They're starting a fitness business called Physical Mechanix, as you can see from the shirt. I still remember rocking out to "Poor Some Sugar On Me," despite being banned from watching MTV. Now I think about the openning time lapse of the stage assembly as well. Ah...the days of being a Charvel/Jackson owner. Phil still plays Jacksons. The next, horrible photo is of Carmen Electra and Phil (excuse/explanation below). I was just thinking that if I touched Phil's t-shirt and Carmen touched Phil's t-shirt then there's a possibility that my DNA touched Carmen Electra (woohoo!). Last, but not least was the Incredible Hulk, Lou Ferrigno. He was on his feet signing autographs all day. I couldn't get a good photo of him, so I decided to incorporate a paparazzi element (the camera). The guy is still huge at 59. Can you believe that this year he might start qualifying for senior discounts?!

After taking the picture of Carmen my battery died.

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