Cameras at UCR 2012 school of business graduation

Cameras everywhere—if I were wanted and I needed to hide or blend in folks, this would be the perfect place to hide out.

Of the many, many events I photographed during my newspaper career, graduations are the most fun.

The degree of fun or fun factor is directly proportional to how cooperative my subjects are about being photographed.

To date no one has ever objected to me taking their picture at a graduation because it is always a happy affair.

Smartphones are wonderful for moments like this especially if there are only 4 tickets per family to graduations.Graduates with extended families who can’t be present can now share in the experience thanks to Instagram, Facebook and youtube

So on one end of the spectrum is graduations, a close second is sporting events but can you guess what is on the other end?

Taking pictures inside the courtroom of defendants in criminal cases and breaking news events where family members are grieving.

Those camera-in-court assignments are often a cat-and-mouse game where the defendant’s attorney will try every trick in the book to prevent me from doing my job even after the judge signed the petition for me to take pictures for the newspaper.

Capturing memories for a lifetime—Can you see why I wouldn’t want to stand in one spot too long? Unless I stood behind a tree, I would be blocking someone.

Every June, I’ve  been fortunate to be asked to photograph at least one graduation at UC Riverside.

This year at the School of Business commencement, I found as I did last year, the number of cameras outnumbered the thousands in attendance.

Ever since Apple added a camera on the iPad, I’ve seen the device used more and more in ‘live’ events like graduations.

Mind you, I didn’t even count the iPads and iPhones.

I did notice it was getting harder and harder to tell apart the folks like me who were working or ‘covering the event’ and those who were there to photograph their loved ones.

A peep to check on exposure—DSLRs and digital cameras have come a long way. Battery life used to be abysmal in the early camera which recorded to hard drives which spun. Now that flash memory is the standard, chimping doesn’t drain camera batteries as much.

Many had high end DSLRs and expensive long lenses.

Some were even toting Canon’s line of white “L” lenses.

Getting their loved ones to look their way for a picture is always tough. I kept hearing folks on their cell phones asking, “Where are you seated?”
Excitement builds as their loved ones’ names are called during conferral of degrees

Game Plan

I tend not to stand in one spot for too long.

The obvious reason being I don’t want to called the idiot who thinks he’s the Invisible Man.

The other more important reason is by walking around, I maximize the chances of finding good moments to capture.

At the end of the day, I want to be sure I have as much variety of images as possible and that only happens when you walk around.

In case you didn’t see what I shot last year , take a look at UCR’s College of Humanities, Arts and Sciences graduation and look at the virtual reality picture I embedded at the bottom of that post.

Next: The Faces

Peter Phun Photography

Promote Your Page Too