There was a time when having a huge camera (or two!) strapped around your neck got you access to pretty much anything. Unfortunately, the day of the consumer dSLR is upon us and it seems that everyone and everyone’s uncle has at least a Canon Rebel XTi. This is bad news for the photographers who actually NEED to get into the action to get a photo. No longer can we simply tell the police sergeant, with whom we pre-arranged access to the event, that we are members of the press. And the giant camera around our necks? No, no, that’s not there for me to send pictures home to mom and dad to show them the crazy pre-Spring Break antics of the sleep-deprived architects. We’re actually here on assignment. For our own safety and for the sake of our photos we’d like to get on the other side of this caution tape please!
Senior Photographers Jeff Slosberg and Ariel Waitz risked their lives and wallets last week in their attempt. Equipped with enough photo gear to finance a nice trip around Europe for Spring Break, they marched into the line of fire. Due to some mixups and confusion, only one managed to get inside the barricade of plastic tape leaving the other to go elbow to elbow with the rest of Cornell in an attempt to get the perfect shot of Dragon Day for our Monday-after-Spring-Break paper. While this doesn’t seem like a huge deal (everyone else was doing it, after all), when you add into the equation the cost involved in replacing any equipment that could be trampled on, scratched or otherwise damaged, it becomes scarier by the second. In the mind of a photographer, it kind of equates to that scene in The Lion King when the stampede runs over Simba’s father. Nightmares of our equipment suffering the same fate as Mufasa fill our heads. St. Patrick’s Day parades with orderly processions of bagpipers and step dancers? Perfectly benign. Dragon Day parades with over-caffeinated, sleep-deprived architects with a full week of sleep within their reach? Good luck to he who stands still in all of the mayhem.
Despite the chaos, in the end, they both ended up getting some fantastic photos that we put together in a slideshow. This is one occasion when you wish the entire newspaper were printed in color. Try making a fire look ferocious in black and white. Most shots look like an ocean wave with clouds billowing out of the top at best. But online? Online, anything is possible! Check out the slideshow and see if you can spot yourself or your friends underneath all of the costumes!