Emerald City Comicon 2015

Last year was the first time I had ever gone to a convention where there were cosplays and it was a blast!! Cosplayers are people who dress up as their favorite comic/movie/anime character. These artists put so much work into their characters that production value is elevated instantly all in one location; a photographer/videographer’s paradise. In 2014 I met up with Kevin Hickman and made this awesome video tour of what it’s like to go to one of these conventions.

This year instead of video, I really wanted to do some photography for the challenge of it. I really wanted to push myself to use off camera flash with a modifier to get some photography looks I’ve never captured before. The results were amazing!!  Suprisingly, my favorite shot of the day was not of a cosplayer however. It was a shot I got of an indie film maker named Micah Moore who hosts a youtube called Beat Down Boogie showcasing different conventions based out of the east coast. He was the first person who let me test out my flash on and was gracious and patient enough to let me practice my very first on location flash shoot.

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What was super tricky about using the off camera flash was knowing what power to set it at to balance it with the light available outside. Since I was just starting, I decided to just focus on exposing my subject and not worrying too much about the exposure of the background.  Using on camera flash directs all the light available directly at the subject which is does help you to see everything about your subject however, in my opinion it’s not ideal because you don’t get any shadows to give the viewer a better sense of depth. The challenge I wanted to meet was to introduce off camera light, travel light enough to shoot at a location, and to produce some really interesting images with shadows to provide depth. Not all the photos I took at Comicon were using flash but the ones that did turned out awesome! Here are the links to all the photos I took at Emerald City Comicon 2015!!

http://bit.ly/ROQECCCDay1
http://bit.ly/ROQDay2CarmaMaleficent

All photos are available at a super affordable introductory single photo release rate. Check out this link for more information!! http://roqfilms.com/photo-single

Thanks for stopping by, reading, and following the adventure!!
youtube.com/roqfilms
vimeo.com/roqfilms

Snow White & the Macintosh Apple

Snow White now beautifully adorns my apple computer. At first I hesitated because well, it’s girly and just as you wouldn’t expect a dude to wear lipstick, you might not expect this kind of sticker on a dude’s laptop. I got it anyways for many reasons:

  1. I live in a house of all girls
  2. I work at Disney
  3. The glowing apple really fits Snow White’s tale
  4. As a camera nerd I like the way the artwork plays on the light generated by the glow of the apple

I also love the poetry, juxtaposition, and irony that is inherent in how Snow White looks fondly at this particular apple.

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You might think you know what I mean by that, how treachery might exist Apple computers perhaps. However, there’s a more positive, more meaningful parallel and symbolism of this subtle interaction that now exists on my computer and for anyone else who has this decal on theirs. In my mind, the phenomenon that is in Disney’s character Elsa of Frozen or any of the other Disney Movies released in the past few years might not exist today as we know it without this proverbial Snow White bite of the Macintosh apple.

The short answer as to the symbolism above is that years ago Disney bought Pixar which had a huge influence on Disney’s animation division.  To try to describe it at all here would not do it justice; so here’s a link to the book by Ed Catmull entitled “Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration”.

Link: http://amzn.com/B00IPJTQQW

This book has been a profound influence on my life.  At this time in my life I find my time divided between architecting software, leading people, and telling stories with my cameras through photo and film. Because of this, Ed Catmull’s journey, quest and evolution from being a leader of first hardware and software to being a leader of a magnificent story telling animation company is just so potent for me.  It may not be as profound to others but if you’re in a software career, have a little bit more ambition for art than your regular joe, and perhaps are uncertain about leading people I would highly recommend this book. It’s amazingly inspiring for those of us that fit the profile.

Using the links below, feel free to learn more and connect!  If you saw this decal and are still setting near by, please come say hi.  I love meeting and getting to know new people. Hope to talk to you soon!

Quoc Nguyen

Vicci Martinez, NWCZ Radio, & Jazzbones

Danno at Jazzbones invited me out the last week of November to come film a pre-show intro for Vicci Martinez‘s CD release party. Early that week on Monday Vicci came over to interview with Darrel, Oogie, and OnOne at the NWCZ radio station here in Tacoma.  Vicci chatted with the guys and also gave us a sneak peek at one of the songs on the new album she’s working on.  They talked about what it was like to rise to stardom making it to the finals on the Voice, living in Southern California and coming back home here in Tacoma. Also, that week Vicci sang the national anthem for the Seahawks vs the Cardinals, I like to think that her energy helped in the win that day =)  At Jazzbones on the night of the performance, we ended up splicing in footage of Vicci’s various performances on TV and the Voice but then after words I used footage from that night to fill in a short recap of both the radio show and the CD release party!  It was so awesome getting a chance to film and connect with Vicci and her crew, such an amazing group of people!  Check out the teaser and recap videos below:

ROQ films and Just2GuysCreative, a year in the books!

Today ROQ films celebrates one full year of existence and filming with Just2GuysCreative, Gabriel Ng and Will Good! The top picture was taken last summer at a wedding when all I had in hand was a Canon t3i and the 50mm fantastic plastic prime. At that same wedding I looked at Will wielding the Canon 70-200 was amazed and couldn’t imagine using one myself because I just wouldn’t know how to use it. The bottom picture is us at a wedding just this past month where it’s come full circle and I’m rocking my own full frame and 70-200 combo! I view ROQ films as a spin off of the Just2GuysCreative brand because not only did I learn from these amazing guys I really have stayed as close as I could to their style, super fun, super clean and elegant editing. It’s somewhat baked into my filming now.

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As I look forward to the next year I look with awe because of what has happened this last year. Because of the increase in my knowledge between this time last year and now I can’t help but be excited and wonder what this next year will bring. I’m so excited to see what comes and I’m still so honored to have these two guys as my mentors and as my friends!! I’m also so super grateful to have you all following my adventures and antics as well, your feedback means so much to me!!

If you have enjoyed my work over this past year and have an instagram account, head on over to my roqfilms instagram and subscribe! I plan to post more pure ROQ films content there so as it’s not too mixed in with my family posts =)

http://instagram.com/roqfilms

Sound Session #2: Rachel Nesvig, Hardanger Fiddle

Being Right On Queue is in good part about the music and audio associated with the visuals captured by the camera. Engaging music and audio is a huge part of any story so as a part of ROQ’s growth; it is focused on capturing various music “sound” session collaborations with musical artists and talent.

I was so excited to film Rachel because of the unique quality of the sound that her and her Hardanger fiddle produced. On this particular day we decided to experiment with filming out at a local beach park in Seattle, Golden Gardens as well as filming in a studio as well. Filming out at the beach was done with my Rode shotgun microphone which captured Rachel due to the directional nature of the microphone but also captured the wave sounds as well. The studio version was super clean but I felt that the sound of the waves added a candid quality that made the candid one take performance so lively. Also, the lighting and colors really showcased the beauty of the location and of Rachel as well. All together this video made for a wonderful treat to both the eyes and the ears.

Thank you Rachel for coming out to film with me, you are SO talented!

Emerald City Comicon 2014

I’ve always wanted to see what the “con” and “cosplay” scene was all about but never really had a good reason of my own to go. The wife and kids went to Disneyland and left me at home so I saw this as an opportunity to finally check it out! A coworker of mine had an extra ticket for that weekend so I decided to go for it.

Having the right gear and knowing your camera settings for pictures and videos is only half the battle. The other half is surveying the social situation that you’re using that equipment in. I was able to go on Saturday for a brief period of time to get an idea of how willing people were to get in front of the camera and to survey the lighting of the Conference center. I quickly discovered that Cosplayers love to be on camera but that it’s proper etiquette to ask before taking any photos or video. After taking a bit of test footage I was ready and scheming for that Sunday the final day of ECCC 2014.

I strolled in that Sunday only expecting to gather a few glidecam shots of folks where they were but that’s not what was in store for me that day. As I was putting on my lenses to start the day I saw Kevin Hickman aka Master Chief taking a bit of a break over at some tables with his posse and fans. I struck up a conversation initially asking just to take a few shots. Kevin was not only game for that he was game to film the whole day to see what we could come up with. We decided together to make a video where Master Chief would give folks a tour of Comicon! Aside from visiting booths, giving high fives, and constantly getting interrupted for photo ops we also gathered up as many cosplayers that we could in order to do some awesome glidecam shots out in the park! Check it out!!

Ron & Amara, 2013 Oahu Hawaii

Ron and Amara celebrated their gorgeous wedding at the Ihilani Ko Olina Resort in Oahu Hawaii just in front of one of four white sand lagoons on the island.  This destination was absolutely stunning and this couple was so full of energy and fun.  Along with the wedding was also a week’s worth of island fun which included but was not limited to a night out on a catamaran overlooking Waikiki and skydiving!  The picture above is of Amara and Ron finishing up their vows as the sunset behind them.

Sound Session #1: Hayley Watt, First Noel

Filming weddings has been a blast but I’m so excited to share that I’ve started the journey and learning process for filming music videos! This picture is a still frame from a recent session with Hayley who plays violin for the PSSO and teaches Violin using the Suzuki method. Thank you Hayley, so excited to share your talent with the world!  Click one of the below links to watch Hayley’s own arrangement of First Noel.

Sarah & Quinn, Roche Harbor, San Juan, WA

Sarah and Quinn celebrated their wonderful wedding at Roche Harbor on the San Juan Island here in the Pacific Northwest.  This destination was absolutely gorgeous as the historic and quaint feel of the town and buildings added so much to the warmth they already had in their family.  With views overlooking the harbor from pretty much any spot in the resort town at any given moment you realize you’re in a special place.  The picture above shows Sarah and Quinn standing in the main path through the resort.

Lindsay & Nate, Fremont Abbey, Seattle, WA

Lindsay and Nate had a wonderful fall themed wedding at the Fremont Abbey in Seattle.  The day turned out to be sunny and beautiful as if it were a summer day.  I’m sure Lindsay and Nate slept well though knowing that if it did rain, they would have stayed safe and dry in this beautiful venue.  The first look was filmed at Fremont Peak Park overlooking Salmon Bay and the Puget Sound.  The family photo shoot was at Seattle Pacific University.  The picture above shows Lindsay’s in her super sassy gonna eat this cupcake pose!! haha so much fun. Click the links below for their highlight video.