Thanks for checking out my photo album for Dragon*Con 2007. Below are links for daily collections of photo sets sorted by celeb/guests, panels, costumed attendees, and other main evening events.
Costumees, Guests, Panels
Costumees, Guests, Panels, Dawn Look-alike Contest, Browncoats Shindig
Costumees, Guests, Panels, The Masquerade, Misc. Photos
By uploading the photos to Flickr, I could maintain the original resolution, 2592x1944, for the photo files, and Flickr allows the viewer to pick out various sizes for each photo if they want to see a smaller size, intermediate sizes or the max size.
Dragon*Con is a 4-day sci-fi/fantasy/comic/gaming/video convention held in Atlanta, GA. This year it was held on Labor Day weekend (August 31 - Sept. 3) at the Hyatt/Marriott/Hilton hotels, all of which are located downtown and right next to each other. The Hilton picked up the slack from the renovations underway at the Marriott by hosting the Dealers Room, Artist Alley, and Exhibitors rooms, while the Marriott hosted the Walk of Fame and Art Exhibit this year. I tried beating the rush on Thursday night by picking up my badge with friend Brian on Thursday evening, but I did encounter about a 45 minute wait. I would guess the wait for badge pickup on Friday or Saturday had to be long since attendance was up this year. From what I've read, attendance was around 41,000, which broke all sorts of attendance records.
With the Dealers Room and the comic-related artists alley located at the Hilton Hotel, it made it tough to get there, so I spent most of my time in the Hyatt and Marriott. Having the Walk of Fame over in the Marriott made it easier to swing by and see which guest celebs was at in the room. Once again, the air conditioning was so much better in the Hilton than the Marriott, so that made the dealers room a nicer place to be when I was actually there for a little bit of gazing and shopping.
The bigger panels for the guests are usually held in the Hyatt's ballroom, all underneath street level, same level as last year. There was a nice turn-out for Stargate actors (enough to create a few mega-sized panels for their timeslots running into 2 panel timeslots), and it was good to see the return of Mythbusters and Ghost Hunters to the show. Battlestar Galactica also brought in a handful of actors from the show, which made for some good panels. The Star Trek track was filled to the brim with guests from the show, I was bemused by the appearance of The Next Generation trio of Gates McFadden, Brent Spiner and Jonathan Frankes. The Harry Potter track was back on track with Matthew Lewis and the Phelps brothers in attendance. The Buffy track was renamed the Whedon Universe track, just in time to bring back James Marsters, along with Juliet Landau for a nifty Spike and Drusilla reunion, and also added Elisabeth Rohm and Ken Feinberg to the mix. Once again, Adam Baldwin's last minute cancellation was a bummer this year, but Ron Glass and Mark A. Sheppard were greeted by another strong turnout by Browncoats who still helmed very long waiting lines which continued to be funneled outside the Hyatt. Actually, just about all of the panels had lines spinning out of any of the Hyatt's side doorways.
Since many panels were filled to capacity, it made it virtually impossible to panel-hop, something I did do a lot of at previous Dragon*Cons, but I guess those days are gone now that much higher attendance has made it tough for everyone to see the panels they are interested in seeing. The hours of waiting in lines are never a fun aspect of convention attending. Also, there was beefed up traffic flow around the hotels, so if you left the Hyatt for the Marriott or Hilton, you could not just return up the stairs, instead, you were re-directed to sidedoors around the hotel, or even up the block to the front entrance of the hotel. It made for a lot of walking for me, I probably averaged 4-5 miles a day since I tend to be on-the-go during Dragon*Con. Thank goodness I had been doing some walking and jogging the month before Dragon*Con just so I would not feel like crap with all of the walking demands for this convention (especially now that it's spread over 3 hotels).
Friday night had 2 events that I managed to miss: the wrestling matches in the centennial ballrooms, and the Masters Level Costume Contest. I spent most of the evening taking photos in the various levels of the Hyatt and also in the Marriott.
Saturday night featured the 10th annual Dawn Look-alike contest, hosted by Voltaire, and the contestants did a nice job with their make-up and costumes, as well as their own interpretation of Dawn, and the number of contestant grew to 68 this year. In the first year of the contest, I think there might have been 12-14 contestants, but the number of entries grows each year. Joseph Michael Linsner was presented with a Dragon*Con award for his contribution to Dragon Con (10 years of the Dawn look-alike contests helps in that department).
The Masquerade was pretty decent this year, with just a few skits that required the assistance of Stormtroopers to shoo contestants, who overstayed their welcome, off the stage. Mythbusters Kari Byron and Grant Imahara were the co-hosts for the event, and they had some impromptu time-filling help from guest judge Michael Winslow who just blew Kari's mind with his multitude of noises and rapping that entertained the crowd.
For my cameras, I used a 3-year old Canon A610 digital camera mainly for the costumed attendees photos because it is lighter and focuses faster in a quick pinch as shooting conditions are not ideal, and you just have to go into guerilla mode to snap shots of the costumees (my name for costumed attendees). I used 2GB SD cards and actually filled one up on Friday and Sunday shooting in 5 Megapixel mode.
I also used a 4-year old Canon S2 IS, which has a 12X optical zoom (4x digital zoom) and Image Stabilization which helped out in taking photos of the guests at their respective panels during the weekend, and at the Dawn contest (a no-flash affair) and the Masquerade. I think I went through about 4-5 sets of four AA NiMH rechargeable batteries on my busiest day, Friday, but I did carry 10 sets just in case, most ranging from 2300 MaH or 2600 MaH in capacity. I have aspirations to go with some better cameras next year as my Canon S2 has developed a few dead spots on its sensor, but we'll see if that pans out for me, or not.
I managed to take over 5,400 photos in 3+ days at Dragon*Con between the 2 cameras I brought with me. Taking photos at the Hyatt lobby was a tougher proposition because they instituted a traffic-flow policy approach that discouraged the usual posing and photo-taking that goes on in the evenings at Dragon Con. It got so congested on Friday night that they had to close the front doors to the Hyatt lobby for short periods of time to get the existing traffic through the lobby area. Many people who just wanted to get inside and go to their hotel rooms had to wait until the traffic levels had subsided and the doors were opened for them. Saturday night was the main night this new policy of no photo-taking in the lobby was in effect from the start of the evening, and not surprisingly enough, I took less photos on Saturday night. Sunday night was more relaxed where they asked that costumed attendees pose against the walls/perimeter of the areas so as to leave room for people to move about. This meant people migrated elsewhere, like the Hanover level for the Hyatt and other levels, and also over at the Marriott, which had a couple of levels for people to do their posing and photo-taking activities, and just hang out and people-watch, or catch up with past friends.
Even though it sounds like I'm griping quite a bit, Dragon*Con 2007 was still fun, though it had a different feel to it, mainly from the extra amount of people in attendance this year, coupled with the added bouts of walking between hotels, to the new methods of crowd control for the attendees. Hopefully next year will have better ways to manage the crowds, but it's a thankless task for the D*C volunteers, nonetheless.
The idea of having unlimited film (more or less) at a convention is truly frightening, and this webpage is once again a direct and growing realization of that concept.
I know this isn't the prettiest website out there, but I hope to make it up in content. I think there are just over 3,700 photos in the collections of Dragon Con 2007 photo sets on Flickr! Enjoy!
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