I’ve been to conventions before, and not just as a visitor, but have never been abroad specifically for a convention. Up to this point I’ve never even been to North America either so when the opportunity arose to go to San Diego Comic Con (SDCC) it’s a chance I couldn’t pass up. As I some friends that would be in America for several months anyway it seemed like a good chance to meet up with them for a few days as well so started formulating a plan and decided that I’d fly out for two days of SDCC and then have one day to look around San Diego.
The problem though was that it wasn’t guaranteed we’d be able to get tickets. For SDCC the tickets go on sale months before the actual event, but before this you have to pre-register so that you’ll be sent a link to where you can try and get tickets closer to the time. On the day of registration we each opened up a browser window and waited for the ticket sales to be opened. Of the three of us only one was able to get through to the ticket sales page even though we’d all tried visiting the page within seconds of it going live.
Fortunately one of the group being able to access the page is all it takes – this was enough for tickets to be booked and our attendance to SDCC being guaranteed. It was a bit touch and go to start with though as the page failed to load once for the one that got through to the queue – fortunately due to his web development knowledge he was able to rejoin his place in the queue and continue the wait.
Once we had confirmation we made the mistake of waiting quite a few months before booking a hotel; fortunately after some extensive searching we did find a suitable hostel not far from the convention centre so once again we were quite lucky.
Beyond this though, there was no real preparation for going to SDCC. I had viewed a few blogs about people’s experiences and got the general impression that panels are very busy and would require a lot of queuing. It also sounded like there was very little chance of getting a Boba Fett from the Hasbro stand.
All I could do now was wait, and hope for the best.
In the last few weeks before the event I started to think about what camera gear I’d need to take with me – the plan was I’d take anything I could possibly need with the plan of storing away at the hostel anything not needed for Comic Con. As I’d got a day to look around San Diego I figured I would need my large lens and flash just to be on the safe side.
- Padlock (for backpack)
- Card reader (for photo backups)
- Canon Speedlite 580EX
- Air blower for removing dust
- Lens cloth
- Canon EOS 5D mk3
- Canon 28-135mm lens
- Sigma 150-500mm lens
- Charger for iPhone and iPad
- USB Camera adapter for iPad
- iPod Shuffle
- Audio adapter for airplane
- Compact Flash
- Camera batteries
- Foreign currency
Since taking the photo I’ve since decided I don’t need to take a remote release with me and a couple of the other bits. The reason for taking so many batteries is that I don’t want to take my charger, and I have no idea how many photos I will be taking and will probably leave my camera switched on most of the time. I’ve also decided since then to not take the Gorillapod – I can’t see me using it.