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justine_m1989
12-03-2010, 08:16 AM
Hey!

I have a Deviant Art account where I post not only photos taken of me, but work I've done.

Could I get helpful critiques on the following photoshoots:

Tamaki
Mello
Asa
Sakura

http://justinem1989.deviantart.com/

I plan on posting more. I have some photos done of my friend who cosplayed Austria, I haven't gotten around to it yet.

I use a Nikon D5000 and a fixed 50mm lens for my photoshoots. Sometimes it's the standard 18mm-55mm zoom.

Any recommendations are greatly appreciated! Especially on what settings to use. I want to start doing photography for cosplayers so if there are specific lenses/flashes I should get, that would be helpful as well. Thanks!

Ashurachan
12-03-2010, 11:29 AM
(ate my comment, so I'll make it shorter)

You are, quite obviously, a complete beginner, and trust your camera to choose the best settings for you. Unfortunately, the camera does not really know what you're trying to do, so you need to learn, first and foremost, how it works, in order to be able to guide it.
I don't tell you to go full manual right now, but learning a few things about exposure and the aperture/shutter speed/ISO trinity is the most important.

You don't need more gear right now. The lenses you have won't do absolutely everything, but they're enough for cosplay photoshoots. Flashes are useful, but they're also hard to use properly, so I'd suggest you stick to natural light for now.

A good setting is a setting appropriate to the character you're shooting. Just keep your eyes opened in case you run accross an unusual place. When you don't know where to shoot, go to the closest park, natural settings are the easiest to work with.

justine_m1989
12-03-2010, 03:29 PM
(ate my comment, so I'll make it shorter)

You are, quite obviously, a complete beginner, and trust your camera to choose the best settings for you. Unfortunately, the camera does not really know what you're trying to do, so you need to learn, first and foremost, how it works, in order to be able to guide it.
I don't tell you to go full manual right now, but learning a few things about exposure and the aperture/shutter speed/ISO trinity is the most important.

You don't need more gear right now. The lenses you have won't do absolutely everything, but they're enough for cosplay photoshoots. Flashes are useful, but they're also hard to use properly, so I'd suggest you stick to natural light for now.

A good setting is a setting appropriate to the character you're shooting. Just keep your eyes opened in case you run accross an unusual place. When you don't know where to shoot, go to the closest park, natural settings are the easiest to work with.

Thanks! I've definitely been experimenting more with my camera since returning to school where I learn about those mentioned above. (I'm in film) These are photos from back when I got my camera. Of course I haven't gotten around to uploading them.

Are there any preferred aperture/ISO/shutter speed combination you prefer? (Just wants to see how they look on my camera)

Ashurachan
12-07-2010, 08:49 AM
Well I have no 'favorite settings', except at cons I tend to shoot at a wide aperture to catch more light and blur backgrounds at the same time.
ISO depends mostly on how much light is available at the moment, and it is always preferrable to use low ISO (less noise, more dynamic range), so I try to stick to 100/200 outside, 400 inside if it works (with my 50/1.8 wide open it's generally enough), 800/1600 when I have to. I don't use auto ISO, because I did not have auto ISO for years and can do without it ^^;
A minimum shutter speed of 1/focal length is a rule of thumb for unstabilized lenses, if you don't want to miss shots because of shaking. For example 1/50 for a 50 mm lens.

Before manual mode, I used aperture mode most of the time.
- I chose aperture depending on what I was aiming for, depth-of-field wise.
- then chose ISO depending on the amount of light available
- kept an eye on shutter speed. If it was too low, changed one of the other settings.

ByeByeBeautiful
12-07-2010, 09:16 AM
Wow, that's a lot of shots to go through! It's usually better to pick three or four for a Critique, that way we can give you some specific advice.

General things you're doing right:

- You're mostly working with available light and not using your camera's direct flash.

- You're trying different settings. (Alleys and trees are fun places to shoot!)

- You're noticing interesting colors. (I really like the Mello shots with the black and red against the gray and green)

- You want to get better!



General things to work on:

- Watch your backgrounds. I don't believe Ouran Host Club took place in a Tim Horton's. :D Beware of random signs, trash cans, cars, rampaging giant robots...

- Watch the cosplayer's faces. In many of the shots shadows are blocking their eyes. http://justinem1989.deviantart.com/gallery/25509081#/d2re62s

- Do not shoot into the sun! http://justinem1989.deviantart.com/gallery/25507437#/d2re4mc It's a cute idea but the subjects are completely blown out and fuzzy.

- Experiment with different angles. Right now you're shooting straight on, with the camera at the subject's eye level. Mix it up. Crouch, lie down, climb up high, work those muscles! (For example, this shot http://justinem1989.deviantart.com/gallery/25503690#/d2rcw8r would work better with a lower angle. This would create a sense of Mello looming over the viewer.)

- Be picky about what you post. VERY picky. Audiences have short attention spans, and get bored with ten shots of one person standing around. Try to pick 3 or 4 best photos from each set. Ask friends or fellow students to take a quick look before submitting them. (You can certainly post more than this, but just try it out. It's harder than you'd think!)




As far as equipment goes, we all have our own preferences. It's better to practice your composition skills first.

Keep shooting, and keep showing us your progress! Good luck!