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ZiggyB
06-08-2005, 06:52 PM
To start off this new forum, I though I'd start a general Q&A thread.

Ask your photography questions and we will do our best to answer them. Questions about cameras, techniques, poses, etc.

And also to start off, I'd thought I'd share some of my favorate cosplay photos that were taken at Sakura Con 2005.

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=340824
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=343270
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=319200
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=319196

The camera used in these photos was the Minolta DiMAGE A1 5mp digital camera.

Purple Flames
06-08-2005, 07:08 PM
For me photography is pretty much "point and shoot", but I'd like to be able to get nicer quality pics with my digital camera.

One of the main thing I've always wanted to know is this: what shutter speed should I set my camera on to get a nice still-motion action shot without having to worry about streaks or any sort of blur in the shot?

Jeg
06-09-2005, 09:26 AM
Ziggy B, If you took those shots you have a good eye for composure. The shots were simply and there were no distactions to disrupt the pictures. I think the only problem I saw was with the 3rd picture and that was simply you didn't alow enough space between the guys head at the top of the picture so it feels crampt. Otherwise you did a great job.

Purple Flames, The simple answer would be to say go with your fastest shutter speed. Go to your TV setting if you have it and set that to the smallest number you can and you should be good. Thats the best I can do seeing as you didn't give me anything else to go off of.

Ok next question please, I'm just starting to have fun here. I love to go over pictures and answer questions. I don't get to do that much here where I live. Its all mostly my work...

ShiroInu
06-09-2005, 05:26 PM
I'm trying my hardest to earn enough money to buy a digital camera for this summer (my mom has a 1mp HP, but she won't let me use it). I found a pretty good 3.2mp at Office Depot for 170$, but there's a pretty good possibility that I won't be able to buy it and I'll be stuck buying one-use cameras.

Are one-use cameras any good, picture quality wise? And what type should I get? I'm assuming something that says 'indoor/outdoor use', but I don't really know all that much about cameras. I have to use a one-use camera for my grad dance tomorrow, so I'll have to check out the quality on that one.

Jeg
06-09-2005, 07:20 PM
I'm going to assume by one-use cameras you mean a disposable. They will get the basic job done but by no means will it be anywhere near as good as having a real camera. Disposables don't give you any control with the exception of a possible flash. In short they are very limiting and if time and money are short then they are the way to go. I personally would say save some money and see about getting your own camera.

ShiroInu
06-09-2005, 07:39 PM
yeah, those are the ones. Thanks for the advice!

Kokuu
06-09-2005, 07:49 PM
Disposal cameras are a waste of money. Considering that you spend between $5-10 for each disposal camera that has no zoom and a lousy flash and another $5 to get the film developed, for pictures which usually don't come out very well, you're just wasting your money. You're better off saving your money and buying a real camera. You can get a decent 35 mm camera that has zoom and flash for $30-40 that will take better pictures then a disposal. After about 5 or 6 rolls of film, you'll be saving money. You also may want to consider saving up even longer and buying a cheap digital camera. That way, you never have to pay for film or getting photos developed ever again. If you like to take a lot of pictures, digital is definetly the way to go.

*Shiva*
06-09-2005, 07:49 PM
if time and money are short then they are the way to go. I personally would say save some money and see about getting your own camera.

Agreed. Disposable cameras are somewhat of a scam anyway, since the money you end up spending between buying them and having the pictures developed (which ends up being roughly $30-$40 per camera) could quickly add up to the same amount of money it would take to buy yourself a decent digital camera which would take infinately better pictures. That, and you don't waste film on bad pictures or have to pay for prints.

My advice is save your money and be patient. It would be worth it.

EDIT - haha, Kokuu beat me to the same point! :thumbsup:

TomodachiFriend
06-10-2005, 12:11 AM
Disposable cams aren't all trash. Kodak used to have a great camera a few years ago. Some folks thought it was so great, they were reloading them instead of bringing them back. I wonder why Kodak ceased distribution of that model... :)

Anyway, if you get a cheap camera, your pictures will look much sharper if you don't go for a zoom. I prefer walking close to my subject than using a cheap zoom.

Kokuu
06-10-2005, 01:32 AM
One reason that the pictures might be fuzzy is from using the digital zoom. If you are looking to buy a digital camera, buy a camera that has optical zoom. They cost a bit more, but they are absolutely worth it! Digital zoom has the exact same effect if you were to zoom in on a photo in Photoshop. If you have a mid to low-res camera, (3 MP or less) the image will pixelate if you zoom in too much. With optical zooms, the actual lens is zooming in. Youíll want to look for something with at least 3 or 4x optical zoom.

I did a little research on average retail prices of cameras and other related equipment. While digital cameras may seem really expensive, in the long run, they save you money. 15 rolls of film may seem like a lot of pictures, but it slowly adds up, if you consider all the things you may bring a camera to: conventions, prom, graduations, vacations, weddings, hanging out with friends... Youíll also find that if you go digital, youíre inclined to take a lot more photos. At a typical con, I average around 200 photos. And thatís nothing.

Kodak Funsaver One time use with flash ~$8 -27 exposures
Film processing and prints ~ $8
13 cameras: $208 351 photos

Fuji Fujifilm 125EZ ZoomDate 35mm Point&Shoot 38-125mm Zoom Camera with LCD Display -$40
Kodak Film Gold 200 24 exposure (individual) ~$3
Film processing and prints ~ $8
15 rolls of film $205 360 photos

Canon PowerShot A510- 3.1 MP, 4x optical zoom- $183
128 MB card- $20
$203 n photos

ZiggyB
06-10-2005, 02:14 AM
Ok everyone, I think we all agree that for the most part, disposible cameras aren't that great. Can we move on? :)

Purple Flames: Along with what was said above, other things you might want to do to reduce blur is to make sure that you have a steady position. That your arms are braced against your body to minimize camera shake.

What I do actually is to hold my breath just as I'm about to hit the shutter so that I don't shake the camera as much. But that might be a little bit extreme. :)

Kokuu
06-10-2005, 02:27 AM
What I do actually is to hold my breath just as I'm about to hit the shutter so that I don't shake the camera as much. But that might be a little bit extreme. :)

Heh. You're not the only one. I tend do the same thing.

Another trick that helps to reduce camera shake is to stand shoulder-width apart, one foot slightly in front of the other, with your arms against your body.

If you just happen to have really shaky hands or if you're doing any kind of more advanced photography work, such as slower shutter speeds for longer exposures, you might want to invest in a monopod. They're similar to a tripod, except they only have one foot instead of three. They obviously can't stand up on their own, but can really help stabilize a longer shot, and are far more portable then a tripod. You can get a cheap monopod for about $20.

Jeg
06-10-2005, 06:58 AM
What I do actually is to hold my breath just as I'm about to hit the shutter so that I don't shake the camera as much. But that might be a little bit extreme.

I do the same. Its just like shooting a gun hold your breath till after the shot if fired so you don't throw your aim off. That was on of the things I was tought first.

One other thing you have to take into consideration is that some people natureally shake slightly. I for example and one of those people. I have found that most of the time if I have a small little table top tripod to hold onto that helps alot. By small I mean fits in my hand, and I say tripod rather then a hand bar because the hand bar you can only grip where and the small table top tripod can be used as a tripod (if your leans isn't too big) and a tripod is never useless.

*Shiva*
06-10-2005, 10:57 AM
I agree that tripods are great, but sometimes makeshift tripods or other subsitutes are even better. Since I usually take all my own photos, I'm always experimenting with how to position the camera myself. If I always used a tripod, everything would be relatively straight-on and waist high. But I've hung that camera everywhere (most recently on trees in the woods), and have gotten some awesome shots, and at angles I never would have tried otherwise. Sure, you lose the ability to compose the edges of the photo that way, but as long as you recrop the pic in computer editing, you'd never know. :)

gmontem
06-10-2005, 11:24 AM
If I always used a tripod, everything would be relatively straight-on and waist high.
You can rid yourself of that limitation by investing in a ballhead, and a longer-extending tripod to deal with the waist high problem.

jtnishi
06-10-2005, 11:35 AM
One of the main thing I've always wanted to know is this: what shutter speed should I set my camera on to get a nice still-motion action shot without having to worry about streaks or any sort of blur in the shot?

There was one time I read a neat little trick for countering blur: if your (digital) camera has a burst shot mode, and you can spare the memory space, and are willing to use it, then use it. Finagle's law (90% of everything is crud) can be used to your advantage. Some of the shake in the camera comes basically just from the process of pushing the button. But if you can fire off 3 or so shots in a row with one press, you eliminate the button being one issue. And besides, you then get 3 chances to get the shot right.

As for the speed you need to have no streaks, it's subject dependant. Things like hummingbirds, which beat their wings at 50 times per second, obviously would need very fast shutter speeds (1/500th or 1/1000th of a second, maybe). Cosplayers don't move that fast, thankfully. While at Fanime, I was around shooting a skateboarder outdoors in midair somewhere in town after lunch. Frozen pretty much perfectly at 1/250th of a second. So if you can control your shutter speed, that's probably a good place to try, if your camera can handle the shot at that speed.

gmontem
06-10-2005, 11:47 AM
Cosplayers don't move that fast, thankfully.
With the exception of cosplayers ODed in pocky and other sugary substances. ;)

phaedrus
06-10-2005, 11:58 AM
As for the speed you need to have no streaks, it's subject dependant. Things like hummingbirds, which beat their wings at 50 times per second, obviously would need very fast shutter speeds (1/500th or 1/1000th of a second, maybe). Cosplayers don't move that fast, thankfully. While at Fanime, I was around shooting a skateboarder outdoors in midair somewhere in town after lunch. Frozen pretty much perfectly at 1/250th of a second. So if you can control your shutter speed, that's probably a good place to try, if your camera can handle the shot at that speed.Don't forget about the physical and focal length of the lens. Longer lenses need faster speeds to keep them stable. 1/$focal_length is the rule of thumb, If My Memory Serves Me Correctly. Reminds me I've been out of photography too long...used to work in a really nice lab during High School. Don't think I've done much since!

dmk26
06-10-2005, 02:08 PM
There was one time I read a neat little trick for countering blur: if your (digital) camera has a burst shot mode, and you can spare the memory space, and are willing to use it, then use it. Finagle's law (90% of everything is crud) can be used to your advantage. Some of the shake in the camera comes basically just from the process of pushing the button.

If camera shake is a concern, the best bet is to get a remote trigger. But from what I've read in this thread so far, long as you keep your shutter speed < 1/250, you should be good.

phaedrus
06-10-2005, 02:10 PM
Meh, as long as you're not too caffeinated, you could hand-hold 1/100 or 1/60 on an f50 lens no problem, depending on weight, balance, etc.

AnimeAngel
06-10-2005, 02:31 PM
OMG!
This is great! I just have one thing to say,

When taking photos at a con. And you are REALLY tall. Most people you are taking photos of a REALLY short. Bend down just a tad so they don't look like midgets in photos :3

bob1968m
06-10-2005, 02:52 PM
I went to my first anime convention in Boston in April. I had a blast taking pics. what was nice was that most people already had a pose so I didn't have to try to pose them. I didn't use a very fast shutter speed since they were posed shots. Most were at 1/60th of a second. Since i was doing full body, i used a pretty wide focal length as well. Camera is a Nikon D70.

I was more concerned with the flash being too harsh and dealing with the crappy lighting of the convention hall. I solved that by using some tissue paper to diffuse my onboard flash a bit. I've since bought a better external flash so my next convention (in NJ) I'll get to try that out. I used it at a fashion show and it worked nice.

RuthlessJS
06-10-2005, 03:46 PM
If camera shake is a concern, the best bet is to get a remote trigger. But from what I've read in this thread so far, long as you keep your shutter speed < 1/250, you should be good.

One technique I use often is finding a pillar(if there is one around) to alleviate camera shake...especially if Im shooting late at night and I don't want to use my flash.

Another technique I've seen is screwing a 1/4 tripod bolt underneath your camera and tying a long piece of rope into a circle so that its connected to the tripod bolt. Then you can step on the rope with your two feet and pull the camera up so that the camera is steady. I think this would probably give you an extra stop or two depending on how steady your hands are.

ZiggyB
06-10-2005, 04:20 PM
RuthlessJS: Woah, that's the most interesting way of trying to stablize a camera I've ever heard. LOL Man that's definitely going to look weird in a convention situation though. X-D

Though really, unless the area is *really* dark and you don't feel like using the flash or you're just not used to keeping still, taking photos of posed cosplayers usually isn't a problem. I've gotten great shots just using the automatic settings at most conventions.

Oh and welcome back (to the forums anyway) haven't heard or seen you in a while. :)

Kokuu
06-10-2005, 08:57 PM
I was more concerned with the flash being too harsh and dealing with the crappy lighting of the convention hall. I solved that by using some tissue paper to diffuse my onboard flash a bit. I've since bought a better external flash so my next convention (in NJ) I'll get to try that out. I used it at a fashion show and it worked nice.

Hmmm... I've never heard of using tissue paper as a diffuser before. Did you just rubberband a piece of tissue paper over the flash? Does it really help soften the flash light?

bob1968m
06-10-2005, 09:36 PM
Hmmm... I've never heard of using tissue paper as a diffuser before. Did you just rubberband a piece of tissue paper over the flash? Does it really help soften the flash light?


yes, i used a rubberband. actually i used a square of toilet tissue. fell off a couple times but it seemed to work reasonably well. pretty easy to replace too. lol. I did a few selfportraits the night before and my skin tone was definitely warmer. probably best to try it yourself to make sure.

http://img299.echo.cx/img299/3095/p6100009email4gw.th.jpg (http://img299.echo.cx/my.php?image=p6100009email4gw.jpg)

Super No 1
06-10-2005, 10:11 PM
I've seen people use tissue for a diffuser. I've also seen people use a Bounce dryer fabric softener sheet as a diffuser.

gmontem
06-10-2005, 10:16 PM
I'd love to make something like this (http://www.juergenspecht.com/photos/2002/05/Juergen_Specht-20020525050.jpg) to try out at the expense of getting stares and funny gestures. Funny story about it can be found here (http://www.juergenspecht.com/truestories/?number=1&page=1).

yukitoLeonheart
06-10-2005, 11:50 PM
I have used really light fabric (a funny combination considering it was being used for a costume) as a diffuser. It works well.

As far as softening a flash, they have lots of fun things like minihoods and caps.

Eurobeat King
06-11-2005, 01:17 AM
OMG!
This is great! I just have one thing to say,

When taking photos at a con. And you are REALLY tall. Most people you are taking photos of a REALLY short. Bend down just a tad so they don't look like midgets in photos :3

Yaya Han asked me to do that last year when I took her picture, and so ever since I've been bending down to take pictures for some cosplayers. Although it's tough to keep them for too long, as more than 5 seconds and my old knees hurt pretty badly.. :thumbsup: But I also can get pretty flexible when taking pics, hence why you may see the knees of my pants always dirty from taking all those knee-drops.. hehehe

LyddieGal
06-13-2005, 09:41 AM
Is there a good way to go about avoiding grain in photos? I'm currently using a 4mp digital canon elph (and yes, I know it's not ideal - but I want to take great photos AND cosplay, so carrying around an SLR would not be an easy feat.) At any rate, I generally use the manual settings and keep my ISO at 400 and use the florescent light setting when inside the convention halls.

example of a grainy image : http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=343724

phaedrus
06-13-2005, 10:28 AM
example of a grainy image : http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=343724Yikes. Does that happen to all of your pictures, or just under certain conditions? The film-camera-guy in my wants to say use a lower ISO, but ISO 400 in film isn't grainy like that (And is of course more than reasonable for general purpose use). Four megapixels also seems like it should be pretty good.

bob1968m
06-13-2005, 10:34 AM
Not sure about avoiding noise in first place as it seems to be inevitable in low-light situations. But there are easy to use tools to help remove it. I use a photoshop plugin called Noiseware, but there's a community freeware version you can try. There are others out there as well such as noise ninja. I like the plugin cause i have greater control in masking out parts that ended up to plasticy.

link to noiseware software. http://www.imagenomic.com/

I ran your pic through it real quick just to show what it does with default settings.

http://img119.echo.cx/img119/9048/4920thethridgoldenticketnoisef.th.jpg (http://img119.echo.cx/my.php?image=4920thethridgoldenticketnoisef.jpg)

phaedrus
06-13-2005, 10:50 AM
Better, certainly...mostly reinforces my earlier vague feeling that maybe the focus wasn't 100% on, and that's part of the problem. Where IS the focus point, anyway? The ticket? Still, there is definitely a pixellation issue. Look at the walls!

(We're probably going to get yelled at for 'not turning the Q&A into a critique', but this is probably a very common problem in digital photography that should be addressed!)

gmontem
06-13-2005, 11:09 AM
The camera shake makes it difficult to figure this out but I'm guessing the center focus point was used. The elph may not even have multiple focus points. There looks to be enough contrast to focus on the necklace but again the camera shake. Then again LyddieGal may have used the focus+recompose technique which works fine for the cameras with tiny focal lengths.

LyddieGal
06-13-2005, 02:57 PM
Phaedrus - You are right, lowering the ISO seems to lend to noise reduction.

Phaedurs and gmontem - The elph has 9 auto focus frames and when the button is held half way which ever frames it is focousing on are represented on the LCD.

Bob1968 - That looks pretty good, I think I shall download that plug-in.

thank you all for your responses, that was so quick!

didjiman
06-13-2005, 03:40 PM
Is there a good way to go about avoiding grain in photos? I'm currently using a 4mp digital canon elph (and yes, I know it's not ideal - but I want to take great photos AND cosplay, so carrying around an SLR would not be an easy feat.) At any rate, I generally use the manual settings and keep my ISO at 400 and use the florescent light setting when inside the convention halls.

example of a grainy image : http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=343724

As others mentioned, lowering the ASA should help a lot. When using the noise eliminating filter, make sure you are not too aggressive. Otherwise, you will get too plasticky look. Check out some before and after pictures to see what I mean.

The main thing is that a big sensor does mean less noise so while a DSLR may be too big to carry, there are some cameras with less noise that are still not too big. Check out the usual review sites such as www.dpreview.com for options.

hello kenney
06-13-2005, 04:25 PM
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=343270

The camera used in these photos was the Minolta DiMAGE A1 5mp digital camera.

excellent work.

i have a question regarding the picture above. i skimmed most of the posts in this thread, i hope it hasnt been asked yet- and forgive my lack of correct terminology. i dont know the technical names of anything.

particularly- im wondering what is used to achieve the multiple levels of focus in your photo. the figure is distinct, while the background is blurry. admin does this often and its breathtaking-

http://www.cosplay.com/eventphotos/image/16107/

i also see it in photos by super-no. 1. i had assumed it was only possible with the high end equipment and add on lenses i see them with, yet now i see it in your photo that was taken with a more affordable camera and apparently no extra lenses. granted, the effect isnt as extreme.

without the distinction in distance, my photos seem incredibly flat (taken with my measly but indestructable canon powershot a60):

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=157525

just to be clear- im only interested in digital, and that minolta is probably too much camera for me. i cant imagine needing 5mps, and its a bit more than i was planning on paying although not out of the question- but thats my ceiling. maybe i can find more of the blur and less mps?

so whats the deal- what is used to get the blur and whats it called?

thanks in advance.

gmontem
06-13-2005, 05:08 PM
Here's a pretty good explanation about Depth of field (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Depth_of_field).

Kokuu
06-13-2005, 05:11 PM
Megapixels have nothing to do with the "blurry background". The blurry background is caused by a short depth of field. Depth of field is the distance in front of and behind the subject which appears to be in focus. The shorter the depth of field, the blurrier the background will be. This is done with a larger aperture opening. Aperture referrers to the lens diaphragm opening inside a lens. Set your camera to "aperture priority" and use your largest aperture setting (which is your smallest number). Zooming in as far as you can may help, since it lengthens the lens.

To sum up, here's what affects depth of field:

1. the lens opening (the bigger the apertures, the zone of sharpness is shallower or vice versa);
2. the focal length of the lens (the wide angle lenses have extended field of sharpness than a longer focal length lenses and vice versa)
3. the distance from the lens to the subject (the nearer the subject is, the shallower the zone of sharpness and vice versa)

You are right, equipment does play a big part, since most "point and shoot" cameras do not have a long enough lens. I wasn't able to get the "blurry background effect" with my Olympus Camedia C-750, which is a pretty nice point and shoot. With SLRs, you can change lenses to get the desired look, but it does not come cheap.

didjiman
06-13-2005, 06:46 PM
...
To sum up, here's what affects depth of field:

1. the lens opening (the bigger the apertures, the zone of sharpness is shallower or vice versa);
2. the focal length of the lens (the wide angle lenses have extended field of sharpness than a longer focal length lenses and vice versa)
3. the distance from the lens to the subject (the nearer the subject is, the shallower the zone of sharpness and vice versa)
...


Also the sensor size. Smaller format has greater depth of field. Don't ask me to explain or I will send you the URL for Circle of Confusion (really!) and you will be as confused as I am :-). For example, with the teeny sensors in most P&S digital, it's about equivalent to F11 or so at its largest opening as comparing to a 35mm film size, so yea, most portions of the pictures will be within the range of focus.

The Minolta A1/A2 has a larger sensor than most P&S, but still quite a bit smaller than the APS-C size sensors in most DSLR and much smaller than the full size sensor in the 1Ds/MKII.

black shinigami
06-15-2005, 01:36 AM
I'm curious about photo equipment subsitutes. Because I do not have a photographer and my friends are unwilling to be a temporary one, my photos are all straight on.

I don't have one of those tripods or easel things which hold the camera so you can take photos from different angles. I'm wondering if there is anyway that i can use things at home to take angle shots on my camera(i.e ariel).

ZiggyB
06-15-2005, 02:46 PM
I hate to say it, but I think your best bet is a tripod. They aren't that expensive for simple ones.

And if you go to a decent photography store they will have used ones that are around $10-20.

I think that's the easiest and best way to take pictures of yourself other then just setting it on a bookself with the self timer.

phaedrus
06-15-2005, 02:50 PM
I think that's the easiest and best way to take pictures of yourself other then just setting it on a bookself with the self timer.Or worse, directly into the bathroom mirror! When does that ever look good?

black shinigami
06-16-2005, 01:27 AM
mmm..I don't think my parents will approve of it though. Sigh. I bet it's going to be pretty expensive here in aus(if it's 10-20 in America). Things in Australia are always over priced. sigh. -__-

eron
06-16-2005, 03:48 AM
Actually, anything with the word "photo" in it's product title will be hideously overpriced whatever country you're in-- it's never been a cheap profession/hobby. But anyway, not that I'm knocking using a tripod (I love mine, but not in a dirty way), yet I think you can make super-cool shots without one. My reasoning is that any shot you can make with a tripod, you could pretty much make with a vaugely stable bookshelf or chair. However, and this is a HUGE disclaimer, I won't take responsability for trying any of these craaaaazy ideas: First off, tape is your friend. You can tape most small cameras to just about anything. Walls... broom handles... your dog... your guitar... your Mom's car... Just use good masking tape and it should peal off (*never* put it on your lens). Also, if you have a self timer, I'd urge you to be creative-- this artist John Baldessari did some cool pieces throwing his camera in the air with a self-timer on. Also, a friend of mine who does band photos for magazines throws his camera up to get good crowd shots. Note: if you value your camera more than your art, don't do this. ^_~ But think about other ways to do stuff with your camera. Set it up and treat it like a stage-- hang down from a second bunk. Leap in to the frame off a chair just as the timer goes off. Use a long exposure and move during it. Or go in a dark-ish room and point a flashlight at yourself while the camera is exposing. It's all about knowing your framing. When I'm oding self portraits, I sometimes even tape the background behind me with little pieces of tape so I know what the camera is seeing and can hunker into the frame. Again, don't jump through any hoop of fire small enough that you might get burnt on it and busted. Heck, propping the front of your camera up on a table at a coffe shop can get great results and usually rersults in less splinters of glass in your eyl. *shrugs* Back to listening to music...

hello kenney
06-25-2005, 06:03 AM
thank you very much for your help kokuu, gmontem, and didjiman. that was exactly what i needed to know.

you guys are awesome.

/EDIT: went with the panasonic lumix fz20- 12x optical zoom and 5mp- only used it for about half an hour today, but i got the blur effect :D :D :D

picture of it (http://www.cosplayuniverse.com/dime/lumix_fz20.jpg)

wwcrites
06-28-2005, 05:57 PM
Though I like digital photography I really prefer tradition 35mm film. I use a Pentax P3 SLR. I general 400speed color film, Kodak Max (indoor), 200speed for outdoor use.

Will

Eriol
06-28-2005, 08:29 PM
Actually, anything with the word "photo" in it's product title will be hideously overpriced whatever country you're in-- it's never been a cheap profession/hobby.

That can be said for nearly every product labeled for use in a profession. It's especially funny to see the same item used in two different places, and where the non-hobby version costs less.

First off, tape is your friend. You can tape most small cameras to just about anything. Walls... broom handles... your dog... your guitar... your Mom's car... Just use good masking tape and it should peal off (*never* put it on your lens).

Think like MacGuyver.

Stacking chairs or boxes to create a suitable height for a base. Also, I've seen cameras hang off a nail or hook in the ceiling or wall. Or "from the inside of something" shots, where somebody leaves a camera inside a cabinet, box, etc. and just shoots away. Having a remote helps.


Also, if you have a self timer, I'd urge you to be creative--

There are some really interesting photos that get shown each year by art students if they are studying photo art and/or photography. I'm sure they can give ideas too.

Hime no Ryuu
06-30-2005, 02:16 PM
Since this is a Q&A, I figure this is the place to ask.

What's the best way to approach your subjects? I've never been told no, but I'm just curious how some of you go about it. I always try to get cosplayers to move to the sides of halls and such so they have a decent background instead of a crowd of congoers. I usually don't try to move them too far out of their way, though, especially if they're trying to get somewhere. I was just curious if there's a standard "etiquette" on this besides, "Please, can I take your picture?"

Oh, and while I'm at it: Look at my pictures. Why do I get these bright glowy white circles in some pictures? It's almost as if my flash reflects off dust particles in the air. >< Is it just too strong a flash?

skypirate
07-01-2005, 05:27 PM
Since this is a Q&A, I figure this is the place to ask.

What's the best way to approach your subjects? I've never been told no, but I'm just curious how some of you go about it. I always try to get cosplayers to move to the sides of halls and such so they have a decent background instead of a crowd of congoers. I usually don't try to move them too far out of their way, though, especially if they're trying to get somewhere. I was just curious if there's a standard "etiquette" on this besides, "Please, can I take your picture?"

Oh, and while I'm at it: Look at my pictures. Why do I get these bright glowy white circles in some pictures? It's almost as if my flash reflects off dust particles in the air. >< Is it just too strong a flash?

The golden rule is a good start, treat cosplayers like you would like to be treated.

"Would this be a good time to get a photo of you?"

This allows them to either accept or gracefully decline for any number of real or fictional scheduling conflicts. It shows consideration for the cosplayer's time and that you care about them, not simply about getting their picture.

Many cosplayers are in groups. Don't play favorites. Show equal and sincere interest in photographing each of them.

Let the cosplayer know what to expect. Explain what you're going to do, then follow through (This is what I'm going to do and now I'm going to do it).

For example, "If it's O.K., I'd like to take two pictures, first I'd like take a full costume shot, then I'd like to get a close-up, head shot".

--

You're fairly close on the white circles. That's probably dust that has settled on the front of your camera's lens. Most cameras are so small these days, the flash reflects off the subject and right back at the lens and illuminates the dust.

The best solution is to keep your lens clean with a "blower", a small squeeze bottle designed to blow dust and lint of your lens. Don't use "canned". If it's inside the the camera, you're out of luck.

Pamper your camera. Keep the lens cap on and in a camera bag when not in use. Vacuum the bag regularly.

Parasaurolophus
07-01-2005, 06:10 PM
What's the best way to approach your subjects? I've never been told no, but I'm just curious how some of you go about it. I always try to get cosplayers to move to the sides of halls and such so they have a decent background instead of a crowd of congoers. I usually don't try to move them too far out of their way, though, especially if they're trying to get somewhere. I was just curious if there's a standard "etiquette" on this besides, "Please, can I take your picture?"


At AB this year, the majority of my photos where either taken by: girls squealing "Robin!" and grabbing their camera or a guy kind of hovering by, who happened to make eye contact as I walked/waited around.

I got kind of good at interperting camera motions, but its better if you say the character name to get my attention, and then politely ask to take a photo. I know it can be intimidating, but I was happy to pose (though half of the time I had a goofy smile). And getting out of the way to take the photo is good too. I think I made a few staffers mad as I tried to walk down to the end of the autograph line, but stopped every few people. :thumbsup:

HybridTwist
07-09-2005, 02:12 AM
I'm not too sure if this technique has been asked yet, but I'll go ahead and ask it anyways.

Is there a technique where I can get almost everyone/everything blurred in a shot, but have the model for the photo in focus?? For example, having the model walk down the street where everyone/everything is a blur except for the model. Or am I going to have to use photoshop to make an effect like that?

Oh, and I have a Canon PowerShot A75, 3.2 mega pixel.

gmontem
07-09-2005, 02:24 AM
I'm not too sure if this technique has been asked yet, but I'll go ahead and ask it anyways.

Is there a technique where I can get almost everyone/everything blurred in a shot, but have the model for the photo in focus?? For example, having the model walk down the street where everyone/everything is a blur except for the model. Or am I going to have to use photoshop to make an effect like that?

Oh, and I have a Canon PowerShot A75, 3.2 mega pixel.
See page 3 of this thread. Start from Hello Kenney's post.

ZiggyB
07-09-2005, 02:25 AM
That technique is refered to as "Depth of Field." You can usually achieve that by opening up the aperture (the smaller the number the more open it is). For most point and shoots there is a "Portrait" mode which does just that.

However, for a point and shoot like the Canon Powershot the blur effect won't be that pronounced.

For instance, my point and shoot Minolta A1 can achieve that effect like this:
http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=340824

But it only burrs when the background is pretty far away.

If you want to have the blur really pronounced like in this picture by Admin:
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/16629/

You'll have to get a really expensive camera with a lens that lets you open up the aperture a lot more then your typical point and shoot.

But give it a try. It won't cost you anything. :)

More info here:
http://www.dpreview.com/learn/?/Glossary/Optical/Depth_of_Field_01.htm
http://luminous-landscape.com/tutorials/understanding-series/dof.shtml

Chukkie
07-09-2005, 10:49 AM
[QUOTE=Hime no Ryuu]Since this is a Q&A, I figure this is the place to ask.

What's the best way to approach your subjects? I've never been told no, but I'm just curious how some of you go about it. I always try to get cosplayers to move to the sides of halls and such so they have a decent background instead of a crowd of congoers. I usually don't try to move them too far out of their way, though, especially if they're trying to get somewhere. I was just curious if there's a standard "etiquette" on this besides, "Please, can I take your picture?"

QUOTE]


I usually just likely tap them on the shoulder or touch their arm if I'd like to ask for a photo and the person has his/her back to me. Plus if they are having a conversation I normally move on and find them later. Most people only where one outfit per day, but some go through like 3 or four o_0

phaedrus
07-09-2005, 01:30 PM
I'm not too sure if this technique has been asked yet, but I'll go ahead and ask it anyways.

Is there a technique where I can get almost everyone/everything blurred in a shot, but have the model for the photo in focus?? For example, having the model walk down the street where everyone/everything is a blur except for the model. Or am I going to have to use photoshop to make an effect like that?

Oh, and I have a Canon PowerShot A75, 3.2 mega pixel.
If the model is moving, you can lock focus onto them and follow for the duration of the exposure. Can be a relatively neat effect if done well. Other than that, there's always the depth of field manipulation ZiggyB mentioned, which is a pretty standard technique, and the old 'Vaseline(tm) on a UV filter'!

Kokuu
07-09-2005, 01:50 PM
I'm not too sure if this technique has been asked yet, but I'll go ahead and ask it anyways.

Is there a technique where I can get almost everyone/everything blurred in a shot, but have the model for the photo in focus?? For example, having the model walk down the street where everyone/everything is a blur except for the model. Or am I going to have to use photoshop to make an effect like that?

Oh, and I have a Canon PowerShot A75, 3.2 mega pixel.

It almost sounds like you are talking about a motion blurr in the background in addition to an out of focus background. Are you looking for an effect like this (http://www.istockphoto.com/file_thumbview_approve/54565/2/istockphoto_Airport___Movement_54565.jpg) but with an infocus subject in the foreground.

Motion blurrs are caused from how long the shutter stays open while taking a picture. If the shutter is open for a very short period of time, only a little bit of light will be allowed in; if the shutter is open for a long period of time, a lot of light will be allowed in. Short exposures are good for bright sunlight and when you are trying to capture a moment in time in something fast paced, such as sports. Longer exposures are better for low light situations and for cool motion effects.

You'll absoutly need a tripod, since your hand can't hold the camera still for that long, and you'll get camera shake. You'll need to put your camera on fully manual since you'll be adjusting both the apature and the shutter speed. Check back for a couple of pages for info on apature setting and depth of field. You'll have to play around with how long makes for a good shot. Your model will have to hold VERY still otherwise they will blur as well.

HybridTwist
07-09-2005, 02:25 PM
Thank you gmontem, ZiggyB, phaedrus and Kokuu for your help. I'll try those techniques that you all suggested.

ZiggyB, I want to take a picture like the one Admin took, that's what I'm looking for. And Kokuu, I'll try doing the shutter speed thing that you suggested, I know that I can screw with that on my camera. (Oh and again, loved your skit at AX Masq., well done).

Again thanks everyone for the help, I really appreciate it.

Ami Yuy
07-27-2005, 07:56 PM
Since this is a Q&A, I figure this is the place to ask.

What's the best way to approach your subjects? I've never been told no, but I'm just curious how some of you go about it. I always try to get cosplayers to move to the sides of halls and such so they have a decent background instead of a crowd of congoers. I usually don't try to move them too far out of their way, though, especially if they're trying to get somewhere. I was just curious if there's a standard "etiquette" on this besides, "Please, can I take your picture?"

I made a thread on this last October -> Do's and Don'ts of Con Photography (http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=46382)

Also, when searching to re-find this I found this (http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=28251&highlight=etiquette) and this (http://forums.cosplay.com/showthread.php?t=10089&highlight=etiquette) thread as well. They basically cover the same things.

hello kenney
07-28-2005, 04:12 AM
I'm not too sure if this technique has been asked yet, but I'll go ahead and ask it anyways.

Is there a technique where I can get almost everyone/everything blurred in a shot, but have the model for the photo in focus?? For example, having the model walk down the street where everyone/everything is a blur except for the model. Or am I going to have to use photoshop to make an effect like that?

Oh, and I have a Canon PowerShot A75, 3.2 mega pixel.

its good to see someone else was wondering about this!

you had almost the exact same camera as me too- mine was the powershot a60.

its a little late to respond- but what the heck. speaking from recent experience and with basically the same camera, the depth of field effect wont really work on your camera.

with my new camera (http://www.steves-digicams.com/2004_reviews/fz20.html) with far more zoom- its possible for me to do this sort of thing:
http://www.cosplayuniverse.com/ga/albums/userpics/anime_expo_2005/anime_expo_2005-450.jpg
or if the background is really far away, even more pronounced:
http://images.cosplay.com/showgallery.php?cat=500&userid=7791

its still nowhere near the level admin gets tho:
http://www.cosplay.com/featurephotos/image/1486/
or this one with a closer background:
http://www.cosplay.com/eventphotos/image/16121/

his gear must be very nice!

Ayame0
07-30-2005, 12:39 AM
Okay! I have a question about lighting. To achieve the appearence of different coloured/super pale skin, one would not only have to use makeup, but also for a sever dramatic effect, use lighting, correct? This is going to sound horribly silly, but is there some sort of option/technique on digital cameras (in general) to imitate the light without actually using light from a lightsource? And if that is not possible, then how would one position the lights to shine on the subject, but still be able to shoot a decent picture?

hello kenney
07-30-2005, 09:10 AM
is there some sort of option/technique on digital cameras (in general) to imitate the light without actually using light from a lightsource?

not really- at least if im understanding you right. for example, you couldnt create the effect of a strong light source on the left side of a person (causing shadows on the right,) without actually using a light source. or the colored light you might see reflected on a persons face if they were watching fireworks or a campfire or whatever. at least not with a consumer digital camera.

it sounds like maybe what you want to do could be done with photoshop. you can certainly make a person look paler or change the color of thier skin that way.

what did you want to do exactly?

Godly
07-30-2005, 05:53 PM
Yea just use photoshop

AgentSakur9
08-08-2005, 10:16 AM
This may or may not help take better pictures, BUT it helps you out physically as a photographer. Knee-Pads... The Volleyball ones you can pick up at any sporting goods store.

I tend to wear mine under my jeans. Most places have "baggy" or "beyond baggy" jeans, LOL. Although there was this time where I was wearing them with shorts and someone asked who I was cosplaying as... I was all... ?_?;

Ollie
08-09-2005, 09:11 AM
Here's some things I was surprised I didn't see mentioned. It's all from my trial-and-error experiences.

Camera shake and blurryness. Like a gun, be careful how you push the button. Using the index finger will translate and rotate the camera. Using the whole hand to squeeze the camera helps keep it steady, just like a marksman would do with a firearm. Pay attention to the way you depress the button, and keep this in mind.

Grain -- my Kodak ES4330 just has grain in pictures. Smaller, cheaper CCD just does that, and I've learned to live with it since it wasn't too bad. I avoided darker shots where it's more noticable. Don't get too frustrated if it doesn't go away completely.

Spots -- when I started, I'd often end up with my finger in the way. Even if it's not actually in the photo, it'll easily reflect light back into the lens. Anything can do it, such as the lens cord or hair. I once had my hair directly in front of the lens, and the flash make it all light up like meteors were raining down upon my subjects.

Depth of FIeld -- I've tried using the "Macro" setting for close up focal distances. With a P&S, you can't really change aperature much, but a good close shot does reduce the DoF. Hasn't worked too well yet, though.

Efecss
08-17-2005, 06:02 AM
Disposable cams aren't all trash. Kodak used to have a great camera a few years ago. Some folks thought it was so great, they were reloading them instead of bringing them back. I wonder why Kodak ceased distribution of that model... :)

Anyway, if you get a cheap camera, your pictures will look much sharper if you don't go for a zoom. I prefer walking close to my subject than using a cheap zoom.

If no one knew, Kodak began it's career with disposable cameras back in the 1800's. A box camera cost about a $1, and you had to send it in to get the film. Then, I think Kodak again, began making personal cameras, and then the photography boom took off.

I am still a film purist. For me, there are still too many drawbacks with digital. Especially batteries and storage. Many professional photographers I know have said that it's too easey to get rid of images off your card for space, and possibly make the mistake of getting rid of the pulizer winner.

Still, if I could get the best of both worlds, cheap, I would.

As for holding still while snapping pictures. The breath technique is great. But, ofcourse, I have say investing in a tripod and monopod is also a must. And for taking pictures yourself. I love an extended cable release. It's a squeeze bulb with a 60 foot 1/8 inch rubber tube that attaches to your camera. I broke mine a while back, or else I would be showing more pictures of myself. (My family, you say press the button, and their brains freeze...)

And the monopod is great for different angles. For those in the San Francisco area, get to the start of the Betabreakers Marathon, you may see a guy at the start, holding his camera over his head on his monopod, and as the racers start, stamping on something on the ground, then running away. (A friend of my photography instructor) And he gets these great "vista" shots of the entire running group as they start.

Also, if you look in my gallery, at the chibi Inu-Yasha and Dejiko, you could see that I sat on the floor and took the picture of those kids. I plan on getting a folding step lader and carrying it with my stuff at cons for a higher angle.

Flashes. I have been taking pictures for over 25 years, 15 with my SLR, and I have a fixed focus flash. I usually trust the meter on my flash for indoors. And the trusty old sunny 16/ shady 8 rule. It seems to be working for me. But, when I come across someone with inky black fabric, or brilliantly white satins, I will adjust my apature. But, I never change my exposure time set for my flash. Theonly time was Fanime 99 at that hotel. My light meter just sank to the sub-basement. And the Doubletree for BayCon, just sucks light out of everything in the halls. It's almost impossible to overcompensate.

I am still dreaming of the day when I get a house of my own, and my own darkroom.

I took almost every photography and mot of the telecom courses at Butte College just as they were introducing personal computers. I took beginning and advanced B&W, color I, II and III, commercial photography, and photo art. Also sports tlecom, studio tv, acting and editing for television. (It helps)

Well, I think I've gone on tooooooo long on this.

nope
07-28-2007, 04:33 PM
ooh. this was a good thread.

Amechan
08-02-2007, 04:50 AM
Alrighty, I have a question about external flashes.

I used to have a cool, brand X manual flash for my Canon AE-1 program. When I switched over to the Digital Rebel XT, I noticed that the flash didn't align properly (and while trying to fix it, I broke the old flash). I know the Rebel comes with a built in, pop-up flash, but that thing just doesn't cut it sometimes.

Does anyone want to recommend an external flash that works with Canon's digital SLRs and isn't too expensive? (And, I mean anything over $70 will probably be too much for my budget right now.)

staereo
08-02-2007, 06:22 AM
If youre tight on money, check this one out.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2007/02/return-of-classic.html

Bruce

Amechan
08-02-2007, 01:15 PM
If youre tight on money, check this one out.

http://strobist.blogspot.com/2007/02/return-of-classic.html

Bruce

That is actually just what I'm looking for. Thanks! :D