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Rokusasukun
12-02-2006, 01:42 PM
Hey everyone. I just started cosplaying a few months ago (at the same time as my roommate). I've been into photography for ages, but have only had one real class.

Anyway. I've been doing all of my roommate's cosplay photography. I've been working with a digital camera, since my nicer film one is temporarily out of commission. And I have no idea when it will be up and going again. Our next con is coming up in March and she has two new costumes she's going to debut. They're really awesome and I definitely want to do them justice with a good photoshoot.

Any advice at all would be great (possible types of locations, critiques of pictures I've taken, different things I might try, etc). I would be eternally grateful.

These are some of the pictures I've done so far:

http://images.cosplay.com/gallery.php?member=49097

The digital I'm using right now is pretty much a 'point and shoot'. I can adjust the flashes and a few other things, but nothing complex. And since I don't know when my other one is going to be alive again, I'll probably have to use it for these photoshoots.

And, as a side note, one of the costumes she's doing is Ed Elric with automail arm and leg (which are looking very good), so I most definitely want the pictures to show just how amazing they are.

Thanks to everyone ahead of time!

kimi-chan
12-02-2006, 08:53 PM
I think about 2/3 of a photo's amazingness goes to the cosplayer, if they have an amazing costume and can portray the character through the lense that is great. 1/6 of awesomeness has to go to a background. The photographer should be like "NO we can't have THAT be in the shot" and move the subject. I think the background sets the mood. Then the remaining 1/6 goes the the ablity to play with light/shadows/angles and knowledge of the camera. I hope that was not too drill sargenty. Spero Tutto Bene!
~Kim

CosplayerGabi
12-02-2006, 09:13 PM
What kind of camera is it?

I'm just now treading the path of "messing with the camera" and I'm no expert but With Ed Elric I'd look for a gothic settling like an old library or church and a pretty open field against a tree.
For something dramatic wait until the sun is a couple hours away from settling and both of you face the sun, have her turn her face half way towards you and get a nice blow out photo that nearly hides facial features but highlights the costume. With this one if your camera has cloudy settling use it. It will let you have that nice rosy glow of sunset the eyes see but a camera on regular settlings can't see.
You can also try something similar with you laying on the ground, the sun high, and her leaning over you. Turn on your fill flash for that one.

To highlight the arm set your camera to Macro setting, have her reach with the arm towards the bottom right corner of the frame. Be close enough that her automail finger should almost touch the corner of the frame. Be at an angle to catch the rest of the arm details. With any luck it will focus the arm and only blur her a little. The vibrant colors of Ed's jacket with no doubt make it clear who she is.

That's all I got for artsy today.

Rokusasukun
12-02-2006, 10:13 PM
It's a Vivitar ViviCam 5100. It was about $150. It does have a few different kinds of settings on it, but definitely not as many as I'm used to. But it's all I have for now, until my regular one is back.

Those are some good ideas for Ed. I like the suggestion for the picture of the automail. ^_^

The second costume she's doing is Luna from Lunar: Silver Star Story, which should be fun. The colors are very bright and vibrant and the idealic setting would probably be somewhere open with touches of sunlight.

Thanks for the advice, kimi-chan and cosplayergabi!

shiroin
12-03-2006, 02:55 AM
for any types of photography:
just take lots of pictures, and after each time you shoot, review your pictures.
what i mean by reviewing is to point out what was wrong, and how you can possibly do to improve it next time.

very simple and short list things to watch out are: exposure (too dark? too bright?) , flash usage (was subject too dark/bright compared to the bg?), composition (were parts of the body cut off or should be cut off?) , background (was there chaos that disturbed the picture or was there serenity?), posture (was the cosplayer in a good posture?), facial express (was the cosplayer having a bad day?, and many other things.

just keep doing this then you will become better as time goes on

Sipo
12-03-2006, 01:56 PM
(Make sure your shadow isn't in the photo when taking photos in the direct sun! Heehee!)

Rokusasukun
12-03-2006, 07:32 PM
Hee! ^_^; I did that with a few of the pics. Didn't judge the angles correctly. LOL

jtnishi
12-03-2006, 07:59 PM
I'm going to throw in my thoughts with shiroin, but I think something more general is in order. Practice is good. And finding out what's "wrong" is good. But it leaves a fundamental question: what is "wrong"?

The best thing you can do is develop an opinion of what you like and don't like, and be able to pull those elements out of your shots. In easier words: if you like your shots, don't just accept that you like them, but ask yourself why you think you like them. If you don't like them, find out why you don't. Same thing when you look at shots that others take: find out if you like them or not, and internally discover why. If you can find a common theme occuring, then the next step is to understand how to control that aspect in your shots. That may involve Googling, asking someone who might know more about that aspect, or it may be obvious. Then practice that aspect, find out if it really does help your shots, and move on and work another element. Be willing to experiment at least a bit to try to find those elements that you wouldn't have discovered by just looking at other's shots.

It's true that you can apply a bunch of rules to photography to get it "just right". But my opinion is that it's best to find out what you like most, because in the end, odds are if you can be happy with your own shots, there's a good chance others will be too. It's the slow method approach, but it is the one that seems to work best. Yes, this is very much a common sense approach rather than a very precise methodical approach, but it does work.

Good luck!

tfcreate
12-16-2006, 02:08 AM
I've said this in a previous thread, but I can't stress this enough,
Right now..... during the con down time, is when you should be practicing.
There shouldn't be more than a day or two when you aren't taking photos.
Especially those with digital cameras. It's not a big deal to knock out a photo or three to keep your eye and mind sharp.

And most of us are guilty of not touching our cameras until a few days before we need them.
It also gives you a chance to make sure that your tools are working.

Your skills are perisable, don't let the winter months take them away from you.

TFC

SolarTempest
12-24-2006, 11:30 PM
It's true that you can apply a bunch of rules to photography to get it "just right". But my opinion is that it's best to find out what you like most, because in the end, odds are if you can be happy with your own shots, there's a good chance others will be too.
When I first started photography, I was really into the rules and conventions that provide good solid photos. Very rigid and methodical gives good results. Concepts like depth, rule of thirds, and proper exposure all lie in this category.

This helped form my core photography skills. With experience and experimentation, you can learn - through trial and critique - what rules you can bend or completely disregard in specific situations. For me, this is where I get my favourite shots. I think you might find the same =) Gluck!

jtnishi
12-26-2006, 12:55 PM
When I first started photography, I was really into the rules and conventions that provide good solid photos. Very rigid and methodical gives good results. Concepts like depth, rule of thirds, and proper exposure all lie in this category.

This helped form my core photography skills. With experience and experimentation, you can learn - through trial and critique - what rules you can bend or completely disregard in specific situations. For me, this is where I get my favourite shots. I think you might find the same =) Gluck!
Again, the rules can certainly help. I use a number of them to try to improve my photos myself. That said, there's tons of great photos that break the rules, and plenty of photos that follow the rules that aren't great, which goes to show that the rules aren't everything. In artistic photography (rather than in technical photography), rules are meaningless without vision. That's the hardest "rule" I've had to learn, and is still by far the hardest thing I still have to get solid in my own head. That's why I prefer an emphasis over knowing what you like rather than knowing the rules. If you know what you like, you can then start applying rules to form that, even if those "rules" aren't the same rules you and I classically learned.

quelara
01-20-2007, 06:55 PM
I've started using a film camera with a lense worth more than i'd like. It takes great photos but my digital camera that i borrow from my parents took great photos at manifest 06. I asked people who had great costumes when i saw them outside or inside because the university had amazing places for photography (think gothic and a few good looking retro buildings) I moved around and got great angles. I took alot of thought into my backgrounds and tried to get the best lighting i could. Lighting can make the picture amazing of make it look very poor.

Here are the rules i use.
-try to get a great background
-good lighting is needed
-get lots of poses
-take lots of photos (digital cameras are great for this)

some people get shots of cosplayers where you can't see all their costume. If you only see their face and not all of their amazing costume you miss out on tose little details that people try so hard to put in. A naruto cosplayer may put in hours of work for just those ninja sandles! A Naota cosplayer may hand make his pants! People put in all this work to be seen so photographers should show people this amazing work right.

(if you do get close ups just make sure you have a photo of their full costume. I only do close ups for people with masks, alot of face make up or detailed hats or head pieces)