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Unread 03-22-2010, 12:50 AM   #1
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Critique of a Photo Set [Fight]

Hello, I'm new to this, and somewhat new to cosplay photography. But nothing like practice and finding out how to improve.

So, I was wondering if I could get a critique on this set of photos of two of my friends in a fighting sort of scene. It was at an arranged cosplay day/photoshoot where we live, which doesn't happen often as it's a small town. But I'd love to get a critique to know how to improve.

Shot 1: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2364634/
Shot 2: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2364649/
Shot 3: http://www.cosplay.com/photo/2441368/
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Unread 03-22-2010, 02:10 AM   #2
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The most obvious thing I would recommend is finding a better background. The road and cars are somewhat distracting. I'm not sure what was on the other sides of the filed, but you might have had a better angle (or possibly not).
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Unread 03-22-2010, 04:29 AM   #3
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Fight photography

I agree with Jim. The backgrounds are distracting. This can be avoided by being selective about your angles. You can get rid of some distant scenery by trying high angles, making the grass become the only background. Extreme low angles might also help you too. Try backing up and zooming in. This will really give you control of what will be in your background. It might also give you an opportunity to make things in the distance, out of focus. This can be a nice effect.

Try doing profile shots when photographing two fighters. You will get more faces.

Timing is also important. Consider what action will be the most exciting moment to capture. Will it be a sword being swung, and dodged, or maybe blocked?

The cosplayers are smiling in your photos. This might be what you were after for fun photos. However, if you want more believable fight photos, try to keep them in-character.

Be careful of light hair or wigs blending with a bright sky. Either bring your exposure down, find a darker part of the sky, or avoid putting the sky behind their heads.

Here a a few examples of my fight photography:



Last edited by brucer007 : 03-22-2010 at 11:24 PM.
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Unread 03-22-2010, 07:19 AM   #4
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Besides composition techniques or venue choosing etc, I think the problem is you are not catching the facial expressions, you said they are 'fighting sort' of the scenes, but they more looked like laughing and just standing... i don't feel they are fighting in any sort..
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Unread 03-22-2010, 06:44 PM   #5
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They're all decent shots, but as others said, maybe a higher or lower angle to hide the distracting parts of the background would make for better shots.

One thing you can do is move closer to the tree line, thus using the trees to hide your true location. I think a shot of the fighting by the river would be much more interesting than them fighting by a highway.
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Unread 03-26-2010, 10:09 AM   #6
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You might also want to make them stand closer together. They're so far apart, it makes it hard to frame them both properly and keep out the background distractions at the same time.
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Unread 03-29-2010, 01:23 AM   #7
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I'm not a photographer, but I agree with everything said already.

Another thing that can help the shots are the models themselves. Make sure that they are tapping into your creative vision as well! The models in Brucer's shots really have that intensity that just jumps out at you and screams action, fight, combat!

Other than that, keep it up
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Unread 03-29-2010, 02:10 PM   #8
Harra Arial
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Let's see, this is coming from a Cosplayer (not a Photographer, but... some of this may help.)

You've called this a "Fight-scene", but I'm not seeing much "fight"-worthy things. I would understand if you didn't want these guys bashing their weapons together, but a little movement couldn't hurt. Besides that, they're very far apart. It's sort of more like a "Staring Contest: I glare at you and hope you fall over" instead of a fight.

Standing them a little closer together could help. Keeping them so far away makes for some very unweildy angles.

Speaking of angles, feel free to experiment~ Maybe stand right behind and slightly-to-the-side of one of the fighters to get a good view of another. (Point-of-view shots tend to work out very well when done right.) With the angles taken here, it makes the background pop out and be... well... distracting. If your camera has the settings, you can blur out the background, or you can Photoshop that later if need be. Focus should be on the Cosplayers, not the background (unless the background happens to be really important.)

I... hope this helps out just a bit~
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Unread 04-09-2010, 03:46 AM   #9
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I agree fully with everything people have said above me.

Another thing I would say is..if you're going to get a shot where one of the subjects have their back towards you, and the other is facing you, try to get a bit closer. Go for over the shoulder, but make sure you can see this person still a bit. Hmm...

For example: http://i42.tinypic.com/2qa2zgx.png

This isn't the best one to go by, but you'll get the idea. Shoot from around here, maybe a bit higher so you can see the opponent on the other end and really get a feel for what's going on here.

Another thing is, not sure if it's your cam, or if you're upping the contrast in your images. I used to do that when I had a simple point and click HP Photosmart, but I've come to realize if anything, it becomes an eyesore. So be careful when tweaking the colors up in your shot, you don't want them too harsh, you want to keep a natural feel to it, if that makes any sense.
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Unread 04-26-2010, 04:27 PM   #10
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The Lighting outside is good, but all the Cars and the Backround is Distrating, if you want an open feild find someplace were there is not a busy street and aim were you cant see the Road
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Unread 05-03-2010, 08:03 AM   #11
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first photo lacks focus i.e. I can't tell who or what is the primary subject. and the way you cut off one of the characters isn't flattering. the angle is not right maybe you can try shooting something like from the POV of one character, shot down or shot up anything to spice things up. and as mentioned before, i think the scenery is too distracting you should try cropping out the un-needed space.
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Unread 06-05-2010, 05:26 PM   #12
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I also feel like the backgrounds and the composition in general could be change.
Keep up the good work!
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Unread 06-08-2010, 06:28 AM   #13
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My take on fight shots:

I always take 2-3 shots when it comes to duels. 1 shot each side of the cosplayers.

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Unread 06-15-2010, 04:15 PM   #14
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Part of what makes fight photos looks more real is the involvement of the cosplayers. The body language and the facial expressions need to look like they are busy. I often direct them to look in the direction of the weapon they are pointing, as if there is an enemy just beyond the camera.
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Unread 06-16-2010, 01:59 PM   #15
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Originally Posted by brucer007 View Post
Part of what makes fight photos looks more real is the involvement of the cosplayers. The body language and the facial expressions need to look like they are busy. I often direct them to look in the direction of the weapon they are pointing, as if there is an enemy just beyond the camera.
Excellent advise and example. How about that workshop eh?
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