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Unread 02-15-2012, 02:55 PM   #1
December Wynn
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The Will of the Abyss photoshoot critique

I recently had my first photo shoot, although I would even be hesitant to call it that. It was with my Will of the Abyss (Pandora Hearts) cosplay.The lighting was poor, the camera wasn't of good quality, and we did the best to work with the setting we had. Nevertheless it was fun, but I'm wondering both what I can do to improve the pictures now, and what I can do to get better photos in the future.

Almost all of the photos look washed out. The background looks dark and I look colorless. While I think it suits the character, I worry that it makes the photos look bad or cheap.

I also had to decrease the quality of the photos in order for them to be small enough for cosplay.com to accept them. Is there a way around this?

Another note: being my first time alone in front of a camera, I was really terrified about posing. Any tips, pointer and critiques on the poses in the photos?

I would be really appreciative of any feedback - I would love to improve for the future! Thanks!



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Unread 02-16-2012, 12:26 PM   #2
BetwixtPhotos
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Quote:
Originally Posted by December Wynn View Post
I recently had my first photo shoot, although I would even be hesitant to call it that. It was with my Will of the Abyss (Pandora Hearts) cosplay.The lighting was poor, the camera wasn't of good quality, and we did the best to work with the setting we had. Nevertheless it was fun, but I'm wondering both what I can do to improve the pictures now, and what I can do to get better photos in the future.

Almost all of the photos look washed out. The background looks dark and I look colorless. While I think it suits the character, I worry that it makes the photos look bad or cheap.

I also had to decrease the quality of the photos in order for them to be small enough for cosplay.com to accept them. Is there a way around this?

Another note: being my first time alone in front of a camera, I was really terrified about posing. Any tips, pointer and critiques on the poses in the photos?

I would be really appreciative of any feedback - I would love to improve for the future! Thanks!



Lighting is your friend and I think your concerns about the dark background and you looking "colorless" would be remedied with some simple off camera lighting. In a space like you have there you don't even need fancy flashes or expensive studio lights to make improvements. When inside/at home a cheap solution is a couple clamp lights with daylight balanced bulbs. You will want to diffuse it with a white sheet or pillow case so it isn't so harsh like a spot light. For what you are going for here an undiffused one could be used to brighten the background.

As far as posing I think you had a good idea going with the 2nd one (1.1) but your face and eyes need adjusting. Sometimes looking off camera is appropriate but it can look like you are spaced out unless you look out a window or towards something else in the frame. Tilting the top of your head just slightly to the left of the frame and shifting your eyes towards the photographer would improve this n my opinion. Also I like this one more than the other one that is similar to it because your hands are doing something. Placing one on the table and one on the chair not only makes the hands less awkward but positions your torso.

One other idea is that is your have a mirror like the one behind you I would have done a picture of you looking into in from a position similar to your last picture (1.5) Use it as a prop or turn to your profile so half your face is in it and half is toward the camera. Reflections tend to draw the eye's attention (at least they do for me) so if you aren't actively showing something in it you are better off making sure you don't show up in at all. Again my opinion.

The size limit imposed by Cosplay.com is unavoidable. Make the dimensions smaller but try not to decrease quality settings if possible.

I hope that is helpful. I love your costume, it is very pretty. Great work!
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Unread 02-18-2012, 12:22 PM   #3
December Wynn
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Quote:
Originally Posted by BetwixtPhotos View Post
Lighting is your friend and I think your concerns about the dark background and you looking "colorless" would be remedied with some simple off camera lighting. In a space like you have there you don't even need fancy flashes or expensive studio lights to make improvements. When inside/at home a cheap solution is a couple clamp lights with daylight balanced bulbs. You will want to diffuse it with a white sheet or pillow case so it isn't so harsh like a spot light. For what you are going for here an undiffused one could be used to brighten the background.

As far as posing I think you had a good idea going with the 2nd one (1.1) but your face and eyes need adjusting. Sometimes looking off camera is appropriate but it can look like you are spaced out unless you look out a window or towards something else in the frame. Tilting the top of your head just slightly to the left of the frame and shifting your eyes towards the photographer would improve this n my opinion. Also I like this one more than the other one that is similar to it because your hands are doing something. Placing one on the table and one on the chair not only makes the hands less awkward but positions your torso.

One other idea is that is your have a mirror like the one behind you I would have done a picture of you looking into in from a position similar to your last picture (1.5) Use it as a prop or turn to your profile so half your face is in it and half is toward the camera. Reflections tend to draw the eye's attention (at least they do for me) so if you aren't actively showing something in it you are better off making sure you don't show up in at all. Again my opinion.

The size limit imposed by Cosplay.com is unavoidable. Make the dimensions smaller but try not to decrease quality settings if possible.

I hope that is helpful. I love your costume, it is very pretty. Great work!
Thank you very much for your advice! I had never thought about adding some clamp lights - that would sure have made the lighting a little better.

We'll be trying to do the shoot again, this time with better lighting and posing. I didn't realize how awkward the mirror looked until now - besides cropping the original photos, I can't wait to utilize it a bit better in the next try. Also - thank you for the posing tips. Hopefully my next couple of tries can look a little more dynamic, and I will look at the camera instead of the wall!

Once again, thank you very much for your advice! It is very helpful!
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