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Unread 12-09-2012, 07:22 PM   #1
trig009
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AX gear?

I found out my terminal leave from the military will allow me to go to AX. What gear do you recommend for better photos.

I already have the basics covered: Camera, extra SD/CF cards, extra batteries.

Do you think a flash would be good? and would any kind of diffuser help? or anything else you think would be good.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 07:49 PM   #2
nathancarter
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A hotshoe flash would be great - - one that will tilt and pivot, and has a pull-out bounce card so you can bounce off ceilings and walls.
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Unread 12-09-2012, 08:59 PM   #3
Access
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Quote:
Originally Posted by trig009 View Post
I already have the basics covered: Camera, extra SD/CF cards, extra batteries.
For the basics, don't forget things like a water bottle, emergency food supply, and some comfortable way to carry your gear (whatever works for you).

What nathancarter says on the flash is good advice too. There are diffusers you can find online but I've had the best luck just building one using craft foam and velcro. If you look at this photo: http://accessaccess.deviantart.com/#/d5k9w89 it's #6 in the photo, it folds flat for storage, you can get the necessary pieces for less than $10. or so at a Michaels.

Last edited by Access : 12-09-2012 at 09:58 PM.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 12:09 PM   #4
Jonowxeno
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Yeah, don't forget snacks and water. This year was my first AX and there's so many cosplayers to photograph that I ended up not eating lunch, so the snacks and water are very helpful.

Depending on your style, you don't even need a flash. Some photogs prefer natural light and do amazing work with just their camera. But if you do bring a flash, Access's suggestion of making your own diffuser/bounce is easy and cheap and customizable. I'm lazy so I just buy them lol. For hall shots, the ceiling at LA convention center is really high and you're not usually near walls so there's not much to naturally bounce off of unless you can pull the cosplayer off to the side.

Me personally, walking around hallway shots = I bring just my camera + one flash with a small sling bag holding the batteries/memory cards/food/water. For shoots, I bring couple light stands and either leave them bare or use umbrellas/softboxes depending on what I'm doing.
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Unread 12-10-2012, 12:46 PM   #5
Access
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jonowxeno View Post
Depending on your style, you don't even need a flash. Some photogs prefer natural light and do amazing work with just their camera. But if you do bring a flash, Access's suggestion of
I think modern-day you have to be competent in both, know when and how to use natural light and also how to properly combine it with artificial light (flashes are just one type).
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Unread 12-10-2012, 02:50 PM   #6
Surfsama
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If your style is straight-forward (no multi-flash, softboxes, etc), then a flash bracket is very handy at keeping the shadows behind the subject. I used one that rotated the camera so my flash always sat proper regardless of my camera orientation. If you are going to bounce-flash at AX, I suggest a diffuser like a LumiQuest. I would suggest a lens that is wide enough to get close shots because AX is a mad house of people. If you're into low-light there are some nice areas for evening shoots so a fast lens is nice to have.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 04:26 AM   #7
jeproxshots
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Access is right You need to be competent in both.

The Lobby in AX is very nicely lit (as long as theres sun) A flash isnt needed in most areas. However if you plan on stopping people in the exhibit hall flash will be needed.

Example of photo in main hall no flash
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Unread 12-27-2012, 04:40 PM   #8
brucer007
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If you will be with friends most of the time, you could consider bringing a foldable, round or oval reflector they can hold for you. This can be handy for bouncing sunlight, or your flash.
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Unread 12-27-2012, 09:38 PM   #9
trig009
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all very good advice, thank you. i won't have anyone with me since they are working and i will be on terminal leave. it will be a learning experience for sure.
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Unread 01-09-2013, 08:35 PM   #10
Max_Archer
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I recommend the triangular reflectors if you plan on getting one. I bought one last year and it's been a revelation - you can hold it one-handed with a camera in the other, and if somebody else is holding it it allows them to see what they're doing, unlike a round reflector where you often block your own view while holding it two-handed. I have a Lastolite one and it's spectacular, but there are much more affordable knock-offs on Amazon.

Overall, though, I highly recommend a good on-camera speedlight with some sort of nice diffuser or bounce card. I don't really believe in on-camera softboxes, but you can get some awesome results with the indirect bounce-type ones. I like the Gary Fong ones because they go on the flash head sideways, which allows you keep them upright when the camera is vertical, which means you don't have to deal with a flash bracket.

Even in brightly-lit places like AX's lobby, a flash can be a great help since the sun is coming from overhead and the background is very bright. It lets you get the balance between the subject and background right, and if you use the flash for fill, you've suddenly got a pretty nice "studio" lighting setup with the sun coming through the glass and acting as a giant softbox main light, and then the on-camera flash as a fill light. The fill light is also critical when shooting outside under that midday July L.A. sun.
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