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Unread 05-29-2010, 06:57 PM   #1
Celia Rose
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New to Photography - Assort. Cosplay photos

I'm fairly new to photography with a D-SLR. I've picked up on photography tips through two years of journalism class, but I know there are ways I can improve.

The following photos were taken December 29, 2009 with a Canon EOS Rebel XSi. Editing done in ArcSoft PhotoStudio 5.0.2
deviantART album: http://zetsui101.deviantart.com/gallery/#Cosplay

Hetalia: Axis Powers
cosplayers: Atakiri & Ashley

Katekyo Hitman Reborn!
cosplayers: Atakiri, Ashley, & SDF

C&C, please! I'm always looking to improve. C:
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Unread 06-21-2010, 03:34 AM   #2
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Hey! There's alot of good going on in these shots! For real! I'll go photo by photo on my $0.02.

First photo, with photos like that you really have ot be careful with depth of field. If you focus on one thing (person being the subject), you loose the background object (flag). You almost completely miss the flag and are left wonder... "why are they doing that hand thing? Some Naruto thing?"

For the second. CUTE idea! Only thing would be depth of field again. Either totally have the hand out of focus or the people. Also, if they are kissing or talking or whatever, you can't tell. Body language does't show what they are doing behind that hand.

The third shot is so nice! I really like it. I would not crop so much of the shears out of the photo. Also maybe angle them more inwards? Even do more of a shot closer to the ground to get the feeling of being alone. Nice shot though!

Forth shot... the ladder is distracting. Seems your main character is on a slight angle, rather than a nice more direct angle. You know? Like he was about to turn to go more into an angle. Your subject on the right seems to be looking at the camera almost. That's distracting.

Fith! Lovely shot! Only thing I can say bad about it is I would've cropped out the yellow on the arm. Distracts from the eyes.

Last! I would get closer to the ground for such an intimidating shot. Make the character seem larger than life. Almost like they are already up on you. Be careful about losing lines against such a contrasting background. The black jacket makes him more into a blobs instead of creating more angles of interest. The legs are using angles and takeing advantage of the snow but the arms aren't as much.

That's all I can think of! Nice choice of place though! Very interesting!
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Unread 06-21-2010, 12:32 PM   #3
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You got some nice photographs there! Great job. My favorite is definitely kissu_hetaliashoot. I really like the concept. Only thing I'd suggest is to have a cleaner background and make the kissing pose a bit more obvious just to make sure viewers understand your shot.

I think you planned out their poses very well in all the photographs. However, distractions in the background were taking away from the well-planned composition. I'd suggest you to try paying more attention to the environment or shoot at places with a cleaner background. Blurring out the background w. DOF control might help too.

I'd also suggest relying less on design elements such as border, logo and text. They definitely add a nice finish to your images as they could alter negative space and composition by quite a bit but they also make you focus less on the image itself.

Just my 2 cents
"People buy ideas, they don't buy photographs"

-- Annie Leibovitz

Homepage: http://andyrakphoto.com
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Unread 06-22-2010, 07:57 AM   #4
Bruce Heinsius
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My critique may be a bit of critique of past critiques. I know they did not ask for it, but I feel the desire to contrast my opinion with theirs. Of course, you as the artist can decide whethe to follow either of our feedback, or just do as you feel is what you want to create.

#1) I agree with Arkhamqueen that the flag is hard to see, but it seems more of an exposure and contrast issue, not so much about depth-of-field or focus. The flag and the flag pole dissappear agaisnt the white sky, as does the white fur on the hat. Exposing the shot darker would bring in those light areas more, but the face would get too dark. Using a flash would help brighten the face enough to set the camera for a darker background. The fur may still wash out though.

#2) I think the image with the hand blocking the faces is fine as it is. I don't think it needs to be blurred. I like the stark edges around the dark glove and the well defined heads behind it. I don't think we need to be 100% sure what is happening behind the hand. It seems the hand is there for that reason; to block our view from seeing what is happening, but it is quite obvious to me that they are most likely kissing, or about to do so, etc. The only part that takes away for me is the blue sleeve. It is brighter and more colorful than the hand, which makes my eyes a bit distracted from the main features; the hand and the two heads. Making the blue into grey in post should help.

#3) The next shot looks fine to me at this height of the camera. The light and dark of each person contrast well, creating a "Yin and Yang" effect...a good balance of light and dark.

#4) The image with 3 people looks fine. The ladder frames the guy on the left, creating a frame-within-a-frame. The redness of the ladder pulls some attention, but there are more saturated reds elsewhere in the photo, so red looks like a color motif. My attention goes mostly to the person in the middle, which I think was your intention, so the eyes of the person on the right are not distacting to me....They just support a context of what is happening here.

#5) I agree, the yellow sleeve cropped out would make the image more clean.

#6) The legs disappearing into the snow looks a bit strange since no feet are seen. Other than that, I like the pose, the big scissors, and the seemingly evil smile!
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Unread 06-25-2010, 11:50 PM   #5
Celia Rose
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Thank you, everyone, for your feedback and criticism! Unfortunately, I didn't get a chance to read and act on the advice you've given me before my most recent photoshoot (also KHR! with a new cosplayer).

Photo 1-
Winter weather makes lighting a pain. Dx This shot was the one with the clearest flag. I'll try using a flash, though, and see what it does.
But, won't the flash reflect off America's lenses?

Photo 2-
My models are very shy when it comes to in-character pairing shots, which is why we hardly have any. I'm glad to know that you like the photo!
I'm debating which version I like better, the blue sleeve or greyed-out sleeve (It looks greyed out on my screen, anyway).

Photo 3-
Thank you, again! I would like to try this shot again this winter, except from on the ground like ArkhamQueen suggested. : )

Photo 4-
@brucer007 I'm so happy you noticed the ladder frame! xD
I struggled with fitting all three of them into one shot without having an image that didn't fill the frame, and the ladder was my godsend. <3

Photo 5-
cropped the yellow, looks great. : D

Photo 6-
I cut her legs off at an odd position when I took the photo, so unfortunately I can't fix that. Dx I would like to try this shot again this winter, though. : ) (My Bel is going to be sick of my shoving a camera in her face by that point, LOL)

As for the logo, it's an editing style I've seen used by the Tuxedo Team @ deviantART, and as I played with it more, it became less huge and obnoxious like in my first set. xD I use the black bars to credit the cosplayers on the photo itself, also.

Thank you, again, and please look forward to more photos!

Here are some photos from my most recent photoshoot with Coeur d'Cosplay. After weeks of rain and cold, we were very thankful for a sunny day to take photos (except Atakiri, who promptly discovered that sunny weather brings the spiders out of hiding )

Cosplayers: Atakiri, SDF, and Jessica

Complete photo collection located here.

I have two photos still from the shoot that I haven't finished editing mostly because I'm stuck as to what I should do with them, and they aren't exactly fantastic.

model: Jessica

models: Atakiri, SDF
Bad Photoshop job is bad.

C&C, please! C:

Last edited by Celia Rose : 06-26-2010 at 12:14 AM. Reason: additional information
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Unread 06-26-2010, 12:08 AM   #6
Bruce Heinsius
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You can avoid the flash reflecting off the glasses by having her turn the front of her face angled away from the camera. This can be left, right, down, or up. Glasses have a wide variety of curves to the lenses, so each lens will reflect differently. You could also try having her lift the handles of the glasses off her ears about a half inch or so, so her lenses tilt downwards. If you do it a certain amount, it might not be noticable the they are not resting on her ears.

For image 2 the desaturated blue sleeve is much less distracting, since the vibrant red hats over-power it a lot now.
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Unread 07-08-2010, 11:55 PM   #7
Celia Rose
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I'll keep the reflection technique in mind for shooting at OtakuCon next weekend. A lot of cosplayers last year were glasses wearers, and I expect most of them will be back for the photoshoots. Thanks! : )

Is the vibrant red too distracting?

I decided to leave the photo of Jessica by the creek as it is, since I couldn't find a different way to edit it that was satisfying.
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Unread 07-10-2010, 01:45 PM   #8
Bruce Heinsius
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Image #1 This image's up-side is that you used foreground bushes to conceal him, and nicely blurred background to seperate him.

The down-side is seeing too much of the tall hood. It pushes the face too low to make a nice composition. His skin-tomes are very blue from shooting in the shade and the blue sky reflecting light in. This can be compensated for in photoshop. The wrist, or whatever is in the bottom left corner is a distraction. I suggest cloning leaves over it, rather than cropping.

#2 Over-all nicely balance composition with good leading-the-action. A lower angle would show her eyes better. The smaller blades of grass near her arm look nice to connect her with the environment ,but becareful of the large, bright blade of grass cutting through the book. The skin tone color is nice. It would even be better if you used the saturation filter, or disaturation brush, to take out the cyan from her shirt.

#3 The composition is perfect. I don't think it needs much editing, other than warming the skin tones. A reflector would have sculpted the face in a bit more flattering way, but it still looks very natural.

#4 The concept of using a 3/4 angle looking over his shoulder is nice. It would have been better executed if you either got an even lower angle (if possible), or had Hibari come closer to the camera so his head will be higher in the frame, taking up all that negative space in the top left of the frame. A Dutch Tilt might have also help to bring him higher. Viper is pushed against the right frame line. Giving him some room would make a better composition.

More light on their faces would be nice. Silver reflectors or large mirrors can send sunlight far when there is much shade in the immediate area.

Regarding the Santa hats photo, I like the greyed out glove much more. The don't find the vibrant red too distracting. It pulls my eyes to the two main subjects.
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