Originally Posted by Spocktacular
hi. I would like some tips on taking better cosplay pictures. I have a few issues.
1) I am confident with my camera, but editing is an issue. This is embarrassing to admit, but I can't figure out photoshop. once and a while I will get lazy and use a website for taking pictures with my web camera.
2) I have looked for hours and hours, and I cant figure out how to set the timer on my camera. I will either have to get someone to hold the camera (which usually ends up not so good), take it myself (which means it will just be a headshot), or shove the camera onto my mic stand since I don't even have a camera stand and get someone to take a picture for me that way.
I have a great camera. it takes good pictures. Not SUPER high quality like other cosplay pictures I have seen but still very good. it's a little red handheld camera. It's better for making videos though. I admit though, I am very stupid when it comes to computer stuff besides video editing.
here are some examples of my cosplay pictures:
- At its core, cosplay photography isn't much different than most other portraiture. The posing, makeup, and clothes are a little more extreme, but the fundamentals are the same. What makes a compelling portrait: Lighting, pose, expression. Setting/background, clothing/costume/makeup, camera/lens, and editing/processing are after that. Everything after that is just an afterthought.
- It's tough to take a good self-portrait that's not just a "selfie" style snapshot. Without a timer (or remote shutter release), "tough" becomes "impossible." As mentioned above, if you post the specific make & model of your camera, we can probably help you figure out the self-timer mode; or, you can just google for an electronic or PDF copy of your camera's manual. "A little red handheld one" isn't particularly descriptive.
- I agree with the suggestion to look into Lightroom software. I'm a very enthusiastic proponent of Lightroom. I do nearly all my editing (including portraits & cosplay) in Lightroom, only going into Photoshop for specialized editing such as panorama stitching, heavy-duty pixel edits like cloning/patching, or certain types of portrait edits (such as glam portraits). Not to mention all of Lightroom's organization and publishing features.
- My assignments for you, if you want to improve your photos and portraits, are twofold:
1) Look at photos that you like, and really study them. Think about what makes them "good" and appealing. Then, think about how you can try to duplicate some of those things yourself. Most top-notch cosplay portraits are going to have an interesting and compelling pose and facial expression, combined with interesting and flattering lighting. Look at photos that you find bad or mediocre, and dissect those as well. What's wrong with them?
2) Look at light. This sounds silly, but as a photographer, it's what you have to do. As you go about your day, watch for how light sources interact with people and objects. Look for colors of light that are interesting - and boring. Look for interesting shadows. Especially look at how light falls on faces, catches and reflects in eyes, sculpts and defines body parts and clothing. Sounds a little trite and cliche, but when you start to "see the light," your photographic creations will rapidly and dramatically improve.