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Unread 11-04-2013, 10:45 PM   #1
Spocktacular
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taking good cosplay pictures?

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:





http://th07.deviantart.net/fs71/150/...ca-d6gq8l4.jpg
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Unread 11-05-2013, 06:02 PM   #2
JustnsLostAngel
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I actually really like you the American one... it is super cute. I would invest in a really nice camera stand. I honestly do not edit any of my photos and I've been told they are really good...So, in short, keep doing what you are doing, just get a proper stand for your camera.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 09:15 AM   #3
Ashurachan
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Get Lightroom first. You can't exactly edit with it, but it's a post-processing tool a lot of photographers have, because it's extremely effective when it comes to working the light and colors of the photos. It's a lot simpler than Photoshop, and it doubles as a great tool for browsing / organizing / exporting photos. Lightroom doesn't modify your photos, it just stores adjustment information in a separate file (its catalog) and allows you to export the modified photos at the size you need.

Then for Photoshop, find tutorials online and read/watch them carefully. The most useful IMO :
* first, learn the tool palette. You won't use all of them for photography, though. My most used tools are : quick selection (and other selection tools, but it's my main one), spot healing brush/patch (seriously, the patch is amazing), clone stamp, standard brush, eraser.
* Layers : when editing you generally copy your base image to a new layer and do your edits on that coapy, so when that you botch something you can remove the layer and start anew without losing your base image. Learn to use the layer palette to navigate between layers, hide/show them.
* Layer masks : you use them to apply the edits to only the part of the image you need.
* Adjustment layers : they're layers that only do adjustments to your basic image like Lightroom, but unlike Lightroom you have precise control on which parts of the image you want to apply the adjustement to, thanks to the built-in layer mask. I'm a big fan of color replacement layers
* Layer transparency : if you don't want your edit to mask the underlayer completely, that's what you'll want to use (for example, when smoothing skin I often use a semi-transparent layer, so that my editing doesn't destroy expressions). Also sometimes, you'll want to change blending modes.

Photoshop is a bit intimidating, but as a photographer you only use a very small subset of the whole thing. For example there are tons of filters, but you'll only end up using a few (sharpness and blur filters are the only ones I've used).
Always keep your original photo (before edit).

Read the manual of your camera to know where the timer function is and how to use it (if you don't have it you generally can find it online on the manufacturer website). Seriously, people, when you have a tool you are not absolutely familiar with, READ THE F***ING MANUAL. It may be boring, but once you finish you will know what your tool can and cannot do, and also have a good idea of how to operate it. It will save you a LOT of time later, trust me.
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Unread 11-07-2013, 11:14 AM   #4
lemuries
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spocktacular View Post
2) I have looked for hours and hours, and I cant figure out how to set the timer on my camera.
What is the camera's make and model? Maybe we can help you figure out what to do to get the timer to work?
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Unread 11-07-2013, 03:04 PM   #5
nathancarter
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spocktacular View Post
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.
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Unread 11-12-2013, 08:37 PM   #6
WonJohnSoup
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^Second what Nathan said.
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Unread 04-09-2014, 11:37 PM   #7
LarryMHolder
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Originally Posted by WonJohnSoup View Post
^Second what Nathan said.
I third it, adding that lighting techniques and how light works is going to be extremely key to learn and understand for anyone that wants to do photography. Capturing light in various forms is how it works after all
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