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Unread 11-27-2005, 01:12 PM   #1
jtnishi
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Best general convention settings for cosplay portraits?

Hey folks,

I'm kind of wondering what kind of attributes you guys look for when you try to find scene settings for your good cosplayer shots (ie: those shots where you aren't trying to get the shot at the spur of the moment, and actually have a few minutes to plan for). Do you guys try to look for blank walls, or do you try to find supporting objects (trees & branches such)? Or do you guys actively go out looking for sites on locations where the costumes might fit in well?

I know that out of habit, I tend to look for trees & such to frame a shot, but I'm dying to look for new ideas, since trees aren't always closely available.
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Unread 11-27-2005, 04:39 PM   #2
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I think it depends on the character, first of all. Some characters just don't go with trees (although many do).

However, there are always ways to be creative with other types of backgrouds, espeically if you are good at cropping or framing photos. Staircases can look really cool, or sections of hotel lobbies that have neat chairs or mirrors. Even walls can be neat if they have an interesting texture or lighting - the possiblities are endless!

At a con, the main concern is to get other people out of the shot when possible. Although that doesn't really work for spur of the moment pics, sometimes just asking the cosplayer to step out of the crowd and against a wall is helpful. If you have more time, moving to someplace with a more interesting background is great. Also, try to be careful of the harsh overhead lighting, which sucks inside most con centers. A location either outside, near a window, or near a soft light source (reading lamps, for instance) will be much better.

Also, look at the work of others for ideas - the more you see what other photographers have done, the more likely you will begin to see potential photo sets leap out at you. Some examples from Admin, who is especially good at this, IMO:

http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=498744
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/17005/
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/14230/
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/14244/
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/14531/
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/17008/
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/15834/
http://www.cosplay.com/privateshoots/image/15835/
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Unread 11-28-2005, 02:57 PM   #3
tfcreate
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I look for sites literally the minute I get there, as well as alternate locations.
Lighting, traffic and backgrounds are factors, but no single one is the determining factor. The biggest problem is being interrupted by foot traffic or just plain rude people. I try to find a place where the costume is enhanced, but not overwhelmed. It takes a practiced eye, but after you do it for a while it becomes easier to do.
I've taken to using more support equipment like reflectors for supplemental lighting, but I travel light. Just camera, flashes and filters.
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Unread 11-30-2005, 12:36 PM   #4
Ami Yuy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jtnishi
Hey folks,

I'm kind of wondering what kind of attributes you guys look for when you try to find scene settings for your good cosplayer shots (ie: those shots where you aren't trying to get the shot at the spur of the moment, and actually have a few minutes to plan for). Do you guys try to look for blank walls, or do you try to find supporting objects (trees & branches such)? Or do you guys actively go out looking for sites on locations where the costumes might fit in well?

I know that out of habit, I tend to look for trees & such to frame a shot, but I'm dying to look for new ideas, since trees aren't always closely available.
Depends on whether I have the cosplayer for more than a few minutes or not.

If I'm just taking them aside for a minute, then I try and find a place where I can seperate them out from the crowd and then work with the background to complement the character. ie. At the Anaheim Convention Center there's the nice walkways with the palm trees and flowers (1 & 2). And there's always just pulling them off to the side of the walkway (1 & 2).

If there are supporting objects that I know of off the top of my head and they're not far, I'll definately try to find and use them, but general rule for me, is to try and show off the costume and minimize the background as much as possible (but of course, supporting/framing elements back there are always great ^_^).

If I have them for a photoshoot, then I try to have in mind ahead of time where I want to go and how I want to use that setting to show off the costume/character. (example)

As for ideas for supporting objects other than tree branches...I love walls, reflective glass and stairwells.
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Unread 11-30-2005, 03:05 PM   #5
jtnishi
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ami Yuy
As for ideas for supporting objects other than tree branches...I love walls, reflective glass and stairwells.
Ooh, I completely and totally forgot about those stairwells at AX. I'll have to remember those.

Good suggestions, I'll have to think about them.
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Unread 11-30-2005, 07:57 PM   #6
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Like what others have said it depends if it's just a quick shot before the cosplayer runs off or if I can steal them away for a few minutes to find an approprite place to take pictures.

If it's a quick shot, I try to find a less busy place to take the picture. What I've been doing recently is using empty or even semi-busy hallways. Since I'm able to blur the background, it sometimes looks nice that the cosplayer is in focus but there is a busy, but blurred background is in the photo.

Sorta, kinda like this: http://www.divideby0.com/photos/2005...r/IMG_3515.jpg

But usually what I'll do is look around and find the closest "interesting" place to take photos. Sometimes is a corner, sometimes in front of closed doors.

What I have been doing at conventions now is keeping an eye out for nice spots to do photo shoots. So if I can take people away for a few minutes, I can take them there for photos.

I think the quick photos of people just walking buy provides the most challenge. It makes me have to think quick on my feet for backgrounds, angles and compositions. :)
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Unread 12-01-2005, 04:37 PM   #7
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Like everyone has been saying, it all depends. Sometimes a costume screams out for background, or special setting, sometimes not.

Like tfcreate said, I too sometimes go around looking for special setting just in case.

But, more times than not, someone is going to something specific, so you often times get those one shot deals.

But I do ask, and I hardly ever go too far. I try and find soemthing close by to use, so the person isn't too put out. Like here: http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=521393 This was a rock at Ani-Magic that wasn't more than 10 feet from where we were.

And sometimes backgrounds are not necessary, and its the person who makes the shot. Like this one I took of Yaya Han http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=539798 (I actually got about a minute with her after everyone else was done.)

And ofcourse, sometimes you get those pictures no one else even thinks of (I'm tossing this in, because I just caught this pose when no one else did...) http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=511344

And with the same idea, you see something in the background that no one really thought about at the time, and you see it. Like this SG-1 group at Baycon: http://images.cosplay.com/showphoto.php?photo=294963 They just wanted to take a picture in a more open area for the most part. Not realising until later about the pyramid shaped skylights.

It all comes down to time, willingness, and local.
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Unread 12-05-2005, 07:34 PM   #8
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It all depends on what its for. If its futuristic the walls all sorts but if its from the old days trees work wonders
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