Sunday, November 29, 2015

What I Want

The Holiday season has officially kicked off.  As we leave Thanksgiving behind and make that mad dash to prepare for Christmas, by decking the halls, making cookies, shopping for gifts, and wrapping presents.  We make lists, check them twice, and stress out about all the little things.   

I took a moment today to think, because someone asked me what I want for Christmas. I thought, “What do I really want for Christmas?”  Sure, I could ask for world peace like a stereotypical pageant queen or something selfish like million dollars or a heated back massager. (Cannot lie all those would be nice.) But, honestly what I would like is a phone call from friends and family to just catch up and discuss things going on in the world. (If you are wondering why, I do not call; it is because I feel like I am interrupting when I call. If you are wondering, why I do not text instead, it is because I hate conversation by text message.) Alternatively, I would love people to come down and visit me at some point during the year.  Because I do not want things, I want memories, happiness, and laughter. Do not get me wrong things are nice but memories of happy moments are better.


I think now a days we get caught up in the holiday hustle and bustle, and forget the holidays are the time to slow down and spend some time with family and friends. It is not about the biggest tree, best cookies, or the prettiest or biggest presents.  It about sharing time with those you care about, even if they are a little strange or they could give the Griswolds a run for their money.  Therefore, while I may have decorated my tree and started shopping for gifts, I hope I can find the time to slow down and enjoy the moment and remember what the Season is all about, joy.  Therefore, I hope to get happy memories and experience joyous times and remember to slow down and enjoy the moment.  Because moments are fleeting and it is the little things that make the memory not the flashy ribbons and bows. Thus, I wish my family and friends happiness, health, joy and wealth for the season. 

Sunday, November 22, 2015

AnimeUSA 2015 Wrap-up

I am considering this AnimeUSA 2015 a success.  I had ten photo shoots scheduled but only did eight due to cancellations.  Overall, I thought most of the shoots went well, however the construction going on at the venue limited some photo opportunities outside in the garden area.  I found that early Sunday morning is the best time to shoot in the “fancy” area of the venue including the long brick hallway.   Because the area was empty, I was able to get some nice reflection shots using the mirrored walls in that area of the venue.  Also the other area that I enjoyed shooting in was in the upper levels of the venue near the elevator bays, were they have a sitting area with curved couches.

Aurora by Cassimonee Cosplay
Daiya by Lina Lin Cosplay





















Now every year I have some lessons learned, and this year is no exception.  Again, pre-shoot questionnaire really helped with the shoots, allowing me to plan the shoot, select locations, and get a better understanding of the character.  I also determined ten shoots is about right for this convention, and I prefer if possible to shoot in the early morning and in the evening when there are fewer photographers jockeying for locations. Next year I may consider moving off site a bit for some of the shoots if the cosplayer is willing.  The other thing I will be doing is instituting a cancellation policy, due to people showing up late for shoots.  I understand being stuck in elevators or getting out of session late, but 15-minutes late is too late for a 45-minute shoot.   Thus, next year I will be instituting a 5-minute rule. In addition, I think I may be limiting people to two sessions during the convention. 

Now for the photo breakdown.  I was using a Cannon 70D with an 18-200 mm lens and 430EX II external flash unit.  (While this convention allows you to use tripods and light stands, I did not use any.) I took a little over 900 pictures and kept 598, which is approximately 66-percent.  Based on the analysis of the photo meta data (I love analyzing data) my shutter speed ranged from 1/400 to 2 seconds with the most common speed being 1/250 seconds.  My aperture ranged from 3.5f to 9f with the most common aperture being 4.5f.  The focal length statics I found most interesting, my focal length ranged from 28mm to 147mm with my most common focal length being 28mm.  

In conclusion, it was a good convention, even if I had to deal with construction. I look forward to next year.  You can see all the photos from AnimeUSA 2015here.