Saturday, October 8, 2016

Steampunk in the Park

At the end of September, I got the chance to work with the DC Cosplayer and Photographer meet up group again. This meet up was held at Lake Accotink, which is park Fairfax County Park system.   The theme for this meet up was steampunk. For those who don’t know what steam punk is, it is a subgenre of science fiction that incorporates technology and aesthetics designs inspired by the 19-th century industrial steam powered machinery.  The clothing is reminiscent of the British Victorian era or the American “Wild West”.

For this shoot, I used a Canon 70D with an 18-200mm lens, a speed-light attached to Young Nu radio triggers mounted on a light stand with an umbrella.  For most of this shoot, I was in bright sunlight, so I used the flash as fill and to separate the subject from the background.  I stuck with an ISO of 100, but varied my aperture and shutter speed depending on the location in the park while mostly using 100% flash power.  I was happy with several of the shots from this shoot, except I would like to re-do the carousel shots. I noticed halfway through my shutter speed was too low, so several of the shots were blurry, thus I did not get as many keepers as I would have liked. I was also not happy with myself for making the rookie mistake.

The other nice thing about this shoot was the freedom in editing.  In most cosplay sessions, you want to keep full color, but with the steampunk shoot, I could do some sepia, black-and-white, and some creative photo technics that would fit the period.  For some of the photos, I tried to recreate a look called pictorialism, which gives the photo a bit of a hand painted look or the look of a painting.

The first photo I used a strong contrast, with high clarity then transitioned to sepia.  The second photo I desaturated and gave a sepia tint to make it seem a little more gothic.  The last two photos were the ones that I attempted the pictorialism technique. To get the pictorialism look I first upped the clarity, reduced the saturation slightly, then applied grain to the photo, and finally a bit of a vignetting.  I am happy with how all these photos turned out.  You can see the whole set here.

Cosplayer: Sara Cosplays
Aperture: f8, Shutter: 1/250s, Focal length: 18mm
Cosplayer: Kat
Aperture: f9, Shutter: 1/250s, Focal length: 20mm

Cosplayer: Sara Cosplays
Aperture: f8, Shutter: 1/250s, Focal length: 18mm

Cosplayer: Life of Cosplay
Aperture: f13, Shutter: 1/60s, Focal length: 18mm

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