Sunday, November 27, 2016

Portrait Gallery Meet Up

At the beginning of November I shot with the DC Cosplayer and Photographers meet-up group at the National Portrait Gallery in DC.  The National Portrait Gallery has a  beautiful interior, especially the third floor which has several interesting little nooks. The other nice thing is the Portrait Gallery does allow flash photography in most areas, the only limitation for this shoot was photographers could not use light stands or tripods.  This limitation was not an issue, since that is the same limitation I work with at most conventions.  Hopefully, we will get to shoot there again because I know I missed some interesting areas.

For the Portrait Gallery shoot, I was limited to handheld equipment only and I did not have an assistant to hold things. I was shooting with my Canon 70D, with an 18 -200mm lens, a 450 EX II flash, and LumiQuest 80/20 flash modifier.  The modifier is called an 80/20 which when the flash is pointed straight up will bounce either 80 to 20 percent of the light from the flash towards the subject depending on what insert is being used.  This is actually a useful modifier, and good when you can’t use off camera flash.  

You can see all the photos from the shooter here.

My favorite shot from this shoot is Jennifer Glinzak Costumery  who was Naomi from Elena of Avalor.  I like this photo, because the photo frames her face nicely. I did modify the image in Lightroom by enhancing some shadows, brightening  her face just a little and adding some vignetting to draw the eye.  
Shot at: ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/250s, at 18mm

I also liked this photo of Roaring Girl Cosplay and Sgt. Bucky Bear cosplay as Leonardo DiVinci and Ezio from Assassin's Creed, because it looks like a clandestine meeting. What is nice, is this stairway was inside the building and contained an antique lamp post with lamps.  I modified the image slightly to add spots of lights coming down on each person and darken the surroundings to give it more of the secret meeting feel.  I also left it a bit yellow, to keep the image warm and keep as though they are meeting under old gas streetlights.

Shot At: ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/80s at 18mm

And finally  what would a photo shoot in an art museum be if there wasn’t a Carmen Sandiego (admit you thought of the theme song). Life of Cosplay did a very good Carmen Sandiego and what was great about this was she had a little Statue of Liberty with her.  So we did a picture of her sizing up the Statue of Liberty and then one of her putting a little one it in her brief case (shrink ray).   I like both of these photos the first one I left a little dark and sepia toned almost like an old newspaper photo. The other one I left dark, trying to go for a film noire look while still keeping the picture in color.  The only problem I had with shooting in this particular area was the light was very yellow/orange which clashed with my flash color. I should have gelled the flash but I didn’t have the gells with me.
 
Shot at: ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/60s, at 18mm
Shot at: ISO 400, f/4.5, 1/60s at 35mm


Overall, this was a good photo session and being limited in equipment is good practice for Katsucon which does not allow light stands or tripods.  This will be my last  photo shoot till the new year, due to the holidays, because it just gets too crazy during December.

On a side note for those in the DC, VA, and MD area I will be running a contest starting December 1, on my Munchkin Photos Facebook page. I will be giving away a 2 hour photo session (in studio and/or on location), to include 20 high resolution digital images and 3 prints.

Sunday, November 13, 2016

AnimeUSA 2016 Summary

I have finally finished editing all my photos from AnimeUSA 2016. (AnimeUSA 2016 Gallery) I like shooting at AnimeUSA because it is a small convention and allows the use of light stands and other photographic equipment, which allows me to be a bit more creative.  The convention location also has a very nice garden area and a nice white room that is set up like an antique sitting room.   

I shot this convention using a Canon 70D, 18-200mm lens, Yongnuo radio triggers, speedlight, light stand, and an 80/20 bounce attachment.  For hall shots, I had the light stand mounted to my backpack so I could continually use off camera flash. Now let’s talk some statistics. This year I had 12 individual sessions lined up, of which two were groups of six plus people.   Of 991 photos taken during the course of the convention, 75% were shot at 28mm equivalent and only 2% were shot at 55mm equivalent.  Then 72% of my shots were taken at f5 with 10% were taken at f3.5 and f6.3.  Of the 991 images, 23% of the images were taken at 1/100s and 14% were taken at 1/200s and 1/250s.   I either used an ISO 100 or ISO 200 for the shots.   

Overall, I had several nice shots, below are a few of my favorite images.  The first few are from the Gokatia session with Akiryu Yoru Cosplay.  The first image reminds me of an album cover. 



The second set of images is from the Saber Nero session with MiGuo Cosplay.  I like these two shots because they are polar opposites.  


This shot is from the Sakirou Maccha Latte session with Vira Mal Cosplay. I loved shooting this cosplay because I love Sakirou’s work and have always wanted to shoot a cosplay based off Sakirou's paper doll art work. 


This last shot is from the Weiss from RWBY session with Rosettica Cosplay. I like this shot because of the dramatic lighting. 


Waterfalls and Parachutes

Bonus image: Focal length 18mm, Apeture F7.1, Shutter 1/200s I went up to Ohio a few weekends ago for my class reunion, and figur...