Saturday, December 30, 2017

2017 in Review

The year of 2017 was an interesting year for me, I felt as though I did more photoshoots, however only ended up editing about 642 more photos then last year. In 2016 I edited 5,851 images and in 2017 I edited 6,475 images, noting this is the number of photos listed in Lightroom, not the actual number of photos I took over the course of the year. This year I was only able to do the Katsucon convention, because they moved Anime USA to December, which is a hard month due to the holidays. However, I did do more cosplay work outside of conventions due to meet-up events with the DC Cosplayer and Photographer* group and more individual shoots.  I also did three non-cosplay conceptual/fine art portrait shoots this year, of which two photos from those shoots were shown in an art gallery in Alexandria, VA.  I also worked in some landscape and travel photography, during my vacation to Scotland and Acadia National Park, in both cases I was not overly happy with my results. So now let’s look back at some of my overall statistics and favorite photos from the year.  

This year I edited 6,475 photos, (this number may be a little low due to me having to reformat my hard drive in September); my most used focal length is 18 mm, with a shutter speed of 1/100s at an f4.5 aperture, and ISO 100 and ISO 400. You can see the distribution of each of focal length, shutter speed, aperture, and ISO below.




It is always hard to narrow down my favorite cosplay photos to just three, because I end up working with so many amazing cosplayers over the course of the year. It also helps that I have built relationships with several cosplayers through the DC Cosplayer and Photographer group.  Sadly, I will not be as active in the group in the come months or years due to moving out the DC area and to the Dayton, Ohio area.  I’m hoping there is a similar group in Dayton, if not, I think I will start one because of the great relationships you can build in a group like that.  So, I will be braking down my photos by three favorite DC Cosplayer and Photographer (i.e. Meet-up) photos, general cosplay (conventions and one-on-one sessions), non-cosplay portraits, and finally travel.

Meet-Ups
The DC Cosplayer and Photographer group does its best to have a meet-up about once a month.  I made five of the meet-ups this year, I would have made more but my work and personal travel schedule conflicted for several of the dates.  As I said it is hard to pick just three photos from the year, but there are a few that stand out.   The first is from the last meet-up I attended, it is of Jennifer Glinzak Costumery as a winter version of Sleeping Beauty.  The second image is of JMS Cosplay as Negan from The Walking Dead.  And the last one is of GC-Chan Cosplay as Daenerys from Game of Thrones.

Jennifer Glinzak Costumery as a winter version of Sleeping Beauty
JMS Cosplay as Negan from The Walking Dead.

GC-Chan Cosplay as Daenerys from Game of Thrones

General Cosplay
This year was only able to attend Katsucon, but I did do 21 individual shoots at the convention, which is a lot.  For 2018 I am scaling back the number of individual shoots at Katsucon, because I basically wore myself out and ended up getting con-crud for the first time. I don’t want to do that again.  I also did 9 one-on-one cosplay sessions through the course of the year. Though I’m not sure if I want to call the Lolita shoot cosplay or not, since that is sometimes a lifestyle or fashion choice.  It is hard to pick just three photos for this group, because the individual personalities sometimes weigh into the photo. I must say in my experience the more fun you are to work with, the better the photos come out.  This first photo is from Katsucon of Angels n Demons Cosplay as Reaper from Overwatch, she was so fun to work with. This second photo is also from Katsucon of Sheryl in her wedding dress by Miguo cosplay. I was dying get a few photos in front of this wall (it is like getting the gazebo) and the white on white just worked. This last photo is from a one-on-one session out in a local sunflower field with Sara Cosplay as Belle from Beauty and the Beast (live action version).

Angels n Demons Cosplay as Reaper from Overwatch
Sheryl in her wedding dress by Miguo cosplay
Sara Cosplay as Belle from Beauty and the Beast

Fine Art Portraits
This year I did a few conceptual portrait sessions.  These sessions were based on an idea/concept I wanted to shoot.  In two of the cases I supplied the dress, the model just came with hair and make-up prepared based on a mood board I sent them.  I had three concepts in mind a film noir shoot, a cherry blossom shoot, and a parachute dress & water fall combination shoot. I’m going to pick my favorite from each of those sessions.  The first is from the noir shoot with Orisen Cosplay, which was done in studio with a very large gobo.  The second is from the cherry blossom shoot, also with Orisen Cosplay as the model.  I was so glad she was over 6 foot because the train on that dress is 20 feet long, and she worked it like a champ.  This final image is from the parachute dress session, with Anna a friend of mine as the model.  This photo was basically the last photo taken during the session and it is my favorite.

Model: Orisen Cosplay
Model: Orisen Cosplay
Model: Anna

Landscapes
I was not as happy with my landscapes this year as I have been in previous years.  I think in most cases it was because I just was not feeling it.  I really need to feel some emotion or say capture this moment or place.  While I was in some beautiful places, they didn’t speak to me photographically.  But I did eek out a few nice photos. This first one is from the Island of Skye in Scotland.  This second photo is not amazing, but it is almost on every postcard in Edinburgh, Scotland.  I like it because it is my version of the postcard photo.  This last photo is from Acadia National Park, and isn’t even a landscape but a picture of a piece of large drift wood on a pebble beach.  I like it because it is kind of modern and would be one of those photos you see in a spa or doctor’s office.

Old Man of Storre, Island of Skye
Overlooking Edinburgh Scotland
Driftwood with stones, Acadia National Park


Overall, I think I had a decent year, and am looking forward to staring a productive 2018 in Dayton, Ohio.  I will miss several of the people in DC and the variety of place to shoot, but am hoping to find good people and places here as well.  

*DC refers to District of Columbia, not the comic books.

Still Life

Now that I have a little bit of down time, I took some time to work on other types of photography outside of portrait photography.   I ...