Wednesday, July 4, 2018


On June 17th I did a photo shoot with But DragonsTho Cosplay, who was the winner of my photoshoot give-a-way.  We did the photo shoot at East Wood Metro Park, which has a lovely lagoon with four stone bridges and access to the Mad River.  I picked this location for the shoot because the character she was portraying Sidon from Breath of the Wild is a water-based character, and I was hoping we could get in the water.  Sadly, we couldn’t get in the river, because of the amount of rain we had a few days before the shoot brought the river up higher than normal which made for unsafe conditions in the river.   However, we were still able to get lovely photos near the riverbank and lagoon.

For this shoot I used a combination of flash and natural light.  The equipment used included the following: Canon 70D, my trusty 18-200mm lens, two 430 EX–IIIRT speed lights, a light stand, and one 36-inch reflector. One of the speed lights acted as a trigger. I used the speed lights near the lagoon area which was shaded and the reflector by the river because it was in the sun.
I took 169 photos, edited 119 photos, and posted 81 fully edited shots from a 90-minute session.  Thus, I had a return of approximately 47 percent, which is about average for me. For all the shots, I was at an ISO of 100 with an aperture of f5.6. My shutter speed and focal length crossed a wide range.  The focal length went from 18mm to 150mm with most photos falling at 18mm.  The shutter speed varied from 1/40s to 1/1000s with most being taken at 1/320s.  Overall the images were consistent, I eliminated images due to duplication, and odd posing or composition (i.e. it was a good idea at the time but did look right during review).

But Dragons Tho Cosplay was great to work with, and I am glad she was able to handle the hot temperature, even though the shoot was in the morning it was still in the 80s and humid.  There were several good shots from this shoot below are three of my favorites.

This first image is simple and relaxed and shows the playful side of the character. I also like the reflection of her in the lagoon as she lazily plays with the water.  To get this shot I was on the opposite side of her about 50 feet away.  The flash was on the same size as me, and it was near full power and zoomed.  I did edit the image in post to remove a yellow cast in the grass and green leaves and balance out the highlights with the shadows.  And finally, I added a vignette draw more attention to the model.

ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm, Aperture F5.6, Shutter 1/125s 

I like this second image (below left) because of strength and confidence being portrayed. This image was taken using the reflector as a scrim to shade the model and a flash to fill in the shadows.  I was across from the model, my husband/assistant was holding the scrim above the model, and the flash was on its small stand on the step to her side.  I did edit the image in post to even out the light and reduce some of the highlights. I also did some local light adjustments on her face to reduce some shadows and even out the light across her shoulders.  I finally add a slight vignette to finish off the image.

This final and third image (below right) I like because I think it is fun.  My original idea was to have her sitting near the bottom of the tree, but she took the initiative to climb up the trunk and find a good place to sit. I love when the cosplayer I work with come up with ideas or go beyond my original idea.  I framed the image to get as much of the tree as possible, have the water in the background, and not loose my model in the tree.  To light this the flash was to my right, slightly zoomed, and angled up at the model.  When I pulled it into light room I balanced out the highlights, removed the yellow tint from the leaves, and did some local light adjustments on the models face to reduce some of the shadows across her face.  To finish the image off I added a vignette to balance out the edges.

ISO 100, Focal Length 90mm, Aperture F5.6, Shutter 1/500s 
ISO 100, Focal Length 18mm, Aperture F5.6, Shutter 1/60s 
Overall, I think this was a great shoot, and But Dragons Tho Cosplay is excellent to work with.  I can’t wait to work one-on-one with some more Ohio Cosplayers.

Inaugural DCC Cosplay Photoshoot Meet Up

On June 24th I hosted the first Dayton-Columbus-Cincinnati(DCC) Cosplay Photo shoot Meet Up at Hills and Dales Metro Park in Dayton.  The DCC Cosplay Photo shoot Meet Up is modeled after the DC Cosplay Photo shoot group that I belong to while living in Washington, DC.  When I moved up to Dayton, Ohio I did not find a similar group, even though Ohio has a lot of cosplayers, so created the DCC after the DC model. I did change one thing from the DC group to the Ohio group. We take a picture of all the cosplayers while holding a small white board with their cosplay name as they check in, which is then posted to the event’s Facebook page. This allows photographers to tag photos easier, and not guess or try to remember who they photographed.

The DCC Cosplay Photo Shoots is a fun, positive, and encouraging group that exists to cultivate the art of cosplay and cosplay photography among our members in the Dayton-Columbus-Cincinnati areas and surrounding areas in Ohio, Kentucky, and Indiana. Additionally, the meet-ups are to foster collaboration, friendships, partnerships, and growth for both the cosplayers and photographers. The meet ups will provide cosplayers an opportunity to work with several new photographers and get photos of their cosplays outside of the convention atmosphere in unique locations and settings with guaranteed photos. The meet ups will allow photographers to work with several different cosplayers outside of the convention atmosphere in unique locations and settings to build their portfolios.

Group Photo: Cosplayers and Photographers
The first meet up in my mind was a success we had five cosplayers and four photographers plus an assistant attend. We also had a nice range of cosplays come out for the first event. Everyone was friendly and showed up on time. Plus, after the event ended some of us when and got burgers at EO Burgers.  

I would like to thank Friese FramePhotography, Kevin Florkiewi, and Leaf Photography for coming out and photographing our lovely cosplayers. I would also like to thank our cosplayer, GleumeCosplay, But Dragons Tho Cosplay, Kamikaze Kendra, Nonsense Noah, and Bocchan Owo for coming out and modeling for us.  I would also like to thank my husband for coming out and helping me, and taking all the intro photos, and giving little 3x3 inch polaroids to all the cosplayers.  

I’m hoping the attendance of both cosplayers and photographers grows as we make our way around all three major cities. Currently, it is a little rough going, due to the group spanning three cities, with the two furthest cities being about two hours apart from one another. Also, I think it may be a bit harder to come by locations in Ohio as compared to DC.  While there are a lot of parks in Ohio, permitting and photography policies for each park very widely county to county.  Just for the Dayton area, I deal with three different county park systems. Then entrance fee free indoor locations are close to non-existent.  But these are things that can be overcome, I just need to learn the permit system and do more location scouting.

I hope to see more cosplayers and photographers at the second meet up which will be held in the Columbus area in August.  The third meet up will be held in September in the Cincinnati area. 

Note: You can see all my photos from the event here.

Headshots and Tulips

Since all of Ohio is on a stay at home order currently,   I thought I would update my headshot and take some photos of the potted tulips m...