Whetstone Pond Shoot

On September 8th  I hosted a meet up of the Dayton-Columbus-Cincinnati Cosplay Photoshoot group at Whetstone Pond in Columbus.  Whetstone Pond is located next to the Park of Roses in Columbus.   We had 14 cosplayers and 3 photographers attend, so it was a very busy shoot.

I worked with 11 cosplayers of which 6 were in groups of two.  I shot a total of  227 frames in three hours. Of the 292 frames I edited 146 images and delivered 83 final images. I shot the whole meet using a light from a single bare off camera speed light on a light stand. I shot with a bare speed light to compensate for the sun. I shot using ISO 200.  My aperture and shutter speed varied throughout the shoot, due to the changing lighting conditions due to the drifting clouds.  My aperture ranged between F5 and F14 with the most common being F8.  My shutter speed varied from 1/40s to 1/250s with the most common speed being 1/250s.  Finally, my focal length varied from 18mm to 100mm, with the most common focal length being 18mm.   

This was a very busy shoot because we only had three photographers for 14 cosplayers. I wanted to ensure as many cosplayers as possible got to work with a photographer and get photos for showing up.  While I shoot relatively fast, I was going faster then normal and it showed in some of the images when I was conducting my image cull.  However, there were still some very nice images.  My favorite from the shoot is of ButDragonsTho Cosplay.  While she was easy to photograph, the tricky part was the post edit, due to the tattoo sleeve she was wearing for her cosplay.  There were two issue I had to contend with 1) the seam of the tattoo sleeve and 2) the color of the tattoo sleeve, which was a shade darker than her natural skin tone.  I’m going to discuss how I changed the original image on the top into the final image on the bottom.  

To get the final image on the bottom,  I first did basic adjustments in Lightroom. These adjustments consisted of color balancing, increasing the contract, adjusting the exposure, and removing any noise from the image.  From there I exported the image into Photoshop to do the heavy lifting.  The first thing I did was use the content aware tool to remove the seam of the tattoo sleeve and touched up a few fly-away hairs.  I then applied frequency separation to the image and applied localized gaussian blur, to smooth the skin.  This was very important in the area of the tattoo sleeve to ensure a decent blend between it and the model’s natural skin.  From there I added some highlighting using dodge tool.  I then flattened the image and sent it back to Lightroom.  I did a few more minor adjustments and added a slight vignette to the image to finish it off.  While this process seems simple, it took me about 20-minutes to complete.

Original Image shot at  ISO 200, Aperture F8, Shutter 1/100s, Focal Length 40mm

Final Image

Overall, it was a great shoot.  You can see all the images from that day’s event here: Whetstone Pond


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