Archive for the 'Photography' Category

Keep Practicing

March 24th, 2018

Somewhat recently, I saw a cosplayer post about how people frequently say they wish they were as talented as her, and her response was… she’s been doing this for 14 years! It’s not like she was magically good from the start. It’s something she’s been working hard at for over a decade.

This is something I’ve noticed as well. Sometimes people say they wish they took photos as well as I do, but I’m not sure if they realize that I take thousands of photos every year. Photography is something I continually work on. Sure, you can say that some people have a better eye for photography than others, but it still comes down to practicing over and over.

When it comes to cosplay, I’ve been doing it for years, but I’m still not where I’d like to be. However, I fully realize that this is on me. While some cosplayers make 10 costumes a year, I make at most three a year (sometimes just one). While some cosplayers constantly challenge themselves with harder techniques, there’s still many complicated things I haven’t even attempted. My slow progress is the result of me not working on it more often, and I know this.

So when I hear things like, “I would cosplay, but I’d be terrible at it”, it’s kind of frustrating to me. We’re all terrible in the beginning! For those who are frustrated with their progress, I will say that it gets easier the more you work on. I know it sounds cliche, but it’s true.

When it comes to photography…

In the beginning: I struggled with manual settings, and it took me multiple tries to get where I’d want it to be.

Now: I can get the settings right on my first or second try. It’s to the point where I immediately have an ISO, aperture, and shutter speed in mind before I take a photo. So if you are intimidated by switching to manual settings on your camera, it really will get easier the more you do it. (But you need to keep doing it!)

Same location, improved photo technique


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Behind the Scenes: Post Processing

January 14th, 2018

People tend to forget that there’s a large chunk of work for a photographer between taking the photos and returning them. I hear a lot of complaints, like “why am I paying so much for only __ hours?” Or, “why is it taking so long to get my photos back?”

The answer is: post processing! Post processing takes up way more of my time than the shoot itself. My process differs depending on the type of photography I’m doing. When it comes to photoshoots, especially cosplay photoshoots, I tend to do more in the post processing phase. This is because:

  1. People book me for my photography style. This includes how I post process.
  2. Photoshoots are not meant to document the scene. They purposely have more creative freedom and even more so with cosplay.
  3. People are expecting the best photos I can give them of their cosplays. I’m going to do my best to make sure it meets both mine and their expectations.

Here is a peek at my process!

1. Import into Lightroom

Lightroom is my choice for most of my photo editing. While the editing features (for RAWs) between Lightroom and Photoshop are almost the same, I prefer Lightroom for its workflow, which you’ll see in this entry.

The first thing I do is import everything into Lightroom. I have parent folders for certain types of photography, and then from there, I let Lightroom organize my photos by date.

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Compact camera tips

April 12th, 2017

As much as I love my DSLR, I know that DSLRs are not for everyone. They’re expensive, have a steep learning curve, and can be a burden to carry around. I’m sure other DSLR owners out there can sympathize with me when I say that I don’t always want to carry it with me. Sometimes I just want to use my compact camera or phone!

Not to mention, people often worry too much about gear, and they forget that there’s more to photography. Yes, DSLRs can take high quality photos, but they don’t guarantee a good photo. A lot of it still comes down to the skill of the photographer, and you can definitely take good photos without them. This is why I dedicate this entry to tips on getting good photos with a compact camera!

(All photos in this entry were taken with a compact camera!)

Lighting

I actually love flash photography on my DSLR, but that’s because the flash is separate and flexible. I can place it away from the camera and use different techniques to diffuse it. This isn’t the case with most compact cameras. The flash is stuck in one place without many options to diffuse the light. You end up with a harsh light pointed directly at your subject. Of course, you should use your flash if you can’t get a clean shot without it, but if you have a choice, I’d avoid it.

Taken indoors with lighting from the window

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