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It’s been a while (2 weeks) since I’ve last updated my photoblog. Was busy catching up with my work after a week long of reservist.

Well, anyway, After some catchup with my work, I attended the Cosplay Event @ Downtown East – Cosplay XI. The event location was the same as the last Cosplay event in Feb 2012 (Cosfest X.2).

This event was held over 2 the weekend (7th and 8th July) Which I’ve attended both days :p

I was trying quite hard to apply what I’ve learnt/experimented from my last portrait shoot (which was quite some moons ago…).

No new gear was added to my arsenal since the last shoot, so my setup for this cosplay event is the SAME (as  the location is the same too). Sigma 17-50 f2.8, EF-S 55-250, 50mm f1.8, Nissin 622 mk II. Stage Events/Portraits are shot using my 55-250. All other off stage portraits are shot with my 17-50 with Flash (+ omibounce diffuser cap)

During my last cosplay shoot, I’ve made quite a couple of noob mistake

  1. Using ISO400 + Flash on walkaround portraits off stage. This caused my background to be severely underexposed. At that time, I was relatively new to manual mode. And I stupidly left the Auto ISO and it was set at 400max… So, in the end almost all shots are at 400. The only shots that are more salvageable are from those shots which I’ve switched to Tv (Shutter Priority) with ISO1600. But still quite a fair bit of shadow details are lost…
  2. Using ISO1600 to shoot most of the stage events which cause the photos to be quite underexposed. Due to that post processing was a chore and painful to look at. As when you bring up shadow details (if any is left -.-) or brighten up the underexposed shots, noise is introduced and LOTS of it.

With those in mind, I’ve made the necessary adjustments for the indoor shoots. On my camera in Manual mode (with ISO set at 1600, since anything below that is underexposed), f/2.8 and shutter speed of anything ranging from 1/100 to 1/200.

When it came to the stage events/portraits, I set the ISO to 3200. Of which initially I thought will be a waste of time as having lots of noise in my images, But having learnt my lesson, I decided to use it. Surprisingly, there are quite a couple of decent shots which looks “OK”, as compared to the previous cosfest. Well, but its drawback will be loss of details due to high ISO noise. But the noise at 3200 is NOT as bad as shooting at 1600 and pushing up exposure and resort to using high noise reduction program…which results in mass deletion of photos -.-

During the last cosfest event, I arrived at the event late, therefore missing most of the fun shoots outdoor as the indoor stage event had already started.  But I’ve arrived early for both days and had my fair bit of shooting outdoor with the nice big sun and blue skies. But still, there are quite a couple of challenges.

  1. Positioning of the model, you will need to pick a position when the sun is not lighting up the model from the back, else you will get quite an underexposed face or overexposed sky. (without using flash)
  2. Limits of gear, when you have no choice but to shoot with the sun facing you, you will have to on the flash to light up the face.  But depending on the flash that you are using, you may have the feature, High Speed Sync, which allows you to shoot at high shutter speed like 1/400 or higher. But my Nissin 622 fastest shutter speed is at 1/250. Which in most cases against the sun, is relatively useless…
  3. Clean Background. In such events, it’s quite hard to find a spot where there are no people walking about in the background. So, you may have to compromise on having people in background, or invest in large aperture lens or wait till there’s no one…(but the 3rd option is usually not available) *Actually, this applies to both indoors and outdoors…*

Despite having these problems, it’s still a fun event where I’ve also learnt abit from it too.

Below are some of the shots taken during the event. For more images, please checkout my images on my Flickr Photostream

Export - IMG_8659

Outdoor Shoot (ISO100, f4.0, 1/100s)

Export - IMG_8406

Cosplayer on Indoor Stage (ISO3200, f8, 1/100s)

Export - IMG_8316

Indoor Shoot (ISO800, f1.8, 1/125s)

Sorry for the lengthy post…