We've had "atmospheric cosplay" threads in great locations and those are good. And we've had posing threads, and those are good. But most shoots don't take place in a stunning location, and a great pose gets you nowhere if the photographer can't frame it for shit. So I'd like to get a thread that combines the ideas: composition plus poses that can be made in any relatively empty area, and will turn out well 95% of the time.
For example: playing it completely safe with the rule of thirds takes a solid photograph most of the time.
This time with a sword.
A full body shot where the subject is slightly diagonal.
But preferably one prop or limb is close to vertical.
Two people walking, shot from behind, where one of them is tugging on the other.
I look at a fair number of engagement photos for cosplay ideas, which has taught me "you can do whatever you want, as long as it's in the middle of a bridge."
Another non-cosplay shot, but the thing the kid is doing on the bottom, leaning up against the wall with one leg up, always looks good.
Wait I do have a cosplayer on a bridge.
Could you explain this one a little better? I'm a cosplayer who's trying to get better with a camera, and these are pretty helpful. Any good bread and butter group photos would be awesome too - sometimes I have trouble posing larger groups without it looking like a prom photo.
If the characters are cool types, a staggered walking shoot. Everyone can look at the camera, or you can mimic the Reservoir Dogs poster and have everyone doing their own thing.
A three-quarters angle, cropped at the waist or higher, looking slightly upward and offscreen.
It's just flattering on most people.
Group shots courtesy of Gantz fandom.
imho this one would have been better going shortest to tallest.
And on the opposite side of the moe-to-grimdark spectrum, Love Live is also good about using depth.
V-formation is good shit.
Sailor Moon fandom has had a long time to work on this, too, if you want to go looking for inspiration.
Big groups can be broken down into smaller sub-groups, where A and B are having a conversation, C is chasing after A and B, D has an arm around E, and so on and so forth. (This isn't necessarily a great example of that.)
"Look at that thing off-screen and slightly upward!"
I'm a huge sucker for shallow depth of field shots where a focused item of personal significance is in the foreground and the cosplayer is out of focus walking away from it in the background.
This is crucial. Dutch angles look really stupid if you just tilt the camera a little bit. You need to line at least one thing up on the vertical, otherwise it just looks dizzy.
And here's a good guide for where is and isn't a good place on the body to crop a portrait. Green lines good, red lines bad.
A guide to how focal length can separate or smush together aspects of the background.
Remember that this is on a full frame camera, and most entry level DSLRs are crop sensors, so add ~15-20mm to the focal length to get the apparent focal length when you're shooting with a body with an APS-C sensor.
I'm really enjoying this thread too! Lots of interesting ideas.
Shooting between structures (columns in this case) to look at the cosplayer.
And another. It helps if the structures frame the cosplayer.
I love corridor shots like these
No!! Shooting from up with a group that is in a V formation is only good when the smallest legs are in the middle! Front two look disproportionately fat. Generally, shooting from low is very hard if you are shooting a whole body that isn't stick-thin. Note how fat the green haired girl looks, despite probably not being fat at all (the disparity in the size of her arms proves it)
I don't watch SM but this is a terrible photo, clearly framed only because of the interesting ceiling.
Asuka looks like an extra from the walking dead, and the shot isn't as shallow a DOF as you think, it has clearly been blurred. Probably shot with an 85 at most.
All other shots are decent except for terrible post work, but I'm griping on these two the most.
I can't get over how ugly their Sailor Pluto is on the right. Such an unfortunate face with a derpy expression. How hard can it be to direct her to a different angle that doesn't make her face look like shit?
I tend to use vignetting as a technique to draw the viewer's eye to the subject -- I've had actual legit lens vignetting happen once when I was shooting in bright sunlight with a lens hood, but sometimes I'll add it in in post. Is this tacky?
It's a good start! I think it can be cropped a little tighter-- there's too much space above her head, and you can get rid of some of the space to the left.
Also, the colors are kind of drab/boring as is. I'd bring out the yellows/golds a little more and consider upping the contrast a little bit. This will also help the white in her dress pop a little more-- it's a little dark as is. Perhaps doing some sort of color grade so that it's not a big wash of grey. This is all a matter of taste though.
Here's how I would crop it, for reference. Places her body more in the left third of the photo and removes some of the excess space above her head.
Black vingnetting is super super tacky. It combines with over 'contrasting' (aka. grabbing the contrast slider and shoving it up) and just looks bad. If you need to use something like that to draw the viewer's eye to the subject, consider shooting in a less busy location or, really, just composing your shots better.
That's the thing. In most cases, the idea of "posing" is bullshit. If there's an iconic pose for the character, by all means do it. But generally speaking, the best photos are ones where the cosplayer looks comfortable and natural.
The photographer's job is to direct the cosplayer into a position that makes for a great shot, but is also lit well, looks natural, and is NOT BORING. Standing straight up with the legs spread is not interesting. With the amount of images available to look at, why should I look at this one?
Not original anon here but agreeing with him.
In most of these pics, there's no rule of third and the character is more on the 3/4 or 4/5 of the pic (what matters is the middle of the coser's face)
-> lot of empty, useless space ; breaks dynamics.
In the Fruits Basket one, the guy is standing so straight it doesn't feel he's getting carried by the girl (she has a dynamic pose, on a vanishing point, her hair flies, this part is great).
Don't forget a rule of thirds is ON THE THIRDS of a pic, not the fourth. And a third is fucking close to the center.
How far >>8763044 is from the thirds.
Also other fill only a single third. Rule of thirds is "fill as many important points as possible, so the eye will be guided reading the pic". Here eye is guided to 50 % void.
I don't think "person in the wild" photos need to follow the rule of thirds as much as pure portraiture -- breaking it conveys a person being tiny in comparison to their surroundings.
I'm going to dump a few basic photos from my collection of other people's engagement and wedding photos. I'm a cosplayer not a photographer, but these are some pictures that I've come across and liked.
High-angled shots where the model is looking up
Plz stop with wedding pics. You can relate to them because pro photographers shoot weddings just for making a living out of it and they usually don't give a shit.
Classic composition, easy emotional clichés (sunset, foreground blur, vanishing points). Great to see 2 or 3 sometimes to remember the basics, but twenty of them in a cosplay thread is getting boring.
On the other hand >>8774654 is really great.
The colors, the flattering high-angle, the perfect rule of thirds (the violin, the joined hands, the music sheet and the rose are each on the 4 power points). Real good shit there anon.
Listen, with the avalanche of tutorials, books, support groups, and great examples of master-level photography, if you're still turning out shit photos in 2015 (really 2016), you need to just sell your camera.
If you're not sure, just look up photo by Anna Fischer, Martin Wong, BMZ, Beethy, Elysium, Dave Yang, and Jason Chau for some ideas on great photography! These guys are constantly featured on Kotaku!
>Constantly featured on kotaku
Posting here because there's no other photography thread.
Ive only recently gotten into cosplay, but I have some costumes that I'm pretty proud of, and I know hallway shots don't do them justice. Ive never had a session with a professional (or even a hobby) photographer, and Im always too shy to look for one. I guess I'm just afraid that I'll be awkward and wont know how to pose?
So, advice on doing a first photo session? Should I come up with ideas for shots beforehand? Will the photographer help me out with suggestions?
Depends on the photographer. Do some research on what poses are iconic and/or acceptable for your character and their personality. The photog should help you with tweaking these poses to see if they will turn out right for their shooting style, but by no means should you expect them to do all the posing work for you.
You can prepare some ideas but no need to come with very precise things. Let him some freedom on how he'll compose his pics.
Basically, he may ask you what the character's personality or what's his role in the story, so be prepared to sum up.
He might just suggest you a good-looking place and ask you to find a pose. Try to find some iconic poses, and prepare 4-5 poses that suit the character (cute poses for an idol, fighting poses for a fighter, etc.). Think about some standing poses, but also some sitting or lying, and you'll be good to go very soon.
Last, accessories are GREAT.
Even if it's not exactly the same as in the anime / comic / whatever, try to bring accessories. A book if your character is a bookworm, some cellphone if she's a gossip girl, and so on.
You're not used to pose just like that, but having an accessory will make you a lot more comfortable and give ideas to the photographer.
With all of that you'll get at least ~10 good shots even with the dumbest photographer.
That picture's a good start to something great. The only thing that's off to me is the comp. It has no real sense of movement like it seems to desire, and I think it's from the angle. Maybe from a lower point, and slightly from behind?
Don't look for a cosplay photographer. Shell out the dosh for a portrait/family photographer who has access to a studio. You won't have to worry about them being incompetent or unprofessional.
>implying someone who has access to a studio is automatically professional.
Plus, if people don't know your fandom, they won't be able to do your cosplay justice. Source: the photos I did where I didn't know who my subjects were are some of my most boring and uninspired ever.
Thank you, composition anons. You're doing god's work. If only more photographers would learn basic composition.
I have a question for you all. What are some tips or ideas for posing and composing a photo with a platonic duo, or small groups? I can find a lot of shipping poses but not a lot of platonic poses. Friends, comrades-in-arms ((fighting together), and enemies (fighting against each other) are all welcome, though the latter tends to have more inspiration out there for it, so I'd prefer the former two.
If someone works at a legitimate studio as a photographer, then they by definition are a working professional.
>Plus, if people don't know your fandom, they won't be able to do your cosplay justice.
As opposed to a photographer who knows all about your fandom but can't tell you the difference between barrel distortion and pincushion distortion?
There's the stereotypical back-to-back sidekick pose (a little more artificial/posed but can be cute), sitting and talking/laughing/eating together, a long shot from behind of them walking together...I guess it really depends on the relationship between the characters. I think photos where the characters aren't looking at the camera but are instead interacting with one another can help to convey closeness/friendliness.
Could I request some concrit on this? I'm still really new to actually paying attention to what I shoot, and making photos as more than just recording events. Especially when it comes to posing multiple people in duos/groups.
The setting is pretty awful, but anything else I'm open to suggestions. I also have one pretty much exactly the same but with focus shifted onto the background character. I felt as if this was a good shot of mine, but it'd be nice with a few extra pairs of more trained eyes.
I'm not a pro (fairlt new myself) but I feel like this would have been better shot in landscape (with more space between the people + better cropping) with more illumination on the front character's face.
Look into good and bad crop points. I've seen some informative images floating around.
Some of this is style/taste, but here's my 2 cents. You blew out the sky behind them but underexposed their faces, so my eye isn't really drawn to the subjects. You can fix this slightly using the dodge tool and/or masks (but please do it judiciously because they'll look like they're glowing strangely if you do too much). In the future, you'll want a fill flash or some sort of light or reflector to illuminate your subjects' faces -- it seems counter-intuitive in bright sunlight, but here you really do need it.
Also, considering both characters appear to be important in the shot, only having one in focus is a little disorienting. I think the better choice for a shot like this would have been for you to stop down a little more so you could get both of them in focus. The cropping on the Condesce's elbow and the Psiioniic's right hand is awkward, and the way the Condesce's lower body is cropped is not flattering her at all.
If you've got the skills, I'd recommend removing the wrinkles and seams from the armsocks and maybe smoothing out those gross bumpy-ass horns.
Thanks a lot! Doing a horizontal of this would probably have been good, now that you mention it. I chose portrait framing because of the fact that it makes the image less "secure" so to say, but it would probably have been good to have at least tried landscape framing as well.
As for light; I absolutely see what you mean. I struggled a lot with the light in this shoot, because it was almost painfully bright outside. I didn't have any external flashes, but I'm going to try and invest in a reflector. Focal depth was also something I struggled with; despite it being so light I just couldn't get a good depth of field /:
Cropping is also a good point. I was mostly focused on avoiding cropping at limbs, but now that you point it out I definitely see what you mean.
As for photoshop; I smoothed out a bunch of wrinkles in the armsocks, but didn't feel comfortable going in between the fingers. I know these two can do some good stuff so I assumed the texture on the horns was intentional. Instead I focused on removing some disturbing background objects.
Again, thanks a lot for the help!
I'm kinda lurking /p/, but for a noob like me it's pretty intimidating haha. I've only been shooting for about a year.
/p/ is for filmfags and " 'babby's first Nikon' 3000-series edition" threads. There may be some people with skills there, but by and large they're just as lost as you are.
If you want to learn how to photo, look at the best photogs, and do what they're doing. That's the only way to learn.
>despite it being so light I just couldn't get a good depth of field /:
This is something you can control. Stop down your aperture and your depth of field will become less shallow. Your shutter speed will slow down as a result and you might need to bump up your ISO to minimize motion blur, but it's possible. I'd do some reading on depth of field, and generally learn more about your camera so you can start shooting on manual mode (or at the very least aperture priority).
Manual is a pain in the arse unless you're doing external shoots. In con situations, unless you've got a dedicated time set with a cosplayer; always stick in aperture priority because otherwise you'll feel rushed and you'll never get a good shot.
I know the theory, but I'm having a hard time applying it and making it work. The photo above was taken with a 1/250 shutter speed and F4, with 100 ISO. In retrospect I really should have ticked down my aperture, but I'm still new enough to mix up the "directions" of the numbers.
Almost all the shots I took at the time were on manual, same with focus. My camera is pretty basic and just couldn't deal with the light, which didn't really help. It was good practice, though I'm not super pleased with the shots I got over all.
And like you said, super time consuming. I didn't have time to shoot quite a few of the images I wanted.
If you went with an even lower aperture, the cosplayer in the background would have been even more out of focus. I would have bumbed up the ISO and left the aperture, or even a bit higher.
You can still shoot with good bokeh effect in bright sunlight. You'll need a camera that has a super-fast max shutter speed (1/4000 on my Nikon D600).
I usually shoot at the lowest ISO (100, I rarely use those super-low ISO settings, because they're software-based and will affect the image), 1.4 aperture, and highest shutter speed. If it's still too bright, you'll have to invest in a neutral density filter for your lens.
> Your shutter speed will slow down as a result and you might need to bump up your ISO to minimize motion blur, but it's possible.
ISO has nothing to do with motion blur. Shutter speed is what determines how long the image is exposed for. The quicker the shutter speed, the less chance for blur.
What lens would be ideal for taking hallway shots?
>use cheap 50mm on a crop body
>effectively working with the field of view of an 85mm lens
>crowded areas make it fucking impossible to take a step back without bumping into someone
>get a full frame camera for slightly larger field of view
>saving up for an 85mm lens because it's highly regarded as the best portrait lens, which would effectively bring me back to square one
>85mm lens I want costs about 2 grand
>highly regarded 135mm lens is about half that price
>that would be even less field of view to work with
Buy less expensive lenses.
Buy used lenses.
Buy older manual lenses if you're not going to be shooting things that don't require a lot of movement.
I have never paid 2 grand for a lens. My bodies (all 3) didn't even cost me that much.
I like the idea of the shot.
Putting each character on a different plane is always a good idea for duos, and there's quite some dynamism in the shot.
Other anons were already right. Having one out of focus can sometimes be a good idea - but here, both of there poses are proeminent.
Also, blue sky is always nice, but if you don't have any lighting material (at least a fill flash or a reflector), you should really consider shooting in a shadowy area, with some trees or buildings in the background (it doesn't feel too off for some Homestuck cosplay does it ?)
About the composition, there are other problems.
First, both characters overlap at some weird points - Psiioniic's horn hides a bit of Condesce's face, and glasses hide her hand on the stick. By taking a landscape picture, you would've had both of their elbows, and enough room for them not to overlap. So don't get too close - your pics need to breathe.
Another thing : both characters look kinda "parralel". This is because Condesce's face and body face the camera, and it breaks a lot of the movement created by Psiioniic's pose.
It's hard to explain so I drew it (thx mspaint) : by asking them to have an angle of around 45° between their body in the camera, you instantly create opposite lines, which is a lot of dynamics, and you insinuate a relation between the characters, either positive (facing each other) or negative.
Finally, 2 characters looking at the camera is too much. And I can't really understand what Condesce is doing. Is she having a headache ?
Since she's looking at something under her, her eyes are almost closed. Combined to the out-of-focus, her expression is impossible to read. If she's pissed off at what Psiioniic is doing, tell her to look away, and to make a real, ugly face. That way, she doesn't even really need to be in focus, everybody can see her costume and what she's thinking.
(Sorry for the long post and my unperfect english. Just an amateur, so I hope it's useful !)
Reread your post and you're going the wrong way if you want to take hall shots. You want wider. 85 and 135 lenses are for people with room to work in or people who are going for half body shots or less. Especially if you're just doing a hall shot. You're spending a lot of money for nothing
That's a pro lens. If he's not making money off it, he doesn't need it. For one, you need to be up close to use the 85mm. If you step back with it, you're going to lose the bokeh effect. That lens is meant for close-up portraits.
You can get great shots with a used lens off Craigslist. It's all about the person who's using the tools, not the tools themselves.
I'm planning to buy the rest of my lenses refurbished from Canon. Every single used seller I look through on ebay sets off my red flags when I look through their reviews.
I forgot to mention I'm a huge bokeh whore, and longer focal lengths are much better for that. It's an absolutely integral part of my photography so much so that the price jump from a 1.8 to a 1.2 is absolutely worth it to me. I know they're completely impractical for maneuvering around at a convention but I know that these are the lenses that are going to get me the shots I want, provided I have enough room to pull them off, hence >abstract king of hell
I think the model in the foreground being that short throws it off because she is visually nearly the same height as the blue guy and her bare legs sort of blend in with the ground.
here is something basic on how to crop portraits nicely depending on how much you want to show.