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Photography

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer NYCC New York Comic Con 2013 exports (67 of 84)ISO 1001-60 sec at f - 5.0

Cosplay photography is something that should be done right–it should be more than a snapshot of the costume that someone worked hours and hours on to get right. Conversely, it should also be something that you’ll be able to take pride in at the end of the quick session.

This guide is designed for convention goers–like those at Comic Con or Dragon Con. But some of the methods spoken about can be applied to different situations. If followed, you’ll produce images that are very portfolio worthy.

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We’ve seen some cool shirts before that show off that you’re a photo snapper, but none of them are simplistic yet beautiful as these new tees. After some back and forth work, Jeff from Faded and Blurred decided to get more into the apparel game and finally came up with these shirts that feature some classic medium format, SLR, and rangefinder cameras against a solid color. Seems simple enough, right? Well beyond this, Jeff is also trying to ensure that the clothing is ethical and that the buyer can trace materials back to where the cotton was grown.

The shirts more or less are $24 a tee; which isn’t so terrible given that it’s got that swanky design and that it’s ethically sourced. Though if you don’t care about the three year old that was forced to help their mom put a shirt together, then you may think that this ia a tad too rich for your blood.

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Photographer Miguel Quiles recently set out to prove that you don’t need to best camera and lens setup in the world to deliver amazing photography results. Instead, he wanted to teach folks about how important lighting is. As part of a blog post for the Photoflex lighting school, he decided to pit a Canon 5D Mk III with an 85mm f1.2 L lens against a 7D with a 50mm f1.8. Then he used the same lighting setup with each camera kit, edited the results and compared them.

If you’re not looking at the images at 100% (and most clients that you’re shooting for won’t) you won’t really be able to tell the differences between the images, nor would you have any particular issues with them. In fact, with even more editing in Lightroom (which is really just the push and pull of a couple of sliders) you can make them look even more similar.

What Miguel was overall trying to show though is that you don’t need a really expensive camera setup to shoot better images; just effective lighting.

Check the video out after the jump.

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Wonders (III)

All images by Heline Lam. Used with permission

Heline Lam does a lot of street photography–and she sources that as the inspiration for her more unconventional ideas. But ultimately, it comes from many avenues. She states that she is always observing the world around her while paying attention to her own inner thoughts and emotions. This, combined with a story line that she has already created, adds to her thought process was to place her subjects from different walks of life in extraordinary circumstances and to help them travel and explore in her images. She tries to communicate a single message in all of her work: No matter what the circumstance is and what life throws at us, we will still carry on and move forward.

If this sounds a lot like storyboarding to you, then you’re spot on. She puts her subjects in extraordinary circumstances.

Heline uses her iPhone 5S to capture many of these scenes. “To me, a photo is only as good as the moment that presents itself. And I always have my iPhone 5s with me, enabling me to capture those candid moments or expressions non-intrusively that would otherwise have been missed.” states Ms. Lam. “Any type of camera, be it a DSLR, point-and-shoot or smartphone camera, has the ability to produce great imagery; it really depends on the kind of photography that one does. I do not believe in taking a ‘perfect’ photo as spontaneity and certain imperfections are beautiful and lend themselves to more character and edge.” Heline says that she keeps an open mind and attributes that to the progression of the art form overall.

Heline told us loves structures, shapes and forms but that creating the right mood for the vision and idea that she wants to portray is equally important. “When it comes to composition, it is often subconscious and reflex-like for me.” states Ms. Lam. “I want to ensure that there is balance in my work, that the eyes are drawn to the subjects (whether it is a pondering look, a gesture, a figure, etc.) then to the target of the subjects, and that composition helps to achieve the overall vision.”

Below are more of Heline’s images.

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All images by Fabian Palencia. Used with permission

“Growing up, I skateboarded with my friends, and we were always looking for new, undiscovered skate spots. Skateboarding really introduced me to NYC.” says Fabian Palencia when talking about how he became inspired to get into street photography in the first place. “By the time I was 10/11, I had been to every borough by train.” Fabian’s approach to street photography is very rooted in street skating and graffiti.

“I think about what kind of people live somewhere, what do they eat? How do they make a living, what’s their hustle? I grew up in Jackson Heights, which has a vibrant street culture. There was so much going on all around me, I wanted to explore it all. I still do. I want to understand.”

Fabian’s images are clever, candid, and capture moments that would otherwise have New Yorkers not thinking to take a photo. He touts around a 5D Mark II with a couple of prime lenses, an iPhone 5S and a Hasselblad 500CM. He uploads his images to his Tumblr, Instagram and Eyeem. Mr. Palencia states that he has an emphasis on travelling light–and so he’ll either just carry his iPhone or his camera and one lens. “Too much gear takes away from the experience, and my work is really about me experiencing the world around me.” says Fabian.

Mr. Palencia is drawn to characters that personify their environment. By that, he means that every neighborhood in New York has their own personalities and the area reflects on the people there. In order to shoot the images, Fabian practices the art of being invisible–or at least as best as possible. Then he gets close and tries to capture the scene. When asked further about the method, he explains that he isn’t into exploiting people, or their pain. He believes that there is enough of that out there, and in those same environments there is a lot of love. “I want to tell that story. A NY love story.”

Considering that most of his work is on platforms like Eyeem, Tumblr, and Instagram (though he is building a website) he believes that the social imaging world is very democratized in its current state of shooting, sharing, not using the best equipment, and not needing an art degree. “My education in the arts was passing blackbooks around to my friends, looking at graffiti, going to museums and looking at peoples work online.” states Fabian. “Without the internet, I’d have never become a working photographer. I’d still be shooting, no matter what, but knowing I’m part of a greater whole inspires me to push myself to make better photos.”

Here are more of his images.

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Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Lumopro LP-180 and Profoto Speedlite Speedring test with Natalie (6 of 10)ISO 12501-40 sec at f - 4.0

When a photographer is just trying to get into lighting they don’t realize a heck of a lot. It can also be very tough–and that’s why lots of them also say that they’re a natural light photographer. But just like riding a bike without training wheels, it takes some practice. As you continue to experiment with lighting, you’ll get better and better after trying it out and experimenting with what it can do.

Here are some basics to keep in mind.

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