Fantasy Meets the Mundane in Georg Aamodt’s Cosplay Series

All cosplay images by Georg Aamodt. Used with permission.

“When I’m photographing people, I tend to let them be aware of their own emotions,” says Georg Aamodt as he describes how he connects with his subjects. A versatile photographer, Georg regularly shoots fashion, editorial, and portraiture. But it was one of his personal projects we found ourselves drawn to. COSPLAY: Ideality of Reality experiments with the realms of fantasy and the everyday world. Suspending the otherwise mundane, he captures his larger than life subjects in a way that tells an intriguing story. From his own admission, the work wasn’t only a showcase of his creative capabilities, but also a journey of his own exploration.

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Mortal Kombat Cosplay Photos Show Creative Process from Photography to Digital Art

This Mortal Kombat cosplay project gives us a peek into the process involved in transforming photography into digital art specific to the subculture.

Cosplay photography remains one of the most popular and vibrant photography sub-genres, and cosplay is a visual art in its own right. Most of the impressive cosplay imagery we see begins with costumes and props made as detailed and accurate as possible, and is then followed up with great portrait photography. But when you really need to push the art further and make it more striking, you can draw inspiration from the retouching process of Chilean art director Marce Moya Ochoa and this Mortal Kombat project.

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Ilya Nodia Creates a Cinematic Batman Cosplay Shoot With Video Lights

All photos by Ilya Nodia. Used with Creative Commons permission.

Cosplay photography has been one of the most popular portrait photography sub-genres for a good reason: it helps bring to life the world’s most popular and well-loved superheroes. However, as any cosplayer and photographer will tell you, it’s often not as simple as getting someone to dress up as their favorite comic book character and photographing them in it. There’s also the task of making everything in the photo as convincing as possible. This is where the cosplayer-photographer tandem is put to the test: the cosplayer in how detail-oriented and accurate his portrayal is, and the photographer in how well he is able to set the scene and tell the story. Today, we take a look at how Russian photographer Ilya Nodia achieves this with his cinematic take on a Batman cosplay shoot.

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Venom is a Badass Woman in this Cosplay Photography Series

This cosplay photography series stars cosplayer Luna, who struts her stuff in front of the camera as Venom!

October this year saw the Hollywood premiere of the Tom Hardy-starrer Venom and to commemorate (and in time for New York Comic Con 2018, too), actor and cosplayer Luna dressed up as a female version of this Marvel comics character in a skintight latex bodysuit and thigh high boots.

Luna’s final look is nothing short of amazing, with makeup artist Charles Zambrano doing her makeup and bodysuit that perfectly emulated a symbiote. And it’s all caught on camera by photographer Chad Wagner. On Behance, photo retoucher Valeria Belenko shared the final retouched images in an album called, well, Venom.

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This Corpse Bride Cosplay Photography is a Halloween Masterpiece

Cosplay photography by Lina Aster. Used with Creative Commons permission.

While cosplay is fascinating in itself, cosplay photography has also been a big part of the craft. In fact, it has long been a popular sub-genre of portrait photography, with a cult culture of its own among comic book, video games, and movie geeks. Today’s cosplay photography inspiration is not only a fine example of beautifully done cosplay, but also a stunning cosplay photography project perfect for the Halloween season. If you’re a fan of cosplay or do a lot of cosplay photography yourself, we’re sure you’ll like this one!

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Elevating the Art of Cosplay Photography: Don’t Be Another GWC

Cosplay photography has become more and more popular and it’s more important to get a number of things clear.

Every year, hundreds of thousands of comic book, video game, cinema, television, and pop culture enthusiasts descend upon the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on the west side of Manhattan to attend New York Comic Con, an annual convention that’s being held later this week for its 13th year. Last year, New York Comic Con attracted over 200,000 attendees, and it is projected that attendance numbers will possibly exceed nearly a quarter of a million this year. While a majority of the people in attendance are average consumers looking to check out the latest offerings from comic book publishers, video game developers, movie and television studios, as well as panel discussions and meet and greet photo ops with their favorite celebrities, there has been a rapid growth in attendees donning costumes of characters from their favorite fandom. Ranging from casual to wildly elaborate, cosplaying (the practice of dressing up as your favorite character) has become such a big component of conventions like New York Comic Con that the Eastern Championships of Cosplay competition has been held at New York Comic Con since 2014, with winners going on to compete at national level cosplay competitions.

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I’m Unashamedly a Photographer Suffering from Gear Acquisition Syndrome

I’m an amateur photo-hobbyist living in Tokyo, Japan. I picked up photography around 3 years ago, thinking I could jump into a new realm of the world that I’ve never understood before. Prior to picking up a camera, I was a normal college undergrad who put studying first before most of my hobbies; however, photography taught me that I should cherish the people and the moments around me and try to remember them especially as a foreigner living in a wonderful place like Japan.

I am unashamedly a man “suffering” from G.A.S., and I shoot with whatever I find interesting within my range of affordability. This came in the forms of Nikon D810 (and D800, D750, Df etc.), Canon 5D Mark III (and IV), Fujifilm X-Pro2 (and X-T1) all the way to Hasselblad 500C/M, Pentacon Six TL, Nikon F3 and many other cameras.

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The Art of Cosplay: How to Photograph Cosplayers

This time, I’d like to tell you about a very cool genre within portraiture: Cosplay Photography. If you’re not familiar with it, Cosplay is a HUGE cult inside geek culture where people make costumes and dress up as their favorite characters from comic books, movies, video games and more. You often see it at conventions like Comic Con, Dragon Con, Wonder Con, etc. People either buy costumes or work for a really long time putting them together. Lots of famous cosplayers have big Instagram and Facebook followings. Cosplay photography has a huge community and following all over the world and it’s a field of specialty in portraiture photography and graphic design. There are different levels of Cosplay photography, from simple portraits at comic conventions to sessions in studios or on location. Editing is a big thing with Cosplay photography as many photographers spend hours creating fantasy backgrounds, locations and effects to make the photos look more like the source of inspiration.

Cosplay photography is super cool and fun to get into but before I explain that, let me tell you how I got into geek culture.

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Greg Watermann on Photographing Cosplay with the Zeiss 135mm f2 Milvus

All images and text by Greg Watermann. Used with permission from Zeiss.

Recently, Zeiss Ambassador Greg Watermann got the chance to shoot with the new Zeiss 135mm f2 Milvus lens. In order to test it, he decided to try his hand at something he hasn’t ever done: cosplay. Here’s where a lot of photographers would sit there flabbergasted because they don’t know where to stat. But Greg took to Instagram and decided to collaborate with actress Tahnee Harrison. It ended up working out and being much more straight forward than one would think.

Be sure to also check out our review!

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The Basics of Shooting Better Cosplay 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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Photographer Recreates Famous Horror Flicks with Impressive Images

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All photos shot by and used with expressed permission from David Love.

When David Love of Oviedo, Florida expresses his love for horror flicks, he goes beyond watching them over and over again, buying movie collectables, or playing dress up like any other fan. Instead, he recreates them.

Now before you panic and start calling the authorities, no, he doesn’t actually do it in a very real serial-killer-type sense. So relax. A photographer and graphic designer by trade, Love instead created a series of scary movie photographs based on several iconic horror flicks.

He wanted to work on a personal project that allowed him more creative freedom so he decided to combine his love for scary movies and his passion for photography to do exactly that. Just before Halloween, he enlisted the help of cosplay enthusiast, musician, and writer Callie Cosplay and freelance make-up artist Elia Lizcano in order to recreate his vision. According to him,

By the time she (Callie) had arrived at my house / studio, I wanted to do every awesome scary movie ever in time for Halloween in 3 days. So we ran out to a costume shop and bought tons of props and raced back to get started.

Since he used items around his house to build the sets and he got his props from a local costume shop, the project was not an overly expensive and massively ambitious endeavor like most scary movies coming out of Hollywood, but that doesn’t mean that the results he achieved are less impressive. Inspired by the 1980s movies Love grew up watching, his recreations are, in fact, as stunning as they are mind-blowing. And we think any loyal horror movie fan will agree.

See his awesome images after the jump.
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How to Photograph Cosplayers: An Interview with Beethy

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All images by Beethy. Used with permission

New York Comic Con isn’t too far away, and every year lots of photographers and people who call themselves photographers converge on the area to take pictures of cosplayers. Cosplay, for those not aware, is a portmanteau of costume and play–and it ranges back to ancient Chinese culture. And so at conventions, people often dress up as characters.

While some will sit there and simply snap photos of someone’s costume, others will actually try to create full shoots. And one of those photographers is Beethy. He has been well known in the cosplay community for a while. He recently sat down to talk with us about cosplay photography, honing your craft and how to make your portfolio of images better. Continue reading…

SyFy Uses Copyrighted Images in Their “Heroes of Cosplay” Show, Neglects to Get Permission From Photographers

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Olympus EM5 Link Cosplay shoot (10 of 23)ISO 200

Uh-oh. Someone over at NBC is in a lot of trouble now. According to this report by BGZ Studios, SyFy was using copyrighted images in their “Heroes of Cosplay” show–albeit without the photographers’ consent. And apparently, it weren’t just a few pictures, but the copyright infringement was massive. One of the photographers whose images were used without permission (let alone proper compensation) is Brian Humphrey, who happens to be an affiliate of BGZ Studios. So BGZ’s Darrell Ardita took the matter up, and sent SyFy an invoice for the eight images used in the show to which Brian holds the copyright, asking a total compensation sum of almost $ 30k, together with a detailed letter explaining the legal grounds.

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Review: Westcott Ice Light

Chris Gampat The Phoblographer Westcott Ice Light Review photos (2 of 8)ISO 1001-200 sec at f - 5.0

Westcott’s Ice Light was affectionately called the Light Saber by many–and upon first look one can easily think so. In fact, the light is often used in shoots that are meant to pay homage to the blockbuster film series: Star Wars. But surely, Westcott didn’t create the Ice Light just for some George Lucas fanboys. Like any lighting piece, it can be used in a variety of creative ways.

In a nutshell, think of the Ice Light as a light strip–a constant LED light strip that is quite a bit of money.


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Using the Olympus OMD EM5 on a Cosplay Photoshoot

Last weekend, a friend asked me to photograph her cosplaying as Link from the Legend of Zelda. The theme was to have a dark and a bit foreboding scene/atmosphere to them. At the last minute while shooting though, she said to me, “Oh but I want them to be really nice too though.” That essentially means that I needed to try to find a way to mix both beauty (which is what I usually do) with my darker side. I usually keep the two separate when it comes to shoots, but in this case that needed to be put aside.

So if you were in the same position and shooting in Prospect Park, Brookyln (in NYC), how would you try to pull this off with multiple looks in a couple of hours?

For starters, I threw in a strange challenge: I put my 5D Mk II away for this one and used the Olympus OMD EM5 still on loan to me from Olympus.

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New York Comic Con 2010: Why The Orbis Is Awesome For Conventions

This posting is literally just a massive dump of gorgeous women in costume at New York Comic Con 2010 that I’m covering for Will over at Aggrogate.com. With me is the:

Canon EOS 7D

Orbis Ring Flash Attachment Kit

Canon Speedlite 430EX II Flash

Canon EF 35mm f/1.4L USM Wide Angle Lens

Don’t forget the Canon rebates, and enjoy the gallery. Either way, the Orbis is highly recommended as it is easy to use in tight spaces and gives not only really nice even lighting on your subjects but can give some very nice creative lighting effects with different powers dialed in. Also, I’m not always using it around the lens; I am indeed using it off camera left and right sometimes because of the infrared signal between the 7D and 430 EX II not working at times.

Note: All photos here are my property and protected by my government copyright. If you’d like to use them, just ask: I’m a friendly dude. Shoot me an email at ChrisGampat[at]thephoblographer[dot]com.

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Field Review: Nikon D300s (Final Day)

Despite the fact that the Nikon D3s seemed to be my constant companion for the past two weeks, the Nikon D300s also accompanied me many times where I felt the D3s was overkill, too bulky or I needed a backup camera. The new 70-200mm F2.8 ED VR II was almost always on it. My final thoughts on the camera and its uses at PAX East 2010 are after the jump.

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