How to Not Be a Jerk Photographing Cosplayers at New York Comic Con

Heading to New York Comic-Con this year? Check out these useful tips to elevate your cosplay photography to the next level.

Every October, thousands make their pilgrimage to Manhattan’s west side and the Jacob K. Javits Convention Center to attend New York Comic-Con. For those unfamiliar, NYCC is an annual celebration of their diverse fandoms, ranging from comic books, video games, movies, tv shows, pop culture, and everything in between. Last year’s NYCC had a record-breaking attendance of a quarter of a million people, and that number will likely increase this year. What was once considered geeky or nerdy is now woven into the fabric of pop culture. In recent years, more and more people are openly embracing and expressing their love of the numerous fandoms of which they’re a part. For many convention-goers, cosplaying – the act of dressing up as and embodying their favorite characters – has become a rite of passage. The rise of cosplaying’s popularity has also led to an influx of photographers attending conventions like New York Comic-Con in hopes of capturing the many cosplayers roaming around the convention hall. If you happen to be one of these photographers, this article was written with you in mind.

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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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First Sample Images: Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 PRO at New York Comic Con

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA

We currently have the Olympus 40-150mm f2.8 PRO lens on a short term loan for review–and so far it’s been making our jaws drop. I’ve been an Olympus shooter for many years; my first DSLR was Olympus. Then I left the system, and came back with Micro Four Thirds. Olympus has always produced stellar glass, but I’d be a complete liar if I said that I wasn’t a bit skeptical about this lens. Then again, I am always very skeptical about zooms because there is just so much that can go wrong during the manufacturing process at each focal length.

At New York Comic Con 2014, I tested it with the Olympus OMD EM5, a Westcott 7 foot parabolic umbrella, PocketWizard Plus IIIs and the Adorama Flashpoint Streaklight 180WS. My biggest complaint has to do with the battery life on the OMD draining so far because I was transferring images via the EyeFi Mobi card and giving them to attendees on the floor. But as far as the lens performance goes, I sincerely believe that every single manufacturer should be quivering in fear.

One of the biggest strengths of Micro Four Thirds has always been their lenses, and that is no more true than with this lens. It’s tack sharp, fast to focus, doesn’t miss my subject at all in fair lighting, is super light, well built with an all metal exterior, and delivers images that I’m incredibly proud of.

Our full review is currently in the works, but here are some extra image samples that have been run through Adobe Lightroom with minimal processing. Granted, these aren’t at all my final edits, but instead minor boosts that typically would be done.

Stay tuned for our full review.

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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…

Some Tips for Cosplayer Photography (Pictures Taken at New York Comic Con )

One of my favorite things to do at any Comic book or Anime Convention or combination of the two like New York Comic con is to photo walk around the show and take cosplayer portraits. These folks are all dressed up and had a place to go. I consider it the performance art of these shows and thing the images should be captured for all to see. Cosplayers put a lot of time and effort into their costumes and accessories. I give them my respect by putting a little thought into how I take their photos. There are large amounts of tips that can be given, but here are the ones I think are the most important.

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Photography at Pop Culture Conventions and What I’ve Learned

Exposure 0.02 sec (1/50) Aperture f/5.6 Focal Length 50 mm ISO Speed 400

Photography at pop culture can be fun, interesting, and precarious times. These events not only present the opportunity to make contacts and meet many possible new clientele, but also lead to great opportunities to add some fresh images to your portfolio. Pop culture events are great places to boost experience levels while having a whole lot of fun. I recently shot the New York Comic Con for the first time with a DSLR and I left the convention with some new knowledge from this cultural experience.

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Field Tutorial: The Orbis And Shooting Firestar

At Comic Con, I was given the opportunity to photograph a lot of talented and wonderful people dressed in their cosplay garb. Jessica Caitlin Foley was one of the attendees that stood out the most. She hails from Virginia and dressed as the Marvel superhero Firestar. As per recent reader requests, this is the beginning for a new type of posting here at ThePhoblographer, detailing Field Tutorials and how the equipment is used in the field. My apologies beforehand for the lack of Strobist photos and diagrams but we will be more careful in the future to do those.

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New York Comic Con Day 2: The Orbis Continues to Amaze Me

So yesterday I made the bold statement of talking about how the Orbis was great for conventions. I continue to agree with that statement. It makes a wonderful softbox while on the side of the subject and using available light to illuminate the other side of them. Of course, great posing and a bit of editing works well too. Typically, ring flashes are supposed to be used around the lens. Now, I was doing this before with no problems at all using the infrared transmitter on the 7D and 430 EX II. However, I started to have some problem with it as it hasn’t been very effective in going off when triggered by the 7D’s flash. So off lighting camera tactics as well as using the Orbis under the lens are some tactics that I’ve been using. The Orbis isn’t to blame for this, Canon’s flashes are. Additionally, it probably would would for me to get my hands on some radio transmitters in the future (accepting review pitches.) Here’s the gallery; I’ll be going over certain individuals in depth in future postings. Once again with me is:

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

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. All coverage was done for Will Greenwald’s site: Aggrogate.com.

Further note: spot the Easter Egg 😉

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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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