Equipment & Setup
I only covered cosplays on the Saturday daylight session of EB Games Expo on 4 October 2014. Didn't go too trigger happy this year and captured what interested me. There are essentially two images per set. The first image is a clean image as originally intended. The second photograph is image manipulation by remapping existing colours to my preferred style.
Model/Costume/Makeup: Nick Pullos (unconfirmed)
Series: Aliens, Xenomorph Adult
Description: YN560II 1/2 power from camera left and front. 430EXII 1/2 power from camera right behind subject. I started using a strong visible backlight in my photographs at SMASH this year. I like the flare as well as the contrast it adds to an image. The lightstand is unavoidable but I don't think it detracts from the photograph. An artificially bright light source without the light stand also looks kind of weird to me. I usually paint the legs out though.
This was shot in the main exhibitor hall. There was a large group of people taking pictures around him and I wanted to shoot him like he was coming out of a dark alien nest or hall way. I used the strobes at about 1.5 metres from the subject. There is just enough power to kill the ambient light, as well as remove any distracting elements in the background. A simple clean up with the clone stamp tool finishes the job. I asked the nearest person hovering around the subject to hold a flash for me. She looked pretty confused initially as I set up my speedlites for the shot. She was then genuinely shocked/impressed with the result. She asked how she could do that with her phone. I looked at her and said nothing.
Model/Costume/Makeup: Variable Cosplay
Series: Tom Clancy's The Division, Soldier
Description: YN560II 1/4 power from camera left, probably 35mm zoom from the front. 430EXII 1/2 power from camera right at 70mm zoom with sunset orange gel. As it was a black costume on a dark background I wanted to add a strong highlight to separate Variable from the poster background. Variable was one of the few local cosplayers working for Ubisoft as a contractor for this event. I wanted to make use of the poster as much as possible so i directed Variable to stand closer to the wall than I typically would. The text was shot in camera, not added in post processing. This was shot at Ubisoft's official booth at EB Games Expo. I prefer the second image. It's like looking at a false colour composite of thermal imagery.
Series: Mass Effect, Tali'Zorah nar Rayya
Description: Speedlites at 1/4 power on both strobes from either side of subject, equal distance apart. Had to move it to the front side of the model so that the light would wrap around her helmet and part of the face. Took several attempts and experimented with different setups till I was satisfied with this one.
Model/Costume/Makeup: Natchi Cosplay
Series: Dangan Ronpa
Description: Considering where we shot this I'm glad it turned out so well. We were in the middle of the convention hall and there were people walking up behind Natalie all the time curious about what we were doing. I had to strategically place the strobes so that it wouldn't light up the crowd of people in the background. Fortunately i could just paint out any distractions and the photograph turned out fine. I also had a bit of fun with post-special effects in photoshop. It would have been a bit plain with just a black background.